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Grades6 to 12
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Try your hand at newspaper editing for a dystopian community. Explore the limitations of not having a free press. Your task is to select which articles paint a positive picture ...more
Try your hand at newspaper editing for a dystopian community. Explore the limitations of not having a free press. Your task is to select which articles paint a positive picture of the world by reading a one sentence summary and looking at the headlines. There is a time limit for editing (within 3 virtual days -- about 45 seconds). As the editor, you must make sure the bosses stay happy and also that the public interest is substantial in reading the selected stories. At the end of the given time, editors receive two grades, one on successfully completing the paper and the other on engaging your readers. Editors continue work for three days, each day trying to improve the positive attitude and interest more readers. A threat to the editor adds to the suspense and tension of selecting articles carefully.
In the ClassroomShare this exercise (once) on your interactive whiteboard or projector during a unit on propaganda or while reading a dystopian novel. You can also include it during government/civics units on the power of media and bias. Have students try out editing on individual computers or as a learning station. Enhance student learning by having students use Breaking News Generator, reviewed here, to write imaginary articles that go along with the headlines from two points of view, both positive and negative about the regime. Find headlines from a local paper or the Internet and have students rewrite headlines, changing the feeling of the article from negative to positive or vice versa.
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