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Writing About The Holocaust, Writing an Editorial


Language Arts, Social Studies  



Title – Writing About The Holocaust, Writing an Editorial
By – Kristy Brooten
Primary Subject – Language Arts
Secondary Subjects – Social Studies
Grade Level – 6
Writing About The Holocaust Thematic Unit Contents:

Lesson Plan 4

Grade level: 6
Concept being taught: Writing an editorial

I. Objectives
TSWBAT write an editorial in response to an event of the Holocaust

II. Materials
Several complete newspapers (one per group), sample editorial overhead, Holocaust editorials (one per person), Holocaust editorial overhead

III. Detailed Lesson Outline
A. Motivation
          I was reading the newspaper the other day… There’s a lot of things going on in the world and in our country! (mention current news events) I can’t help but wonder what everyone else thinks about all this. Where in my newspaper do you think I could find out?

B. Input
          Hand out newspapers, one per group. Look at your newspaper and see if you can find where people’s opinions are located. Walk around to groups. Do we have the search the whole thing or is there a table of contents or an index somewhere? What do you think people’s opinions would be under? Direct groups to Comment section. Pick out a letter to the editor in your newspaper.
          Find out: What news event is he/she writing about? What does he/she think about that event?
          All together: In the newspaper, we have a section called editorials/letters to the editor. Looking at your editorial, why do you think people write editorials? Put (SIMPLE) sample editorial on overhead. Let’s look at this editorial. How does it begin? Underline and write “title.” To whom is it addressed? Underline and write “written to.” Who wrote it? Underline and write “written by.” What event is he/she writing about? Underline and write “event.” What does he/she see as the problem? Underline and write “problem.” What solution does he/she suggest? Underline and write “solution.” Why does he/she think this solution will work? Underline and write “reason for solution.” Based on what we see in this editorial, what do you think the basic elements of an editorial are? What does an editorial consist of? Write “Editorials” on board. Discuss this in your groups and write your ideas on board. An editorial is written to the editor of a newspaper by a person who responds to an event by identifying the problem, offering a solution and telling why that solution will work.
          Pass out Holocaust editorials. I read this editorial the other day about the Holocaust, written in response to an another article. In your groups, read the article and the editorial written in response to the article. Find and underline the elements of an editorial we just discussed.
          Put up Holocaust editorial overhead. All together: what elements did you find? As students point them out, have them come up and underline and identify them on the overhead. Is there anything this editorial is missing? Do you think we always have to address the letter “To the Editor”? Look at your Comment section. Are they all addressed this way? When are they addressed to the editor and when are they not? (Do you think some are written by reporters?) Look at how this editorial begins and how it ends. What do you notice? Is he talking about the same or a different idea? What has he added to that idea at the end? Why do you think he ends his article this way? (emphasis) When we write an editorial, this is something we can do to emphasize our main idea.

C. Closure
          We’re all reading different books right now about the Holocaust. Get together in your literature circles (bring your book, Holocaust journal and a writing utensil) and talk about the events going on in your book. What if one of the characters in your book were secretly writing to you, an American during World War II, telling you all about what was happening? What do you think you would write to the editor? What is the problem? What is the solution? what do you think the US government should do to stop what’s happening to the Jews? Why do you think this will work? Jot down your ideas in your journal. Talk with each group: ask above questions.

D. Evaluation
          Back at your seats, write your editorial. You may refer back to the Holocaust editorial if you like. To evaluate objective, walk around and ask students to share their ideas with you, looking for elements of editorial.

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