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A Backpack Journalist

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Program Description: What’s your story?  Come take a successful journey to self-expression and help the student to find their “voice.”  A Backpack Journalist combines writing and photography in an enriched, project-based curriculum that supports academics, and expands a student’s real-world experiences.

Sample Experiences:

3rd – 8th Grade: ELA and Technology: The Art of Storytelling: Great journalists put the reader in the story!  First the student journalist must find their “voice,” and in doing so, their creative writing results in life-changing stories! We combine a Photography Icebreaking Experience (PIE) with basics in interviewing, team building and public speaking.  Next, the writer emerges, and also the portrait photographer, as each student learns all about taking a portrait.  Writing assignments include “My new friend,” “Defining Moments,” to “Special Thank-you’s,” and “Fiction.”  Outcome:  a full color book with all portraits and writing assignments published with each portrait.

3rd – 8th Grade: ELA and Drama: Norman Rockwell’s Storytelling:  Rockwell is one of America’s greatest storytellers.  Unknown to many is that in order to tell a story, Rockwell often established a set designed with props and people.  He then would photograph it. Often he would also add an illustration before the painting began.  Rockwell created the “first selfie” using a mirror and props and illustrations. During this Experience, each student will create a “selfie,” design a set, photograph the set, and then write!  All of the “selfies” are then published in a full color book with the written descriptions.

backpack rockwell

3rd – 8th Grade: ELA, History and Art: Norman Rockwell’s Historical and Career Connections Storytelling: Rockwell’s work often depicted the American way of life, and in doing so, he also wove a story into his paintings.   Our thematic units include Language Arts, History and Social Studies and we include the teacher resource materials available from the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.  Each student will create their own Saturday Evening Post cover and research the historical elements to support their cover. Each student researches, writes and then gets published with their cover in a full color book.  Some examples of Rockwell’s work to be on display include: Saying Grace, Triple Self Portrait, The Runaway, The Golden Rule, The Four Freedoms (Freedom of Speech, Freedom to Worship, Freedom from Want, Freedom from Fear), Outward Bound, Going and Coming, The Gossips, The Shiner, Girl at the Mirror, The Marriage License, and New Kids in the Neighborhood.

3rd – 8th Grade: ELA and Science: Cover the Assignment:  Do you have a special event you wish for your students to participate in as reporters or photographers?  Would you like to enrich student learning about a particular subject or thematic unit?  The study of fossils is a great example.  Students have hands-on experiences by investigating slate from the hills of Colorado, and then visiting via films the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument, Florissant, Colorado.  All research and findings are published in a full color book or newspaper.

4th Grade:  History, Technology, and ELA: African American Civil Rights Movement: Students study the life of Larry Doby, the second African American player in the major leagues (first in the American League) when he joined the Cleveland Indians. His stats are a math and physics project.  The research on his life and the documentary that we provide encourages the students to write and create multiple projects such as chronological timelines, a Doby diary as it relates to the Civil Rights movement, newspapers, and other types of sports articles of the time.  Also, music within the documentary is from the era, and speaks to lyrics that rhyme.  Thus, creating lyrics is also one of the suggested projects.

For more information visit the Backpack Journalist site.