Our school has partnered with Healthy News Works (HNW) to implement a hands-on approach to simultaneously teaching students about writing, journalism, and health related topics.
Denise Foley of HNW has been visiting our fourth grade students once a week to assist them with the next edition of the school newspaper. While students learn about writing, research, and the art of journalism, they also learn about a very vital organ, the heart. Ms. Foley says that she visits several schools, but she particularly enjoys the students at St. Raymond of Penafort, IMS because, “They are taking this assignment very seriously.”
In addition to journalism basics such as how to gather facts, students learn how to conduct a thorough interview. They also learn about the different ways to record the interview. A practice interview is done with Ms. Foley in class. Homework for the evening requires students to conduct an interview with a parent at home.
This has become a fun and engaging lesson in writing and anatomy. Since the subject matter is the heart, students are also learning about how strengthen this muscle, how to keep the heart healthy through diet and exercise, and how to obtain their heart rate.
Practicing yoga is a great way to keep the heart healthy. Students enjoyed their lesson in yoga taught by special instructors in class. Fourth grade girls showed their poses to their physical education teacher as well.
The next step involved conducting interviews with school and parish staff. Fr. Chris Walsh, the pastor of the Parish and Yemithsou Chery-Paul, the Development Director of the school, volunteered for this part of the project. Students gathered information by asking questions and taking turns with follow-up questions. They also took as many notes as they could quickly write on their note pads.
Now that fourth grade as done their research and gathered information from interviews, they will begin to work on writing the story. Look for your copy of the latest publication of these journalists in training with the assistance of HNW staff. This continues to be an exciting project for all involved.
Click to see the completed issues below: