INQUIRY 2: VIEWPOINT
Views in the News
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Newspapers to use: All
Note: Students work individually, each using a particular issue (including recent issues).
What is viewpoint and in what ways do different viewpoints appear in the newspaper?
(Report, Interview, Advertiser)
Viewpoint or point of view is used to describe the way a writer tells a story. Our personal viewpoints are created by the unique combination of cultural background, education, personal experience, age, and spiritual beliefs that we each possess. Viewpoint is similar to "voice" as described in six traits writing.
Inquiry Set-up for Students:
You are time-travelling reporters assigned to visit the Pacific Northwest during different decades. Your assignments will be given by drawing dates out of a hat. To prepare you for the journey to another time, you have been given four pages of a newspaper. Before you depart, you must determine who wrote what part of the newspaper and from what viewpoint they were writing. Try to answer these questions:
- What are the headlines for all the stories in your newspaper section? Which stories have bylines and which ones do not?
- Who wrote the articles and columns in your newspaper section, and what ethnic background might they have had?
- Why were the subjects of the articles considered newsworthy?
- Are there any advertisers in your newspaper section, and if so, what are they trying to sell?
- Describe the different viewpoints in your newspaper section.
- Based on your newspaper, what do you think life in the Pacific Northwest during your decade was like? List five ways it might have been different than it is now.
Follow-up: The result of your time-travelling journey (including a full investigation of the time and place) will be to:
- Adopt the viewpoint of a reporter who lived during the time of your newspaper section, and write a short article designed to entice people to the Pacific Northwest.
- Write and design an advertisement for some product that was popular during your assigned time.
Activity Plan: Teacher Directions
Step 1: On small pieces of paper, write the newspaper dates that coincide with the dates on the newspaper sets. Fold them and place them in a hat or bowl.
Step 2: Read the Inquiry Set-up aloud to the class.
Step 3: Using the idea of voting and women's suffrage, discuss the concept of viewpoint, making sure the students develop an understanding of the various viewpoints represented in the papers. Have students try to identify sections of the newspaper such as a report, an interview, or an advertisement. Through class discussion, students then try to answer the question: What is each viewpoint trying to accomplish?
Step 4: Have the students draw dates from the hat.
Step 5: Students answer the questions listed in the Inquiry Set-up.
Reading 2.1-2.3, 3.1, 3.2
Writing 1.1-1.3, 2.1, 2.2
Communication 2.1-2.3, 3.3
History 1.1, 2.1-2.3, 3.3