Learning Outcomes

Curriculum Connections

Instructional Organizer

Extension Activities

Select Bibliography for Class Use


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PART 1: The Classroom Issue Referendum
PART 2: The Community Meeting
PART 3: Writing the Newspaper
PART 4: The Class Newfoundland Referendum
PART 5: Creating the Class Timeline Display
PART 6: Closure



40-50 minutes


  • synthesizing information
  • writing in descriptive and expository styles
  • stating a position in writing


  • The People Speak Role Cards
  • completed Reporters' Notebooks


Grouping - pairs/groups of 4

  1. Explain that pairs of student reporters will work with panelists in groups of four: two students will write a news story; two will write an editorial. Instruct groups to use the information from their role cards and the details collected in their Reporters' Notebooks to complete a news story about the community meeting they attended. Remind students of the importance of accurate reporting and the power of the press in affecting public opinion and the vote.

    a) Ask one pair of students in each group to work collaboratively to complete a news story. Students may need to be reminded of these key points about news stories:

    • They are written in the inverted pyramid form, with the most important ideas first. The "5 Ws" are found in the lead. These are the Who, What, When, Where, Why facts. Details follow the lead or opening paragraph.
    • They are objective reports. They include factual information as well as opinions given by panelists at the Community Meeting. They do not include the opinions of the reporters. When panelists' opinions are given in the exact words used, they should appear in quotation marks.
    • Each story needs a headline. Headlines are not complete sentences; they are brief phrases meant to attract and inform the reader.

    b) Ask the second pair of students in each group to write an editorial. Give these students the following guidelines:

    • The editorial should state arguments given by panelists at the meeting. At least two or three arguments should be included. An argument and counter-argument might provide interesting points of comparison.
    • Editorials are meant to be opinion pieces; therefore, they should contain the opinions of the writers on such issues as:
      • the quality of various arguments
      • the ability of panelists to convince voters
      • the importance of understanding the issues so that voters can act responsibly.

  2. You may wish to produce a class newspaper made up of all the contributions, or have groups share stories and editorials with each other. Some Newfoundland newspaper names in 1949 were: Bay Roberts Guardian (Bay Roberts), Western Star (Corner Brook), Grand Falls Advertiser (Grand Falls), Fishermen's Advocate (Port Union), Newfoundland Herald (St. John's), Evening Telegram (St. John's), Daily News (St. John's). Some 1990s Newfoundland and Labrador newspaper names are: Southern Gazette (Burin), Compass (Carbonear), Humber Log (Corner Brook), Labradorian (Happy Valley), Coaster (Harbour Breton), Shoreline News (Paradise), Northern Pen (St. Anthony), Telegram (St. John's).


Evaluate news stories and editorials. Do they show:

  • thorough presentation of the facts?
  • clarity of expression?
  • accuracy of reporting?
  • logical, coherent writing?

Students can also evaluate their own work on news stories and editorials, using the same criteria.

Students can evaluate their Reporters' Notebooks. Did they record:

  • all the information they needed?
  • neatly and clearly?

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