CRESTVIEW — Stop the presses! Maj. George Washington is sent into battle during the French and Indian War. In fashion news, Betsy Ross, a Philadelphia seamstress, creates a flag for a new nation.
These could be some of the headlines in newspapers being created by Shoal River Middle School eight-graders, who are studying colonial America in history class.
Teacher Cathy Clendennin said the project is a fun, unusual way to make history relevant, and make dates and events some students might find tedious more interesting.
"One of the benefits of the paper is to integrate social studies with language arts," Clendennin said. "The students reveal their knowledge of the period through writing informative pieces rather than taking a traditional test.
"This allows the students to apply their knowledge in a realistic format — the newspaper — instead of just regurgitating facts."
A News Bulletin reporter visited Clendennin and her students Wednesday morning, shared writing tips and answered questions on topics ranging from libel issues to article lengths.
Students will work in small groups to produce four or five colonial newspapers per class. The articles will be written in contemporary language style but will report historic events.
"Through the newspaper, the students will conduct research, collaborate with their peers, and practice their writing skills," Clendennin said.
"Hopefully, they may actually remember this time period more so than just the settlement of the 13 colonies."
Contact News Bulletin Staff Writer Brian Hughes at 850-682-6524 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @cnbBrian.