Imagine you were told to put together your own newspaper. What would you write? Would you use a theme approach or pen willy nilly stories until your heart's content?
That is how some students are told to assemble what could have been a well constructed product showcasing their content knowledge. Before telling your students to write stories, think about connecting it to real-world application. Place them in a scenario-driven assignment for increased interest and real world relevance. Ramp up the rigor. Connect fiction and nonfiction. Give them choice and opportunities for responsibility.
Newspapers are filled with jobs. Every student should belong to a group and have a task, and attach responsibility to that task. Have a team leader organize the small group; make the editor finalize/green light stories for publication after edits; designate one student to be responsible for photos and images that enhance the meaning of the stories. The newspaper templates on buildanewspaper.com will let students write stories, as well as include images, connect weather maps and obituaries to their content, with plenty of organization opportunities to take advantage of all those jobs required to "build a newspaper."
Scott, Founder of Build a Newspaper