Author Archives: msgaudun

Newspaper Features

What we are doing in class:

  1. Newspaper scavenger hunt
  2. Analyzing the front page layout.
    1. flag (name of paper – logo type)
    2. ears (space on each side of flag)
    3. price
    4. highlights – weather, news, special features,etc…
    5. Number of stories on front page
      1. how many are continued inside?
    6. photos
      1. what do they show?
      2. importance
      3. link to articles?
      4. datelines and bylines
      5. advertisements
  3. Types of Stories
    1. International
      • Associated Press
      • Correspondents / national bureaus
      • Wire Service
      • Wire photo
      • Stringer
    2. National
      • wire service
      • stringer
    3. State/Province
      • wire service
      • stringer
    4. Local
      •  standard reporter
      • flash type (fire and so on)
      • contributed (submitted to newspaper, such as companies sending promotions)
      • enterprise (reporter discovers story on his/her own)
      • local photos
      • sports
      • social
    5. social
    6. economic
    7. political


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Newspaper: What we’ve covered to date

  1. Functions of a newspaper
    1. Inform, Interpret, Entertain, Persuade, Provide a Service, Make Money
  2. Sections of a Newspaper
  3. Newspaper Terminology
  4. Features of a good headline
  5. Pictures in newspapers: features and usage
    1. Angle: Low, Straight, High
    2. Distance: Close, Medium, Long
  6. Reporting tips (Pompeii)
  7. Writing Styles:
    1. Website:
    2. PDF:

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Non-Fiction Text: Newspapers

Students will:

  1. Understand that newspaper messages are created to inform, persuade or entertain
  2. Identify different audiences for each type of newspaper message
  3. Become familiar with each section of the newspaper
  4. Make inferences about why different messages are placed in different sections.

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Debate Research Tips

  • In your own words
    • If you sound like you’re reading for Wikipedia, your audience a) won’t believe you and b) will be bored.
  • Similes/Comparisons
    • Include a simile to make statistics more meaningful to your audience
    • It’s hard for your audience to imagine numbers and facts. Can you make a comparison to something familiar to your audience to help them understand.
    • E.g., Ontario would save $8 billion – that’s enough money to build and staff 3 new nuclear power plants.
  • Word Choice
    • You need to sound passionate about your topic. Use passionate, powerful words!
  • Concessions
    • If you don’t address something your opponent says, you are conceding the point – saying it’s true.
  • Summarize
    • Before you are done speaking, you will want to remind your audience of all of the great points you made before your opponent gets a chance to speak.

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Parents: Writing/Media Assignment coming home!


Please be aware that your child’s Fairy Tale (writing) and Book Cover (media) assignments are being sent  home for signing tonight. Please review with your child, sign, and return to me.

If you have any questions that your child can’t answer, please don’t hesitate to contact me. If you could email me first, and then we can arrange a time for a phone call if you’d like additional clarification.


Tammy Gaudun

Posted in Fairy Tales, Media, Parent/Guardian | Leave a comment

Ideas for Term 2: Be persuasive

Let’s try this one more time! I gave you can opportunity to give ideas of what you’re interested in learning about for term 2.  Many issues were brought forward without suggested solutions.

  • What I need to know is what issues are important to you?
  • What skills do you want to develop?


  • Way to get out of writing, or
  • Let’s go on a field trip! (without being specific)

So, I will help you with the formatting.  Your response will look similar to a debate format of claim, warrant, impact or point, proof, comment:

First line (interest, skill or issue):

  • I am interested in learning about…,
  • I really enjoy (skill e.g., writing, or performing, or computers, etc..)
  • I am passionate about this issue (environment, bullying, etc…)

Second line (suggestion/solution):

  • ” I would like to”, or “I think we should” (be specific)

Third line (impact)

  • This would help me build confidence…
  • I would be very engaged in this activity…
  • It would allow us to make a difference in the community…

Posted in Debate | 7 Comments

Homework: Debate research

We are having a class debate and your student with be arguing for or against the following statement:

Be it resolved that technology is diminishing our humanity.

Students were brainstorming today in class, and tonight they are to find “evidence” to support their claims. Tomorrow, groups will be ranking their claims and preparing their arguments.

Students, it would be helpful to debate this topic at home with your parents. It will give you a different perspective on your topic.

Posted in Debate, Language, Parent/Guardian, Planners | 3 Comments

Ted Talk: What Adults can learn from Kids

We learned that Ted Talks are “persuasive” talks, just like debating. We watched the Adora Svitak tell us what adults can learn from kids. Here is your chance to teach this adult something. I’m listening. What would you like to do or learn in class. Be persuasive in your comment below.

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Conducting a Debate (plus Rubric)

A debate is a discussion or structured contest about an issue or a resolution. A formal debate involves two sides: one supporting a resolution and one opposing it. Such a debate is bound by rules previously agreed upon. Debates may be judged in order to declare a winning side. Debates, in one form or another, are commonly used in democratic societies to explore and resolve issues and problems. Decisions at a board meeting, public hearing, legislative assembly, or local organization are often reached through discussion and debate. Indeed, any discussion of a resolution is a form of debate, which may or may not follow formal rules (such as Robert’s Rules of Order). In the context of a classroom, the topic for debate will be guided by the knowledge, skill, and value outcomes in the curriculum.

Structure for Debate

A formal debate usually involves three groups: one supporting a resolution (affirmative team), one opposing the resolution (opposing team), and those who are judging the quality of the evidence and arguments and the performance in the debate. The affirmative and opposing teams usually consist of three members each, while the judging may be done by the teacher, a small group of students, or the class as a whole. In addition to the three specific groups, there may an audience made up of class members not involved in the formal debate. A specific resolution is developed and rules for the debate are established.

Debate Preparation:

• Develop the resolution to be debated.
• Organize the teams.
• Establish the rules of the debate, including timelines.
• Research the topic and prepare logical arguments.
• Gather supporting evidence and examples for position taken.
• Anticipate counter arguments and prepare rebuttals.
• Team members plan order and content of speaking in debate.
• Prepare room for debate.
• Establish expectations, if any, for assessment of debate.

Conducting Debate:

Debate opens with the affirmative team (the team that supports the resolution) presenting their arguments, followed by a member of the opposing team. This pattern is repeated for the second speaker in each team. Finally, each team gets an opportunity for rebutting the arguments of the opponent. Speakers should speak slowly and clearly. The judges and members of the audience should be taking notes as the debate proceeds. A typical sequence for debate, with suggested timelines, is as follows:

  • the first speaker on the affirmative team presents arguments in support of the resolution. (5 – 10 minutes)
  • The first speaker on the opposing team presents arguments opposing the resolution.
    (5 – 10 minutes)
  • The second speaker on the affirmative team presents further arguments in support of the resolution, identifies areas of conflict, and answers questions that may have been raised by the opposition speaker. (5 – 10 minutes)
  • The second speaker on the opposing team presents further arguments against the
    resolution, identifies further areas of conflict, and answers questions that may have been raised by the previous affirmative speaker. (5 – 10 minutes)
  • The rules may include a short recess for teams to prepare their rebuttals. (5 minutes)
  • The opposing team begins with the rebuttal, attempting to defend the opposing arguments and to defeat the supporting arguments without adding any new information. (3 – 5 minutes)
  • First rebuttal of the affirmative team (3 – 5 minutes)
  • Each team gets a second rebuttal for closing statements with the affirmative team having the last opportunity to speak. (3 – 5 minutes each)
  • There cannot be any interruptions. Speakers must wait their turns. The teacher may need to enforce the rules.


Criteria 1 2 3 4
  1. Organization and Clarity:

viewpoints and responses are outlined both clearly and orderly.

Unclear in most parts Clear in some parts but not over all Most clear and orderly in all parts Completely clear and orderly presentation
  1. Use of Arguments:

reasons are given to support viewpoint.

Few or no relevant reasons given Some relevant reasons given Most reasons given: most relevant Most relevant reasons given in support
  1. Use of Examples and Facts:

examples and facts are given to support reasons.

Few or no relevant supporting examples/facts Some relevant examples/facts given Many examples/facts given: most relevant Many relevant supporting examples and facts given
  1. Use of Rebuttal:

arguments made by the other teams are responded to and dealt with effectively.

No effective counter-arguments made Few effective counter-arguments made Some effective counter-arguments made Many effective counter-arguments made
  1. Presentation Style:

tone of voice, use of gestures, and level of enthusiasm are convincing to audience.

Few style features were used; not convincingly Few style features were used convincingly All style features were used, most convincingly All style features were used convincingly



Additional Resource:

Peer Evaluation checklist:


Post your “Be it resolved that …” statement below.

Posted in Debate | 21 Comments

Fairy Tale – Moral Debate

Lesson Plan

In this lesson, students consider the ethics of characters in three fairy tales.

  • In “Puss in Boots,” a clever cat engineers a succession of hoaxes and lies for the benefit of its master. As a result, the master eventually marries the king’s daughter and appoints Puss in Boots prime minister, and all parties live happily ever after. Among the debatable questions inspired by this fairy tale are
    1. Was Puss in Boots wrong to lie to the king and deceive him?,
    2. Was the cat wrong to trick the ogre and then kill him?, and
    3. Is trickery ever justified?
    4. Challenge students to support their positions with at least three cogent arguments.
  • In “Jack and the Beanstalk,” young Jack, whose impoverished mother is left with nothing but the family cow, is sent to market to trade the cow for as much money as he can. Jack trades the cow for a handful of beans and, in despair, his mother throws the beans out the window. Jack narrowly escapes from the giant with two stolen treasures that will secure the future for himself and his mother. Among the debatable questions posed by this story are
    1. Since the giant wanted to eat Jack, was it OK that Jack stole the giant’s goose and harp?
    2. An older version of this familiar tale offers up some unique twists that will add to the debate: Since the giant had stolen everything from Jack’s father, do you think it was OK for Jack to take it back?
  • Create a two-column graphic organizer for the first two fairy tales above. Print one of the ethical questions raised by the tale at the top of the graphic organizer. Print “Yes” at the top of the first column and “No” at the top of the other. As students share their responses to the questions, write the responses in the appropriate columns.For a printable comparison chart, see Comparison Chart.

Posted in Debate, Fairy Tales, Grade 7 | Leave a comment