By Scott Graves
Pilot staff writer
On Thursday, several students were genuinely sad upon hearing that it was the last day my wife and I would be teaching a class at the summer recreation program.
It touched my heart.
Same for my wife, Jacque, who was my partner in teaching both the "Rhythm and Music" and "Making a Newspaper" classes for the KASPER program. One student gave Jacque a big hug on, while another wouldn't stop thanking her for "everything!"
This, I realized, is why teachers teach. How they do it day and in and day out without going crazy remains a mystery.
My wife, having spent many years with the Girl Scout organization, was better prepared to handle the challenges of teaching large groups of children. Me? It was, at times, like herding cats.
Nevertheless, teaching a 2-hour class twice a week for six weeks with up to 15 fifth and six graders at a time was a wonderful, sometimes frustrating, but ultimately rewarding experience. (The summer recreation program continues for another few weeks.)
For the last three weeks I focused my efforts on teaching a "Making a Newspaper" class. Sounds easy, right? After all, I'm an newspaper editor. But my only experience teaching journalism has been with high school and college students, so I knew I'd have to develop a different approach for the younger crowd.
After talking about basic journalism the five Ws (who, what, when, where and why), news stories vs. feature stories, photos, cutlines and advertisements we got busy making an in-class newspaper.
Using a display board and large pieces of paper, we set about naming the newspaper, deciding how many sections it would have and what those sections would be.
The winning name: The Everything News!
Four sections: front page, animals, sports and comics.
The students proposed 12 front page stories, which we narrowed down, via democratic vote, to five.
The final stories on front page of the first issue of The Everything News were:
"Teacher dies in Fire: Student tries to save her." It featured student's hand-drawn "photo" of the school on fire.
"Obama vs McCain: presidential candidate debate tonight." Two hand-drawn mug pictures of both candidates. (Five students were adamant about putting politics on the front page.
"WAR! Europe Invades Africa." A picture of a missile heading for a stick-figure person yelling "Aahhh!"
"Angry elephant causes multiple car crash." A picture of an upside car on top of an elephant with the driver flying through the air.
"Lunde Throws wild Bat Mitsva." A picture of KASPER director Alisha Lunde. (This story was the students' attempt to add some positive news to the front page).
The "Extreme Sports" section of the paper featured the stories: "10-year-old bowls perfect game," "Home team lose championship: Players fight at end of game," "Rashon hits grand slam," and "Unbelievable takedown play wins game for Bruins."
The "Animal Discoveries" section includes the stories: "Shark eats Hobo," "Mouse eats Moose ... and burps," and "Worst Bear attack ever: principal dies, students have party."
See Helm, Page 8A