|| ReadWriteThink Printing Press
The interactive Printing Press is designed to assist students in creating newspapers, brochures, flyers, and booklets. Teachers and students can choose from several templates to publish class newspapers, informational brochures, and flyers announcing class events. The tool allows for multiple pages as appropriate. Text added to the templates can be modified using a simple toolbar, which allows students to choose text features, such as font size and color. Documentation for the Printing Press includes folding and printing instructions, as well as an extensive Guide to using the tool. Customized versions of the tool, which include additional instructions and more focused choices, are included with some lessons. A basic planning sheet is available to help students gather ideas before working at the computer.
Visit this interactive tool at: http://interactives.mped.org/ppress110.aspx.
ReadWriteThink Lessons That Use This Tool
A Poem of Possibilities: Thinking about the Future (9-12)
Though teenagers are known for living in the “now,” they can easily be persuaded to ponder the future—especially when it’s their own future that they’re asked to imagine. Inspired by John Updike’s poem “Ex-Basketball Player,” students write poems or prose poems intended for a real audience—themselves, five years in the future.
A Significant Influence: Describing an Important Teacher in Your Life (9-12)
All of us have had a teacher who has made a profound difference in our lives, like Morrie in Tuesdays with Morrie or John Keating in Dead Poets Society.
In this project, students write a tribute to such a teacher then publish their
work in a class collection. Because college application essays often ask students
to write about a significant influence, the lesson’s extensions include resources for writing more traditional, formal papers.
All About Our Town: Using Brochures to Teach Informational Writing (3-5)
In this lesson, students in grades 2–4 practice information gathering by exploring their town or city through interviews, photographs, and websites. They then write and revise paragraphs about their town and collaborate to create a visitor's brochure aimed at students who are new to the area.
Astronomy Poetry: Combining Poetry With the Content Areas (6-8)
Marvel at your students' creativity and mastery of content area topics as they combine science and poetry in this innovative lesson. The lesson can easily be modified for any content area.
Authentic Persuasive Writing to Promote Summer Reading (9-12)
Devote time during your last weeks of school to promote summer reading by inviting
students to create brochures and flyers that suggest books and genres to explore
during the summer months. This lesson can be customized to focus on another time of year or specific focus.
Brochures: Writing for Audience and Purpose (9-12)
Using this lesson plan, students create informative brochures that combine
visual and verbal texts effectively, improving their ability to interpret other
texts they encounter that combine graphics with writing. Additionally, students
learn strategies for addressing audience and purpose that transfer into writing
for other purposes and audiences.
Comparing Electronic and Print Texts About the Civil War Soldier (6-8)
To complete research for any kind of writing project, students need effective comprehension strategies for both print and online text. This lesson has students practice these strategies and compare the similarities and differences in text conventions in print and online texts about the Civil War soldier’s camp life.
Creating Psychological Profiles of Characters in To Kill a Mockingbird (9-12)
This lesson asks students to explore the motivation behind characters’ actions. After reading To Kill A Mockingbird, groups of students create psychological profiles for characters from the novel, determining what specific factors (such as family, career, environment, and so forth) have the greatest influences on the characters’ decision making throughout the novel.
Creating a Classroom Newspaper (3-5)
Students love to share their writing. What better way for them to share than by creating a classroom newspaper? This lesson focuses on the newspaper genre of writing. Through the use of the interactive Printing Press or Microsoft Publisher (or another similar software package), students will develop a classroom newspaper while incorporating ICT (Information Communication Technology) into their learning.
Creating Classroom Community by Crafting Themed Poetry Collections (3-5)
Back to school means new teachers, new classmates and many unanswered
questions. In this lesson, students create poetry
collections with a
back-to-school theme of “getting to know each other.” Students write
goal of introducing themselves, helping to create a sense of classroom community,
while exploring the many and varied types and
forms of poetry and constructing and refining their own definitions of poetry.
Crit Lit for Kids: From Critical Consciousness to Service Learning (6-8)
An award-winning picture book provides the platform for an introduction to reading with critical awareness. Students explore concepts of social justice through discussion and journal responses. The class plans a service-learning project and creates a multimedia presentation to garner community support for their proposal.
Critical Literacy in Action: Multimodal Texts on Global Warming (6-8)
Students use comprehension strategies to understand and interrogate various representations of the effects and possible causes of global warming. They then discuss and evaluate the credibility of different positions on the issue.
Critical Perspectives: Reading and Writing About Slavery (3-5)
Through reading fiction and nonfiction children’s literature about the Underground Railroad, students critically explore the moral issues of slavery and the perspectives held by slaves and slave owners. They then use online, interactive tools to extend their understanding through creative writing projects.
Discovering Poetic Form and Structure Using Concrete Poems (9-12)
This lesson uses concrete poems, which relate the placement of the words on the page to the meaning of the poem, to explore the connection between a poem's layout and its meaning. While an enjoyable activity any time of year, the lesson is especially topical near Columbus Day.
Draw a Story: Stepping from Pictures to Writing (K-2)
Students draw a series of pictures that tell a simple story that includes character action, problem and solution. They ‘read’ their story to others, transcribe it into writing, and create an accordion book with the drawings and writing. The activity supports the transition from oral to written storytelling.
Freedom of Speech and Automatic Language: Examining the Pledge of Allegiance (9-12)
Most students in American classrooms know the words to the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance.
The words are a kind of automatic language. We say them easily—perhaps
every day, but we may not think in detail about what we are saying. This lesson plan asks students to explore this rote learning and their own right to freedom of speech
by examining the Pledge of Allegiance from a historical and personal perspective
and in relationship to fictional situations in novels they have read.
Hoax or No Hoax? Strategies for Online Comprehension and Evaluation (9-12)
Using research-based online reading comprehension strategies and website evaluation tools, students explore hoax websites to determine their validity. Students then outline their own hoax websites.
How Does My Garden Grow? Writing in Science Field Journals (K-2)
While scientists are working, they often keep journals to document observations, gather information, sketch pictures, write down questions, form a hypothesis, and record reactions. In this lesson plan, students will be keeping their own science field journal as a log of a classroom gardening project.
I've Got It Covered! Creating Magazine Covers to Summarize Texts (6-8)
In this lesson, students identify main ideas in textbook chapters and create magazine covers that express those ideas in words and pictures.
Imagine That! Playing with Genre through Newspapers and Short Stories (6-8)
Students identify genre characteristics for narrative short stories and
journalistic newspaper articles then
genres by turning a short story into a news article and an article into a short
Inventing and Presenting Unit 3: Persuasive Speaking and Invention Promotion (6-8)
Students design, build, and test inventions to solve problems they have
identified. All data is recorded using commonly accepted scientific principles, and
students propose in writing an appropriate speech for sharing the results of their
experimentation. Final speeches, including graphs, brochures, PowerPoint Slides, and
demonstrations, are presented before combined classes.
Investigating Junk Mail: Negotiating Critical Literacy at the Mailbox (3-5)
By investigating junk mail, students learn to think about and question texts
in ways that develop their analytical capacities and critical reading practices.
Investigating the Holocaust: A Collaborative Inquiry Project (6-8)
As students progress though this inquiry project, they explore a variety of resources—texts, images, sounds, photos, and other artifacts—as they learn about the Holocaust.
Working collaboratively, they investigate the materials, prepare response to
share orally with the class, and produce a topic-based newspaper to complete
Leading to Great Places in the Elementary Classroom (3-5)
A story’s lead begins the reader’s adventure; yet it can just as likely end that odyssey if those opening words do not immediately entrance the reader. This mini-lesson examines types of leads in prominent children's literature and asks students to try their own hand at writing leads.
Leading to Great Places in the Middle School Classroom (6-8)
Tapping existing texts for models is one of the best strategies for writer’s workshop. This mini-lesson examines types of leads in prominent young adult literature and asks students to search for great leads and then try their own hand at writing leads.
Literature Circles with Primary Students Using Self-Selected Reading (K-2)
After reading self-selected books, students respond to reading in a journal and talk about their books daily in small, heterogeneous groups. The teacher guides and assesses students’ work by rotating among the groups, offering suggested response prompts and writing with them in their dialogue journals.
Looking at Landmarks: Using a Picture Book to Guide Research (3-5)
Using the picture book Ben’s Dream as an inspiration, children
put their research skills to work. The book illustrates ten landmarks
from around the world, without identifying the names of the landmark. In their
related inquiry, students learn more about the monuments
presented in the book, publish information about
them and share that knowledge with others.
Modeling Reading and Analysis Processes with the Works of Edgar Allan Poe (6-8)
Explore reading strategies using the think-aloud process as students investigate
connections between the life and writings of Edgar Allan Poe in this lesson plan,
which begins with an in-depth exploration of “The Raven.” Students
move from a full-class reading of the poem to small-group readings of Poe’s
short stories and conclude the unit with individual projects that explore the
readings in more detail. The lesson includes options, including direct instruction and an inquiry-based model.
Myth and Truth: Independence Day (3-5)
Most Americans think of the Fourth of July as Independence Day—but is it really the day the U.S. declared and celebrated independence? By exploring myths and truths surrounding Independence Day, this lesson asks students to think critically about commonly believed stories regarding the beginning of the Revolutionary War and the Independence Day holiday.
Myth and Truth: The Gettysburg Address (9-12)
Did Abraham Lincoln write the Gettysburg Address on the back of an envelope on the train ride from D. C. to Gettysburg? Was the crowd disappointed with his short speech? Did he consider the speech a failiure? By exploring these and other myths, this lesson asks students to explore the “facts” behind this important speech and how history is recorded.
Nature Reflections: Interactive Language Practice for English-Language Learners (3-5)
Designed for English-language learners (ELLs), this lesson allows students to reflect on the wonders of nature by taking a class walk, observing a plant or animal, and writing and illustrating a short book about it. Students then share, tape-record, and listen to their books for rich language practice.
Our Classroom: Writing an Owner’s Manual (3-5)
The first few weeks of school are all about creating rules, establishing routines,
and becoming familiar with the classroom. Engaging students in activities that
get to know their classroom can make the transition easier while at the same
time providing students with a sense of ownership. In this lesson, students
write an owner’s manual to help them become more familiar with their classroom
well as to let others know about their classroom.
Persuasive Techniques in Advertising (9-12)
This lesson provides an introduction to persuasive techniques used in advertising: pathos, logos, and ethos. Students will analyze advertising in a variety of sources and explore the concepts of demographics, marketing for a specific audience, and dynamic advertising. The lesson will culminate in the production of commercials intended for a specific demographic.
Picture Books as Framing Texts: Research Paper Strategies for Struggling Writers (6-8)
lesson, picture books give students frames for structuring research projects,
freeing them from the language of their encyclopedia sources and allowing
to focus their attention on the content of their papers. Using picture books
as models, students are able to think more about what to say and less about
how to say it, which
to better learning
experiences and better writing.
Promoting Diversity in the Classroom and School Library through Social Action (6-8)
Students explore the effects of stereotypes by analyzing children’s books;
then, they use their
promote diversity by matching stereotypical portrayals and coverage of issues
with balanced and diverse texts. Students create bookmarks that encourage readers
to question the assumptions of stereotyped books and to seek out matching, balanced
Put That on the List: Collaboratively Writing a Catalog Poem (9-12)
The list or catalog poem is the quintessential contemporary
poem, used by authors ranging from Walt Whitman to Raymond Carver. Using the
structure of the list, students combine creative expression with poetic techniques
and language exploration in order to write group poems about what really matters
in their lives.
Put That on the List: Independently Writing a Catalog Poem (9-12)
In this follow-up to writing collaborative catalog poems, students write individual catalog poems about what really matters in their lives, based on Carver’s poem “The Car.”
Searching for Gold: A Collaborative Inquiry Project (3-5)
In this collaborative inquiry activity, the real gold is the inquiry skills and content area knowledge that students develop. Students study the Gold Rush using a collaborative inquiry strategy: each of several small groups research one aspect of the topic and teach that topic to the rest of the class. Students create a project to aid in their oral presentation of their researched topic.
Short Story Fair: Responding to Short Stories in Multiple Media and Genres (9-12)
In this activity, students read short stories from a collection
in small groups then prepare responses in multiple media and genres that are
shared in a culminating Short Story Fair. On the days of the fair, the class
explores the displays for the short stories, responding to related questions.
Technical Reading and Writing Using Board Games (3-5)
In small groups students create board games on a novel they have read. They write directions for the games that clearly explain how to play and to create questions and answers based on their novels. They play each other's games (technical reading) and discuss changes and improvements for the directions and the game layout.
Telling a Story About Me: Young Children Write Autobiographies (K-2)
Drawing inspiration from personal photographs, students write and publish autobiographies to share with the class and their families. First and second graders practice sentence composition, writing, and group work.
The Feature Story—Fifteen Minutes (and 500 Words) of Fame! (9-12)
To build connections and community within the classroom, students need to share and celebrate their unique interests and talents. This activity combines interviewing techniques and journalistic writing as it challenges students to write feature stories about their classmates.
Thundering Tall Tales: Using Read-Aloud as a Springboard to Writing (3-5)
This lesson uses the Coretta Scott King Award book Thunder Rose to reinforce the common elements, or text structure, of tall tales. Reading this literature selection aloud supports students as they produce original tall tales for a culminating activity.
Travel Brochures: Highlighting the Setting of a Story (6-8)
When reading a text, readers are often transported to the places mentioned
through words and descriptions. This lesson plan invites students to think about
the details in the texts they have read and then create a travel brochure about
the setting. Students learn more about the places mentioned in the text
while researching the setting of their text.
Using Word Storms to Explore Vocabulary and Encourage Critical Thinking (3-5)
Using an inquiry model called POWER, this lesson has students learn new vocabulary related to a social issue, explore these vocabulary words in discussions and journals, and create projects that use the vocabulary to reflect their critical perspectives. It can be applied to different content areas.
Word Maps: Developing Critical and Analytical Thinking About Literary Characters (9-12)
Characters come to life when we read. With the help of word maps, students can better understand and analyze the problems, actions, and feelings of the characters in a story and make connections to their own lives.
Word Study With Henry and Mudge (K-2)
This lesson for second- and third-grade students uses a model that incorporates different reading stages and research-based strategies for teaching reading to provide direct instruction for the past tense marker –ed. Students also practice real reading and writing using books from the Henry and Mudge series.
Writing about Writing: An Extended Metaphor Assignment (9-12)
Using Richard Wilbur’s poem “The Writer” as an inspiration,
students examine the literary element of metaphor then write their own extended
metaphor, describing themselves as writers.
You Know the Movie Is Coming—Now What? (6-8)
Students and teachers often get excited when they hear that a movie version
of a favorite book will soon be coming to theaters. What can be done in the
classroom to prepare for a viewing of that film? In this lesson, students read
a literary text with the eye of a director, selecting scenes from
the text and putting a cinematic spin on them.
Zines for Kids: Multigenre Texts About Media Icons (3-5)
Using ReadWriteThink.org online tools, students write short pieces in a variety of genres about a favorite media icon. After working with each tool, students print out their work and assemble the documents into their own zines.