ANGLETON — Readers turned reporters as journalism invaded the walls of Central Elementary on Monday with some students taking on the challenge of writing a news-style article about a book they recently finished as part of the Principal Book Club.
But first, the special fifth-grade students needed to learn how reporters go about getting their information and what makes a story newsworthy. To do so, Principal Maria Macedo asked The Facts reporters to share some knowledge with the students during an interview at the school Monday.
Sitting straight-backed in front of their laptops, three very inquisitive fifth-graders fired off questions about who reporters speak to, how to find good topics, how many details go into the stories and how long stories should be.
While they may not have realized it, Miri Wilson, Jayden Lopez and Kristi To were asking questions, collecting information and writing things down just like reporters do every day.
"You know reading is really important," Macedo said. "These kids were selected and recommended by their teachers (for the Principal Book Club) and so we meet every morning and we selected a book and read it, and now we want to add some relevance to that reading."
The angle of writing about the book via a news article is a different and fun way to enhance the reading experience, Macedo said.
The handful of students selected for the Principal Book Club rotate out every nine weeks, Macedo said. This gives different students an opportunity to be a part of the group.
After reading "The Hatchet," a fictional story about a small plane crash and survival, the fifth graders were tasked with coming up with a compelling news story about the key moments of the story.
As the students took notes and asked questions during the interview with The Facts reporters, they offered great discussion as well as asking important questions about storytelling from a journalistic perspective.
"What makes a story good so that people will want to read it?" To asked.
The answer to that question varies depending on the audience, but the most important thing the students were told is that the information must be valuable, accurate and timely to the audience and community.
"This is the first time we've done something like this," Macedo said. "They're a really sharp group, so I think we'll probably have them write the article in about a week."
Wilson said she loves to read and write and thinks being a journalist would be fun. She asked about work schedules and if reporters like their jobs.
Wilson was told treporters have different work hours, responsibilities and roles, but it's never a dull job and there are opportunities to see lots of different things and share lots of different stories.
As Lopez, Wilson and To finished their interview, they said they came away with some ideas about how they can write their stories and were excited to get started.
"This is just something different, something new, so we're gonna see how this experience goes," Macedo said.