FABRICE URRIZALQUI AND SÉBASTIEN DUFRESNES
Sophie Sy-Quia, 5 Red
I really liked the vertical writing project because
it mixed the very important subject of journalism
with advertising. Working with the other grades
was very helpful since you got to see the different
opinions and views of older, more experienced
people. It was very fun to see the finished product
and to see into the mind of an editor or a journalist. On the whole, it was a very cool and enlightening project that I hope the school does again.
Rocky Versace, Grade 6
J’ai trouver que travailler avec mon groupe était
très agréable. Notre élève de 2° à écoutait d’un
oreille pour nous donner des conseils pendant
qu’elle nous aidait à colorier et écrire. C’était
facile de travailler avec mon groupe car tout le
monde jouer une rôle: il y avez une fille française,
un artiste, une éditrice du papier d’université et un
qui pouvait écrire vite et soigné.
Gillian Berkowitz, Grade 10
On March 27th, I created a newspaper cover with
two fifth grade and two sixth grade students. They
were delightful and eager to produce something of
quality. My students came into the activity with an
impressive amount of knowledge about the components of a newspaper, and surprisingly enough,
they ended up teaching me. The students were productive and joined forces, creating a united team.
I could not have been happier with them. Students
spend most of their time at school listening to
adult teachers, but I think working with someone
closer to their age who is old enough to have some
authority, proved to be extremely valuable. Shaking up the routine of the day is always fun, and the
students learned collaboration and creativity.
Vertical Writing Project
For many years, the French Ministry of Edu- cation has encouraged schools to work on media and information. The students learn how the media works, the importance of a free press and why one needs to be informed in order to be a citizen. This year, these learning goals seemed even
more important as the tragedy at Charlie Hebdo occurred. Because the principles of critical thinking and
citizenship are at the center of our mission, we thought
that this kind of work on media should be part of our
On March 27th, more than 130 students gathered
for the second edition of a vertical writing project in
French. Students from 5th-, 6th- and 10th-grade had to
create the front page of a newspaper.
Beforehand, our students had discussed the importance of having a free press, how the information
comes to us in different ways, how it is presented to
us and how hard it can be to decide what information
should be underlined. After having worked on this topic
in their different classrooms, students from three different grades worked together to make their own front
page of a newspaper. They had to select which information would make the front page and which information
would not. They also had to decide what illustration
would be used and what the name of their newspaper
would be. They had to discuss together, justify their
opinions and reach an agreement.
Our goal was, of course, to see what our students had
learned about the media and the selection of information, but it was also to see how they would work
together coming from three different grades and how
creative they could be.
As teachers, it was an absolute delight to see our
students working collaboratively. 10th-graders led the
groups in a very responsible manner, making sure the
work was truly collective. We saw very proud 5th-
graders telling the rest of the group what the different
elements of a front page are!
A jury of teachers from the Lower School and Upper
Schools chose the best front pages, but that is not what
really matters. Our students were engaged, focused and
challenged. They are learning how information comes
to us and how important it is to be critical thinkers. This
is what matters.