Monday, 29 February 2016

Coronation Students Become Journalists for a Week

The Grade 5/6 Students Collaborate, Investigate, Communicate!

Amy Peter and the Grade 5/6 Class

Stomp, stomp was the sound of 23 eager student journalists as they climbed the giant 87 step staircase to their destination at Edmonton Journal School. With a pencil in hand and a journal by their side, they prepared for a journey of investigation, inquiry, and collaboration.

Sandy VanRiper, facilitator of EJ School, set up and organized themes, people and places for the Coronation students to connect to. Their week of learning and adventure was ready to go.

Day One involved meeting photojournalist, Ed Kaiser. Students had the opportunity to ask engaging, thoughtful, “FAT”questions.  After interviewing him, they found out he considers photojournalism to be, “one of the best jobs in the world!” They learned about front page articles, also known as A1.

Maxine, Oneia and Malina put on white gloves to handle
 the delicate pages of the 100 year old Edmonton Journal. 
Students also studied how the Edmonton Journal has changed over the years including mastheads, staff changes, the building’s architecture, the printing process, printing location and more.

Day Two, the student journalists put their new skills to the test. They became flies on the wall and took in the lay of the land. Next came the amazing questions. Ms. VanRiper assigned groups to interview Edmonton Journal staff: columnists Tristin Hopper and Paula Simons, capital ideas staff Sam Brooks and Jeff Samsonow, Anna Posteraro from marketing, reporter Matt Dykstra, and crime reporter Otiena Ellwand. The students learned how to be reporters and learned more about the Edmonton Journal company.
At CKUA radio station a group of Grade 5/6 students 
learn how to read scripts on radio and the technology
 behind it from radio host, Marketing Mark. 

Visiting radio station CKUA was a highlight in the week! Students met radio hosts Grant Stovel, Marketing Mark, and Tony King. With an opportunity to conduct a Press Conference, students learned about the life of a morning radio host and encouraged students to “follow your dreams”.  Grade 5 student Ethan Short states, “It was very cool and interesting. I learned that it took half of a second for the broadcast to send to the satellite and have the signal returned live on air. ”Touring the radio station was a once in a lifetime opportunity,” says Grade 6 student Maan Vadgama.  The Press Conference became a pep talk for the students explaining how to encourage your dreams and try hard.

Joel, Salix and Maan use microfilm
 at the Stanley Milner Library to 
read old newspapers from 1965. 
Day Three began with a tour of the Stanley Milner Public Library in downtown Edmonton. The grade 5/6 students explored the library and saw the Makerspace, an area of new technology with robotics, a 3D printer, and more. They also used the microfilm, and learned how past articles are preserved and searchable. The astonishing library had numerous areas of books, artwork, a model ship, and more. During the tour, they met two important people. The Edmonton Public Library Writer-in-residence, Wayne Arthurson, answered their questions about his job, writing novels, publishing books, and how to become better writers. A short interview with librarian Angie Mills taught the students more about features the library has for the public, like internet access and more. It was a great learning experience about literacy.  Wayne said it best, “You don’t have to worry about it being perfect, because you can go back and fix it later.”

Coronation students interview software
developer and entrepreneur Mack Male 
Wednesday afternoon the students met with Edmonton entrepreneurs. They worked in small groups to ask interesting and engaging questions about what it means to be an entrepreneur. Mack, a software developer, gave great advice to any future business owners to “under promise and over deliver.” Students learned that entrepreneurs are someone that helps other people in the business field.

Thursday, Day Four, took them around downtown Edmonton once again. This time, they went to City Hall and had a very informative tour by Linda Hut. The highlight on Ms. Hut’s tour was seeing Council Chambers, where all of the important decisions are made for the city. They loved seeing the hidden room at the back. Ms. Hut told the students, “Three things the city council does for us: listen, learn and decide”, important skills for everyone.

The Grade 5/6 Class learns how the City Council
 makes important decisions in the Council Chambers
 on February 11, 2016. 
On the final day of Edmonton Journal School, the student journalists had one more complete practice at interviewing. Students met the Editor, Columnists, Advertisement Manager and Senior Producer.  The interviews were intriguing, teaching students how the Edmonton Journal is created. They also learned how newspapers are struggling in a world of easy access to technology. Lastly, the Grade 5/6 studied the political cartoonist Malcolm Mayes.

What a journey, what a week! You may have heard the students stomping down the stairs, but it wasn’t in excitement, it was a sad moment to say goodbye. They will forever remember this amazing inquiry opportunity.