Six fifth-graders had a chance to be mock newspaper editors this fall as part of a guided reading group at Eisenhower Elementary School. The girls read, discussed and wrote about the book “Bud, Not Buddy” by Christopher Paul Curtis.


Six fifth-graders had a chance to be mock newspaper editors this fall as part of a guided reading group at Eisenhower Elementary School. The girls read, discussed and wrote about the book “Bud, Not Buddy” by Christopher Paul Curtis.
As the group read the 2000 Newbery medal winner book, which involves a young orphan boy in the Depression era, they discussed what life was like in the 1930s. They then acted as newspaper editors during that time, putting together content related to the story.
“I wanted them to experience what it was like,” said Anna Berg, instructional aide. “It was exciting to see them not only learn about the Great Depression, but feel what it was like to be a writer and be informed of what was happening.”
The young editors were required to write an informative, persuasive and narrative piece as part of the paper. This included writing from a character's viewpoint as well as persuading readers to buy time-appropriate inventions.
“It's really interesting to find out what they had back then and what we have now,” Kari Ellet said.
The group was able to discuss the book and their writing with each other as the project went along.
“I think every story I read, they kept on getting better and better,” she said.    
Once completed, the stories and other content was pasted to news print-like paper and displayed in the library.
“I really liked that we could express ourselves and what we liked about the book and that everybody else could know it’s a really good book, too,” Maggie Leaf said.
“It helped me with how to see stuff from a different perspective. As an editor, you had to make a story about real people, and it was fun to write about people from the book and not make it up.”
Berg could see their improvement and excitement throughout the project.
“I heard them saying with pride, ‘I can read and write even more now,’” Berg said.