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Writing to inform, explain & describe

This newspaper project is an opportunity to present a collection of written works that you will be producing as
our class moves through John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men. You should
present these works in a local newspaper designed to be read by people living
in the 1920s or 1930s in the vicinity of Soledad/ the ranch/ surrounding towns.
Included in your newspaper will be the following items:

1) Two work wanted ads: one for George, one for Lenny
2) One letter-to-the-editor (written by a character)
4) One obituary
5) One front page news article (detailing a key event at the ranch)
6) One opinion column (expressing and supporting an opinion about a
key societal issue)

Adding small extra items (sports results, photos, etc.) will add to the overall
effect of your presentation. This project must be word-processed and should
fit on two double-sided sheets of A4 paper. Further instructions will be given
about each individual news item later.

Level Ideas Structures Style & language

Questions to help you: Questions to help you: Questions to help you:

How perceptive and How skillfully have I structured How accurate, varied and
focused are the ideas in my my newspaper and the effective is my use of
newspaper? individual items? language?
How effectively does my How well have I used Have I used language
newspaper deal with the sentences, paragraphs and appropriate for my
main themes and issues of titles? (imagined) audience?
the novel?

9-10 Imagination and depth of My newspaper is purposefully My style and language

thought are clearly evident organised achieves desired effects
S in my work appropriate to each style of
T I use a variety of sentence writing.
R My ideas show a perceptive types and styles to achieve
O understanding of the stylistic effects I use punctuation skillfully.
N themes of the novel.
G I use paragraphs and My tone and voice add to the
I use numerous well- transitions carefully and impact of my writing as
chosen relevant details that effectively appropriate to the task
support and help my
audience I use titles and layout skillfully
7-8 Imagination and depth of I use a variety of sentence My style and language are
E thought are evident in my types and styles to achieve accurate and somewhat
F work stylistic effects varied according to the needs
F of the item being written.
C My ideas show a good I use paragraphs and Errors in spelling, punctuation
T understanding of the transitions carefully and and word-use are infrequent
I themes of the novel. effectively and never impede
V understanding
E I use well-chosen I choose effective titles I use the appropriate tone and
relevant details that voice for each item
support and help my

5-6 Imagination is evident in I attempt to use a variety of My style and language are
D my work sentence types appropriate to task and
E audience
V I use paragraphs and transitions
E My ideas show an reasonably well There are only a few errors in
L understanding of the There is an attempt to spelling, punctuation and
O themes of the novel. sequence my ideas word-use
P I generally use the appropriate
I I use relevant details that tone and voice
N support and help my

3-4 My ideas show a basic I attempt to organise my work My use of language is not
E understanding of the task always effective
I use basic paragraphs
M I develop some ideas There may be regular and
E errors in spelling and
R punctuation

1-2 My ideas show a limited I am unsuccessful in organising There are significant

NOT understanding of the task my work weaknesses with the style and
YET I attempt the task language I have used

Student 8 6 6
Teacher 6 6 6

Student comments (What are you pleased with? What do you need to work on?)
I really like my idea of how i expressed what happened and i tryed to make it as realistic as possible. i
think the structure is quite good for what i did and since i had a little trouble doing this task because it
was hard for me to make it completely like a really old newspaper. i think my language was good for the
olden ages and i think my style was really effective too.
Teacher Comments

Sophia, You put considerable time into this project but I think all three of the skill areas that you
were working on for this assignment would have benefitted from more focused research and
more attention to the specific needs of each part of this assignment.

You are partially successful in varying the style and content to fit the different needs of the
different section but you needed to more careful with this. Your main news piece contains
questions and slips into too informal a tone for such a serious topic. Your opinion column has
opinions but with a little more research perhaps you could have developed the roles and
responsibilities of those you are addressing. In terms of structure you do use titles but needed
to work on the paragraphing. I know you put considerable time into trying to create a realistic
newspaper, but perhaps you need to develop how you use that time to create a more accurate
and well research piece of work. There are also a few significant lapses in word use and
tenses that you need to watch e.g "They had a dream to buying their own piece of land".

Try to use your assessment and task information more carefully to improve the level of your
writing and be careful to not get distracted by the digital tools you are using.

Dear parents,

To support the students technology skills we are trialling a fully digital method of
communication for this assignment. An e-mail will be sent to you to explain how to leave
comments on the students blog/ digital portfolio. Please make sure you do acknowledge that
you have seen the assessment information.

Please e-mail me at campbellc@yis.ac.jp of you have any questions about this process.


Colin Campbell