Tapping Students' Popular Culture Interests Through an Elementary School Newspaper
Keywords:student-centered, project-based instruction, authentic literacy, culture interests
This article examines one teacher's experiences sponsoring an elementary school newspaper, the Whirlwind News. The school newspaper provided a means by which the teacher incorporated the student-centered, project-based instruction advocated by educational theorists such as John Dewey. Although the political climate in which the teacher taught focused largely on standards and high-stakes testing, the Whirlwind News served as a venue for authentic literacy, tapping students' popular culture interests. The logistics of funding and creating the newspaper are briefly described, and several students' examples of everyday literacies are examined. The relationships formed through students exploring and sharing their interests created a welcoming environment where both personal and academic growth could occur.