Fifth Graders Welcome The Suffield Observer

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The Suffield Observer was warmly welcomed by the fifth-grade students at McAlister Intermediate School during their journalism unit at the end of October. Each year our team looks forward to this invitation from fifth grade teacher, Lauren Stiles.

Photo by Laruen Stile
Observer volunteer Krystal Holmes speaks to one of the McAlister fifth-grade classes during an invited visit about journalism as volunteers Beth Chafetz and Andy Sauer await their turn to speak or answer questions.

This was the fourth year our Observer team, comprised of Beth Chafetz, Krystal Holmes and Andy Sauer, were invited to present. The presentation spurs young writers to ask questions, to find inspiration and to build a foundation to enjoy writing. Writing is a process. The team’s top advice to the students was to write all your thoughts down and then revise, revise and revise some more. When it came to ‘boiling down’ a story, the kids enjoyed the use of Mr. Sauer’s analogy to making maple syrup.

The kids were impressed to learn that our monthly paper is composed of nearly 80 articles and photos and is created nearly wholly by volunteers. Mrs. Chafetz explained how the newspaper is assembled, comparing the final steps of selecting articles for each page to putting together a puzzle.

The energy and questions the students brought were insightful and fun. One of our favorites, “What’s the weirdest article that was ever in the Observer?” We struggled with the answer. What do you think? What was our weirdest article?

Thank you, fifth-grade students, for having us; we learned as much from you as we hope you learned from us. We look forward to your article submissions and to seeing how your maple syrup boils down!

Editor’s Note: The stories on page 20 were written by students from Mrs. Bennett’s class as part of their journalism unit. More will be featured in future issues.

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