is your chance to investigate something that interests you. Research a
topic. Find an issue that you want to explore. Investigate the Explore
More Web site. And create a newspaper section that you can show to your
family and friends.
What you are doing on your WebQuest.
What you are going to research and write.
The steps you need to follow.
More News Feature Section: What your finished product will
you're ready for a challenge? I want to review your responsibilities
for our special section in the Explore More News. You realize that
most of our readers wouldn't know a glow-in-the-dark bunny from
a field of Bt corn. A wind turbine from a windmill. A fish kill
from a fish net. The water cycle from a bicycle. You need to explain
why they should care and why these are problems we need to tackle.
you are going to find an issue that interests you. Then you are
going to research your topic and write several related articles.
This is going to require your best reporting skills. I want our
readers to know who is involved and what the issue is. You'll report
on the topic, investigate a major issue, write our main editorial
to press as soon as you finish. So go get your pen and paper and
get to work.
I. M. Thiboss
Editor, Explore More News
you to learn about an issue related to one of the Explore More Web sites.
You need to know who is involved, what is involved, why it is an issue,
and all its future possibilities. You are going to take that knowledge
and create an Explore More newspaper section that contains five types
of articles. You will write a general news article, a human interest article,
an issue article, an editorial, and letters to the editor.
In other words, you
are going to select a topic, identify an issue related to that topic,
investigate the people, information, problems and views related to this
topic, and create a series of five articles that will let our readers
What the topic is. (This is the general news article that introduces
the basics of the topic.)
Who is involved in this topic. (This is the human interest article that
profiles an expert or stakeholder involved in the topic.)
What is an interesting or important issue of this topic. (This is an
in-depth investigation of a compelling issue that relates to your topic.)
What is an informed position of this issue. (This is the editorial that
takes a position and defends it with the facts.)
What are average citizens opinions of this issue. (These letters
to the editor are from different readers with different views.)
A few reporting
the topics are genetic engineering, energy, working landscapes, or water
quality. Examples of subtopics within each major topic might be cloning,
laws, or agriculture in genetic engineering. The issues are the really
hot items. They might be "Should cloning be allowed for endangered
species?" or "Should the federal government restrict medical
research involving genetic testing?" or even "Will genetically
engineered crops help or harm the environment?"
writing is used in your general news, human interest and issue
articles. Use your best reporting skills and look for the facts. Report
what is true and be fair with your coverage of the subject.
writing is used in your editorial. This is your opinion, but
remember to back it up with the facts, statistics and examples youve
learned in your research.
Letters to the editor?
Well, use creative
writing. By the time you get to this part of your WebQuest,
youll have a pretty good idea of what the general public knows and
thinks about your topic. Create fictional people who might think these
things and write to the local paper.
done writing your articles, youll have an Explore More News edition
ready to publish!
several basic steps you will need to accomplish.
1. First, choose
one of the Explore More topics and look through the Web site to get familiar
with the topic of your choice.
2. Investigate the
subtopics of your chosen topic. What interests you? Environment? People?
Medicine? Laws? Business?
3. Pick an issue
that interests you. Remember, an issue is one of those burning questions
that really gets people thinking about your topic. This issue will be
the focus of your Explore More News WebQuest.
4. Remember to think
about your audience. Your audience will be the readers of the Explore
More News. Ask yourself: Who is my audience? What do they need to know?
Why should they care? Are they students? Adults?
5. Follow the instructions
for each of the five articles (below).
6. Write your articles
and have fun!
More News Assignments
to the Editor
Choose a topicselect one of the Explore More Web sites for your
Investigate the topic and subtopics involved.
What general facts, information, statistics do you find? What are some
of the major concerns about this topic?
Write an article that would explain the topic to readers.
Stakeholders are people who have something to lose or gain. When you
think about your stakeholders, ask yourself why they care about your
topic. They might have social, economic, political, religious, personal,
or cultural reasons for feeling as they do. Find out about these people
and how they feel. Look for people who have different opinions and views
on your topic. What are your stakeholders' viewpoints? Why do they have
these viewpoints? Make sure to look in the Viewpoints sections for video
clips and transcripts. Research other sources for different viewpoints.
(The other Web links are a great place to start.)
Find a stakeholder with an interesting viewpoint. Find out the background
of the stakeholder and the "why" behind the viewpoint.
Write an article that explains the stakeholders situation and
viewpoint in a fair and unbiased manner. Use quotes, facts, examples
and statistics where needed.
Skim through the Web site to find the issues that interest you.
Take notes on issues that you find during your pre-research.
Do not limit yourself to what you see listed as an "issue." Choose something
that interests you.
Write your issue as a question and then define your issue by explaining
what it is to the reader.
Write an article that reports your issue. Find out the what, who, when,
where, why, and how of it. Explain what the issue is, who is involved
with this issue, why this is an issue, and why people should be interested
in this issue (what causes people to have an opinion).
Look at all youve learned about your topic, your chosen issue
and the stakeholders. What do you think now that you know so much more?
What do you think about your issue? This is your turn to tell readers
what you think should be done. Do you think the law needs to change?
Do you think people need to take a more active role? Would you do things
differently? Inquiring minds want to know. Tell us your opinion.
Write an editorial that logically explains your perspective. Present
your case by using facts, statistics, examples and quotes to support
your opinions. Give the readers reasons to agree with you and tell them
what you want them to do.
Up until now youve researched the facts, heard from the stakeholders,
investigated the issues and explained your own opinions. Now its
time to step back from your new knowledge and look at it from average
readers perspectives. What would they be thinking? How would they
feel? What are the opinions (both informed and uninformed) they would
As you write these letters to the editor, think of all the things youve
learned. Think of all the misunderstandings or falsehoods or even myths
related to your issue. What does the average person know? What does
the average person think? What does the uninformed public think? What
does the extremist, radical, or activist believe?
Be creative and come up with at least two fictional readers who might
write to the editor to tell what they think. Create two differing positions
of the issue youve discussed in your articles and write a letter
from each person from their perspective. Remember to have them discuss
something about your chosen issue.
More News Section
now have a pretty good understanding of one Explore More topic and one
issue related to that topic. You have formulated some opinions based on
what you have learned and who you have gotten to know. You have even placed
yourself in the shoes of the average citizen and have seen it from a new
perspective. You have truly written an Explore More News edition of great
value to your readers. How do you think new research will change your
issue? Can you see your opinion changing as you get older?