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Organized to appear as a newspaper, The Roman News is a book written to communicate factual and interesting information on the Roman Empire.  Because of how it is organized, The Roman News diverges from the traditional book form of expository text and consequently it fits into the "Wacky We-search genre of atypical content area writing.  The Roman News is organized by departments. In the news of the day, the reader learns of major events such as Caesar being stabbed, Hannibal invading, and the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius.  In the sports section, sport enthusiasts read of the opening of the Colosseum and how a gladiator is outfitted.  In the trading section, an article appears about the slave trade, and in the city life section one finds an article dedicated to how a tourist would visit Rome.  There are several other sections scattered throughout the book, including politics, fashion, and advertisements.  If you are a person who finds the textbook a bit dreary but still wants to learn content, The Roman News is the book for you.    

 

Creating a full newspaper may take quite a bit too much time in class, but a newsletter might fit.  I have had students create newsletters for several years now, but to have students apply a historical theme to them as The Roman News does surely would serve multiple purposes.  Students would take almost any chapter in a social studies book and select five to seven separate topics to research and write into a themed or "Roman" newsletter.  Articles could be feature length news of the day, short advertisements, classifieds. . . even obituaries.  Imagine taking The Roman News idea and applying it to the Greek empire, Byzantine, the Age of Reason or World War II.  Students activate not just content reading and writing, but also creativity and computer processing skills.  I can't wait to get back on track so I can rummage through the social studies book and get students creating their own ________ News-letters.

 

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Andrew,

 

I didn't know about this book until I saw yours in class last night.  I particularly like the anachronism behind the idea; I think it would be fun to have students create tabloids and gossip magazines for ancient civilization.

 

--Corbett

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