Wednesday, July 13, 2011

'Lay Down Outside'

Yesterday, we learned about my favorite part of newspaper production: layout. I began the lesson by asking the students whether they knew what the word 'layout' meant. Or if they had never heard of it, what they think it means. One of my students raised his hand and said, "to lay down outside." I cracked up! But in seriousness, I was very proud of my students for breaking down unknown words and trying to make meanings out of the simpler ones. Even though my student used the incorrect "lay" (it should be "lie" in the context that he used it) and was completely off, I was very proud of him for at least trying. It's these moments I'll cherish the most.

We learned about a masthead, headline, byline, sub-headline, captions, and teasers. We also learned what good layout designs look like. I had my students browse through this past year’s copies of the Bowdoin Orient to follow along with the lessons—that was super fun because they ran across things like ‘alcohol transports’ and ‘hook-up culture’ and ‘trustees.’ When they asked about everything that was new to them, I zoned into my story-telling mode. I’m a big talker (if you haven’t met me) and I like to explain everything in detail. (My aunts often criticize me for this because in a gossip-oriented culture of neighborhoods here, being succinct is important.) Anyway, in order to answer each of my students’ questions, I had to tell them what was happening at Bowdoin at the time. Like I said, it was a lot of fun because I love talking about my alma mater! That’s why I’m a tour guide, right? :-)

We’re gonna finish up lessons this week and dive into assigning stories next week. We are also preparing for our field trip to Dawn newspaper on Friday—ahh, only two days away! I’m so very excited for this!! And I know the students are, too.

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