1. Introduce the lesson and make connections to the lives of the students by asking students about newspapers and specifically about the local newspaper(s).
2. Have a class discussion about small town newspapers and how they can impact society, much like the Marion Star did during Mr. and Mrs. Harding’s life time.
3. Place students into groups and explain to the students that each group will write their own newspaper article(s) and assemble them into a small-town newspaper.
4. Use a central theme (your classroom, the school, etc) chosen by the students or teacher.
5. Have a class discussion and allow students to make a list of different articles that could be investigated to write about in a small town newspaper. (Optional: have students bring in a newspaper article that interests them from the local newspaper. The teacher could also locate an example of a newspaper from the Marion Star to compare and contrast the articles from the past to the present.)
6. Allow the students to choose names for the paper and vote for the final decision.
7. Allow each (student or) group of students to compose a short article that will be included in the class newspaper. If in groups, assign roles—editors, layout artists, photographers, owner (like Mr. and Mrs. Harding) etc.
8. Involve the entire class in generating the final product much like newspapers of today are produced.
- Gould, L.L. (1996). American first ladies: Their lives and their legacy.New York, New York: Garland Publishing.
- History of the Marion Star:
- The Marion Star is mentioned as well as how it impacted their lives:
- Library of Congress information about Mrs. Harding and the Marion Star:
- Brief summary of Mr. Harding’s life:
This lesson was developed by Marian Maxfield, Kent State University.