For Immediate Release

Middle-School Students Teach ECSU Seniors About Writing

Willimantic--Students in seventh-grade reading classes in Windham Middle School are helping college seniors at Eastern Connecticut State University with their writing.

The college seniors have been learning various ways of writing in biology as part of their Senior Seminar course. They extracted information from a professional science paper and distilled the important ideas into a science journalism article. Their goal was to make the article understandable to a general audience. Biology professor Ross Koning explained to them that journalism is written for readers at a Junior High School reading level. The ECSU seniors edited each other's articles through multiple drafts to reach that goal.

Dr. Koning gave copies of the ECSU senior's articles to seventh-grade reading teachers: Mary Blain, Emily Hebert, and Chris Koning of WMS. These teachers gave the articles to their seventh-grade reading classes for the acid-test. Each seventh-grader read the assigned article, crossed-out confusing words, circled confusing passages, answered questions about the article, and wrote editorial suggestions for the college senior authors. The seventh graders also rated the ECSU senior for the assignment.

The ECSU seniors will be using the suggestions from the WMS students to revise their articles and to refine their journalistic skills.


Ross E. Koning, Professor
Department of Biology
Eastern Connecticut State University

Mary Blain, Emily Hebert, Chris Koning
7th Grade Teachers
Windham Middle School

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