Toys out, pens in for preschoolers

Kristine Young

Kristine Young

At a time when newspapers are declining and electronic media is booming, a younger generation is attempting to keep the newspaper era alive.

The 4 and 5-year-old Morning Lab at the Fishback Center for Early Childhood Education Preschool has created The Searchy, a weekly newspaper created and written by preschoolers and their teachers. Caroline Thompson, a student teacher at the SDSU Preschool, has helped create and write The Searchy.

The idea to produce a newspaper came when two children were reading a menu, but instead said they were reading a newspaper, she said.

Each lab is responsible for a long-term investigation project. Thompson said they like the children to have a say in and help determine their long-term investigation project, and a newspaper is something they showed an interest in.

“It’s a way of teaching them math, science and social studies in a manner that is interesting to them,” said Thompson.

Thompson said the children are the ones who decide the overall layout and content of the paper.

The little editors do everything from choosing the type of paper it is printed on, to choosing topics and headlines for articles, and even helping to crop pictures and determine the format of the paper, she said.

Laura Gloege, mentor, teacher and instructor in the ECE Department, thinks The Searchy is a great way to help children learn.

“Children are more engaged and focused when it’s something that is meaningful to them,” Gloege said.

Nik Burdick, Parker Winghart, Sasha Potapov and Jeffrey Min are all part of the 4- and 5-year-old studio and help write The Searchy.

They said their favorite parts of The Searchy are the pictures, getting to write things, and picking out the paper The Searchy will be printed on.

They preschoolers pick the paper by feeling real newspapers. Then they go into their art room and pick the paper that feels similar to a real newspaper.

The sections in The Searchy are compiled and written by different groups of children, as though in a mini-editorial team for each part.

In the April 1 edition, The Searchy featured two wild animals on its “Special Interest” section, led by The Caribou Group.

The Eagles were in charge of the “Weather Section”, where they featured a weather forecast and a class report on what they learned on volcanoes.

The Hippos and The Duckbill Platypuses wrote the “Cooking Section”, where they taught readers how to make Rice Krispie treats called “Puppy Bones.”

The fourth page includes the “Entertainment Section,” where The Monkeys wrote about various kinds of puppets the class had made; this section also has an “Activities and Games” subsection to further entertain readers.