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Annual NYS Statewide Serial Story

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The latest statewide serial story by Mike Peterson, Illustrated by Christopher Baldwin

A brand new serial –

“When New York Was New”

Author Mike Peterson and Illustrator, Christopher Baldwin have teamed up to create a brand new non-fiction serial for NYNPA members to share with teachers and students around the state.  This eight-chapter serial will look at the early explorers and settlers of our state and their first contacts with the people who lived here.  It primarily focuses on the 16th and 17th centuries, including figures such as Henry Hudson and Giovanni da Verrazzano in the south and Samuel de Champlain in the north, with discussion of the Iroquois Confederacy and how the coming of Europeans and the fur trade impacted the Haudenosaunee's existing conflict with other indigenous nations. The geographic, cultural and political formation of the state are covered, including the sorting out of Dutch, British and French claims and how -- beyond the natural borders of the Great Lakes, Lake Champlain and connecting rivers -- the borders of the state were established. 

The story targets students in grades 4 through 8.

In addition to the series published in-print or posted online, the project includes the following components:

    • A teachers’ guide with activities to enhance learning
    • A “Meet the Author” Blog available to students and teachers for open discussion about each chapter as the story progresses.
    • An MP3 audio pod cast of each chapter for use with younger, the blind or dyslexic students.
    • Free Skype or virtual “Meet the Author” sessions to any participating school who requests it.
    • A student quiz/essay contest with awards for up to 6 regional winners and matching award for the school library of each winner.
    With the Common Core State Standards and the emphasis of reading and analyzing non-fiction, this project will give educators perfect opportunities for collaborative learning and using technology while developing 21st Century skills.  The story, illustrations and all project components are available FREE to any members of the New York News Publishers Association.

Audio Pod Casts

Chapter 1

The Place Where We Live

Chapter 2

The People of the Longhouse

Chapter 3

The First Europeans

Chapter 4

The French

Chapter 5

New Netherland

Chapter 6

Kings and Queens and Their Quarrels

Chapter 7

A Century of Change

Chapter 8

The Next Century and Those After

Encourage students to submit questions and comments about each chapter to the author's blog that corresponds with this story. All posts are reviewed before they are admitted to the site. To see and submit entries to the "When New York Was New" Blog click here.

To download a PDF copy of the Teacher's Guide click here. To download a cooresponding PDF copy of Student Worksheets/Graphic Organizers click here.

Click here for the student quiz/essay contest information open to New York State Students Grades 4-8. Click here for a copy of the judging rubric. Students are strongly encouraged to read through the quiz and essay questions ahead of time, write his or her response and then complete their entry online at http://survey.constantcontact.com/survey/a07ec1qxgkviirtalec/start. All entries MUST be received at the NYNPA offices, addressed to NYNPA, Serial Story Contest, 252 Hudson Avenue, Albany, NY 12210-1802 by close of business on Fri., May 13, 2016.

If you have any questions at all about this project or to sign up to participate please contact Mary Miller at mmiller@nynpa.com or call 518-449-1667 ext. 701 or download a copy of the newspaper agreement form. Non members are welcome to run the serial for a fee of $100. Please contact Mary to receive all documents.

Thank you to our generous sponsors for making this project such a success! This project was made possible through support of the New York Newspapers Foundation and by generous sponsorship of the New York State United Teachers.


For a complete list of curricula developed for the NYNPA NIE Program contact Mary Miller or call (518) 449-1667 x701.

If you'd like to make a donation to the NYNPA Newspaper In Education program, simply press the Donation button below.
Your generous gift will be processed through the New York Newspapers Foundation's secure PayPal account.


New York News Publishers Association, Inc.
Phone/Fax (518) 449-1667 - Toll-free: (800) 777-1667

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