Newsworthy Stories: Journalism 101
Students investigate and read various news stories in various media forms, including both written and video. The teacher may curate various articles and videos on CNN website and Newsela site for students to read and watch or students can curate their own articles of interest. To begin discussion, the teacher will model inquiry style questions for article analysis. These may include questions such as:
- What is the article about?
- What is ____________________ connected/related to?
- What are the significant components of the article?
- What does ______________ mean?
- What is the value of _________________?
The class can generate questions or the teacher could use a guiding list of inquiry questions. Along with the questions, students will record observations, thoughts, and analyses of story structure, language, topic, and relevance on a shared Padlet. Following inquiry, students discuss what they discovered.
2 Direct Instruction
Teacher will guide students through a lesson on news analysis, structure, language--connecting back to original observations from the padlet. This may include the inverted pyramid, consistency, clarity, accuracy, and brevity. Together, students will discover and create a newsworthy story structure. Students will use Evernote annotation tools on model stories. In conclusion, students will name what makes a quality newsworthy story.
To deepen understanding of quality newsworthy stories, students will also compare and contrast several stories, evaluating quality. The teacher can do this whole class or small groups. Students are given several stories, and using criteria generated from earlier discovery, they analyze and evaluate giving a "report card" for each story.
3 Guided/Independent Practice and Publication
Now students can put their learning into practice. They will draft their own stories (investigations around school, community, or city) on Google Drive for process and conferencing, and when ready for final draft, students will publish to class blog (Blogger or like platform).
Process may look something like this:
- Students identify stories of interest.
- On platform of choice, students draft their stories.
- Process commences with conferring, feedback, and revision.
- Students publish - could be individual (blog) or collaborative (website).
- Students share stories with community.
Students can extend their learning by crafting a news package. Using a similar lesson flow, students can analyze and evaluate news packages online. This may entail looking at both various sites like CNN and also at social media.
Lessons and explorations may include:
- Students learn journalistic video storytelling - tight shots, wide shots, mid shots.
- Students learn and practicing interviewing.
- Students draft two-column scripts from their news article.
- Students choose and learn editing platform of choice.
Key Standards Supported
Reading Informational Text
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings.
Analyze how a particular sentence, paragraph, chapter, or section fits into the overall structure of a text and contributes to the development of the ideas.
Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text and explain how it is conveyed in the text.
Integrate information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words to develop a coherent understanding of a topic or issue.
Trace and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, distinguishing claims that are supported by reasons and evidence from claims that are not.
Compare and contrast one author’s presentation of events with that of another (e.g., a memoir written by and a biography on the same person).
Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
Determine a central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.
Analyze in detail how a key individual, event, or idea is introduced, illustrated, and elaborated in a text (e.g., through examples or anecdotes).
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1–3 above.)
With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.
Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others; demonstrate sufficient command of keyboarding skills to type a minimum of three pages in a single sitting.
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.
Introduce a topic; organize ideas, concepts, and information, using strategies such as definition, classification, comparison/contrast, and cause/effect; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., charts, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.
Develop the topic with relevant facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples.
Use appropriate transitions to clarify the relationships among ideas and concepts.
Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.
Establish and maintain a formal style.
Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from the information or explanation presented.