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News Writing

News Writing

Shared by: Gary Lindsay

Who are you: After teaching for 40 years at Kennedy High in Cedar Rapids, I have recently retired and now work as JEA’s mentor for Iowa, and keep busy working on JEA committee work, and local organizations. This lesson was developed by several JEA members as part of the inaugural National Professional Learning Committee headed by Jim Streisel and Mark Newton. This great team can take the credit or blame. It does work though, and my students consistently said it taught them more than any other lesson I used.

Briefly describe the lesson you are sharing: This week-long lesson gives students a set of facts and quotes that can be used to develop a news story about an athlete who may have messed up. I know, it’s far fetched (I wish!). Students need to apply previously taught skills of news judgment, and as the lesson progresses they are introduced to lead writing, news story formats, effective sentence combining and journalism ethics. The unique thing about this assignment is, like real-world stories, the facts change as the week progresses. The lesson is all explained on the PDF handout, and I have attached a rubric for evaluating the stories in process. Email me for an editable ID document if you want to adapt it to your own school.

Download: Here is the PDF handout and accompanying rubric.

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