If you’re staring down an empty calendar for the next few months, take a look through the lesson plans in the Web curriculum module for inspiration and activities to improve your students’ online journalism coverage and practices. Here’s a run-down of what’s available:
Note: JEA member login required to access curriculum.
|Lesson||Summary||Activities and Resources|
|Unit 1 — What is online journalism?|
|Comparing Print and Online Journalism||A lesson on common differences between print and online stories, coverage
|Slideshow and coverage analysis exercise, written response (exit ticket)|
|Unit 2 — Writing for the Web|
|How We Read Online||Students read excerpts from two articles synthesizing key research about online readers and demonstrate an understanding of how online readers interact with content
|Guided reading and summary of findings|
|Search Engine Optimization||A lesson on using search engine optimization to drive traffic
|Slideshow, student research, application activity (handout)|
|The Return of the Inverted Pyramid||A refresher on the inverted pyramid structure, an explanation of why it is often used in online journalism, and an opportunity to write an online breaking news story using the inverted pyramid structure
|5W+H activity, slideshow, writing a story, group discussion|
|Chunking, Linking and Liking — Making online stories reader-friendly||A lesson on three strategies to make online stories easier to read
|Slideshow, reworking a story for the Web, group discussion, story readability evaluation, research a news organization
|Unit 3 — Timely coverage|
|Covering developing stories||Students read a series of stories covering a developing story to understand how continuous online coverage differs from the periodical print coverage most high school media staffs are accustomed to
|Case study analysis timeline, group discussion, application activity (story planning), presentation|
|Going live: A comparison of real-time coverage options||Students explore three strategies for real-time coverage, evaluating coverage scenarios to select the most appropriate method
|Slideshow, quick response, scenario analysis/planning, live coverage assignment, presentation|
|Unit 4 — Topical coverage|
|Beat Coverage and the Web — Why It Makes Sense||Students explore beat coverage on the Web and develop a beat list for their own campus
|Warm-up brainstorm, slideshow, beat blog research and analysis, beat planning mind map, group discussion|
|Generating stories for online beat coverage||Building upon student understanding of online beat coverage, students will generate beat story ideas for one beat
|Coverage analysis worksheet, beat story planning sheet, interview with a beat source, pitching a slate of stories|
|Using Data to Cover a Beat||Students read a blog post on using data to find stories, then apply the principles to their own beat coverage and generate story ideas
|Group discussion/warmup, guided reading, research using online database, generating story ideas from research, individual beat data planning (exit ticket)|
|Unit 5 — Planned event coverage, developing packaged stories/online feature packages|
|Understanding The Why In Online Story Package Design||Students will evaluate online news and feature packages to discover the reasoning behind their design and to understand how journalists and editors decide how to package online stories.
|Guided slideshow, online package analysis (handout), online package case study (handout), written summary of analysis, presentation, quiz|
|Planning a Multimedia Package (Team Reporting)||Students learn how to plan a multimedia package, then work in small groups to create their own online package plan.
|Warm up activity, slideshow, story package planning (handout),|
|Interactive Alternative Copy Tools for the Web||Students explore a variety of multimedia tools and experiment with one of them.
|Slideshow, research a tool, present in a jigsaw, matching tools to scenarios (handout), group discussion|
|Using Data Visualizations in Online Story Packages||Students will learn about the rationale for using data and and the possibilities with data visualization tools, then create their own data visualization.
|Warmup activity, slideshow, create and manipulate a data set using Google Sheets, use a data visualization tool to display data, integrate data into group project
|Critiquing a Multimedia Package||Students review the online story package planning questions, assess their own online package and evaluate each others’ multimedia story packages
|Online package analysis questions (handout), presentation, written self-assessment|