One Story Lesson Plan: Writing for Twitter

January 20, 2015 at 5:08 pm


One Story: Writing for Twitter


This is a short lesson to use after reading one or all of the articles in the series “Other Than Honorable” from the Colorado Gazette. It involves brainstorming how to invite audience engagement with a story through Twitter by examining tweets written by the Colorado Gazette and prompting students to write their own.


  • Students will explain how to write an effective tweet.
  • Students will analyze the strengths and weaknesses of written tweets.
  • Students will write tweets that effectively and ethically convey information to an audience.

Common Core State Standards

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.5 Analyze the structure of texts, including how specific sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text (e.g., a section, chapter, scene, or stanza) relate to each other and the whole.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.6 Assess how point of view or purpose shapes the content and style of a text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.6 Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and communicative tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.


1 50-minute class period

Materials / resources

“Other than Honorable” story package online

Internet access

Handout: Writing for Twitter

Rubric: Social Media Post Rubric

Assessment: Exit Ticket

PDF: One Story CSGAZETTE Tweets

Lesson step-by-step

This lesson begins after you have completed at least one other lesson that requires reading and reacting to one or more of the articles in the series “Other Than Honorable.”

Review — 10 minutes

Discuss the facts of the articles from the “Other Than Honorable” series to activate prior knowledge. Distribute the Writing for Twitter note-taking guide and ask students to write a short, five-sentence summary of one of the stories at the top of their notes.

Slideshow — 10 minutes

Go through the Writing for Twitter handout and the Social Media Post Rubric about how to write an effective tweet, taking questions as raised.

Post Analysis — 20 minutes

Place students in pairs or small groups and assign each group several tweets to analyze from the Colorado Gazette posts, giving each a rating according to the rubric. Students should discuss strengths and weaknesses of each tweet and rewrite at least one of the tweets.

Review — 10 minutes

Discuss the students’ ratings and rewriting of the tweets from @csgazette. You might consider one or more of the following review strategies:

  • Select three of the tweets to discuss and ask for strengths, weaknesses, and ratings for each tweet.
  • Ask each group to share both general and specific insights from their tweet analysis.
  • Ask each group to share an original and rewritten tweet and explain what they changed and why.

Exit Ticket or Homework

Ask students to write their own original tweet using the facts from the paragraph they wrote during the warm up.


Students will complete a note-taking guide while analyzing tweets from @csgazette according to a specific rubric and an exit ticket/homework assignment demonstrating their ability to write an effective tweet.


For students that have had experience writing for social media, you might ask them to rank the tweets from @csgazette from most to least effective and justify their rankings with a paragraph explanation.

For students with little experience with social media in a journalistic setting, consider an extended discussion at the beginning of the class period that covers how social media affects reader interaction with media outlets. You might show Twitter pages from your local metropolitan newspaper or a national newspaper with which students are familiar to demonstrate how Twitter can be used strategically.