Download certificate of attendance

April 20, 2015 at 2:52 pm

Advisers can download this certificate of attendance for the JEA/NPSA Spring National High School Journalism Convention in Denver.

One Story Lesson Plan: Design a spread or photo essay

January 30, 2015 at 3:56 pm

Title

One Story: Design a spread (yearbook) or photo essay (newspaper)

Description

Using the graphics from the “Other Than Honorable” project by the Colorado Springs Gazette, students will create a design suitable for publication.

Objectives

  • Students will develop a yearbook or newspaper spread/page that applies design principles and narrows the topic “Other Than Honorable.”
  • Students will use technology to size, color-correct and place photos.
  • Students will analyze text to create modular/secondary coverage.

Common Core State Standards

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.WHST.11-12.2a Introduce a topic and organize complex ideas, concepts, and information so that each new element builds on that which precedes it to create a unified whole; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., figures, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.WHST.11-12.9 Draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.WHST.11-12.6 Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products in response to ongoing feedback, including new arguments or information.

Length

250 minutes (plus homework) (This will take approximately one week of school time or five 50-minute periods)

Materials / resources

“Other Than Honorable” series

“Other Than Honorable” ZIP packages of page designs (5.7 MB) and photos (4.6 MB)

Computers with desktop publishing software, if possible

Handout: Yearbook sample 1 (these is a traditional yearbook spread)

Handout: Yearbook sample 2 (this one is more in-depth reporting)

Handout: Newspaper photo essay sample 1 and sample 2

Handout: Secondary coverage options checklist

Rubric: Other Than Honorable

Lesson step-by-step

  1. Introduction — 15 minutes

Show pages and photos from the “Other Than Honorable” project by the Colorado Springs Gazette. Begin describing details of the week-long project. 

  1. Activity (this will take 3-4 class periods to complete)

Students will develop a double-page spread or page using images and stories from “Other Than Honorable” project by the Colorado Springs Gazette. They will choose the photos needed, balance color as needed, write captions, develop and write sidebars, and place all elements on the page or spread.

For yearbook:

Develop a double-page spread based on the “Other Than Honorable” series. You will choose the photos needed, color balance them, write the captions, develop and write sidebars, and choose the story for the spread.

Choose the photos

Sort through the photos provided. Choose the ones you would like to use on your spread.  (Complete for homework if you do not finish in class) 

Create a dummy (homework)

Using the photos you chose, create a rough sketch of how the spread will look, applying principles of design. Your spread should include: an eyeline, dominant photo, 7-9 total photos, captions, headline/body copy, and at least one type of secondary coverage.

Coverage (homework or classwork)

What type of coverage will you include outside of a main body text? Read through the stories provided to determine the one best for your planned design and coverage. Explain the secondary coverage option you plan to complete.

Move to the computer

After your dummy is approved, it must be created on the computer. Create a new document to the specifications provided. Then create your design in the computer design program (InDesign, Online design program, Publisher, or whatever software is available).

Color correct, crop and image size photos chosen.  Save correctly, then place into design.

Write or use the captions provided for each photo.  (Students may need to write captions for homework.  Use Google Drive to copy/paste into design.)

Choose the story

After having read the stories available, choose and edit one of the stories to fit the page.

Print and submit

Proof and edit all written materials. Print one copy scaled to fit.

For newspaper:

Develop a photo essay on the “Other Than Honorable” project by the Colorado Springs Gazette. This page should have a dominant graphic element, one main headline, an introduction to the page/spread, 5-7 total photos, captions, and secondary coverage.

Choose the photos

Sort through the photos provided. Choose the ones you would like to use on your spread.  (Complete for homework if you do not finish in class.)

Create a dummy (homework)

Using the photos you chose, create a rough sketch of how the spread will look. Apply principles of design.

Coverage

What type of coverage will you include outside of the brief introductory text? Explain the secondary copy format or sidebar you plan to complete.

Move to the computer

After your dummy is approved, create it on the computer. Make a new document to the specifications provided. Then create your design in the computer design program (InDesign, Online design program, Publisher, or whatever software is available).

Edit your photos to adjust color, cropping and size as needed for the layout you planned. Save correctly, then place onto the page. Write or use the captions provided for each photo.  (Students may need to write captions for homework. Use Google Drive or similar method to copy/paste into design.)

Add the copy

Incorporate introductory text to accompany the photos, or pull an excerpt from one of the stories from the Colorado Springs Gazette package.

Print and submit

Proof and edit all written materials. Print one copy scaled to fit. 

  1. Sharing and evaluation — 20 minutes

After the layouts are printed, have students swap with their peers. Using the rubric, have them evaluate each other’s work. (This will help reinforce the design rules and expectations, while allowing them to share their work with each other.)

  1. Closure — 5 minutes

Ask students to reflect on the project. How did the “Other Than Honorable” project affect them? What skills did they learn? What difficulties did they face?

Optional — 10 minutes

Allow students to improve their designs based on feedback from the peer review.

Differentiation

For some students, extended time may be necessary.

Students without Internet access may need a contact sheet of the photos to help them choose, as well as printouts of the stories. You could pick one for the student so he/she could read to analyze text for coverage.

If the classroom does not have computer access or desktop publishing software, use use dummy sheets, layout paper or large white paper to sketch and label spreads/pages instead.

Some expert help elevating your stories

January 22, 2015 at 4:52 pm

A hallmark of every national convention is the abundance of information students gather from professional members of the working media. In Denver, students will have the opportunity to learn from some of the Rocky Mountain regions top local journalists.

Daniel Brogan is the founder, president, and editor-in-chief of 5280 Publishing, Inc. Brogan launched 5280 Magazine from his second bedroom, and 22 years later, it has become the largest local magazine in the state, and regularly outsells national publications like Time, People and Vanity Fair within Colorado. In addition to being nominated for six National Magazine Awards, 5280 is a philanthropic giant within the state, and is also one of the first city magazines to print on recycled paper. Individually, Brogan worked as a reporter and columnist at the Chicago Tribune and has been published in Rolling Stone, Musician, Creem and PC World.

While sports reporters dream of writing for a daily publication in a major metropolitan market, the majority have to meander through smaller markets until they catch a break. That is certainly the case for Troy Renck of The Denver Post. Since graduating from the University of Colorado, Renck has navigated through Lake Havasu City, Arizona, Yuma, Arizona, and Longmont, Colorado before joining The Post in 2001. In his 13 years with Denver’s only daily newspaper, Renck was simultaneously the Colorado Rockies beat reporter and the paper’s Major League Baseball national correspondent. He has spent the last year and a half as the beat writer for the Denver Broncos.

A Colorado native, Chris Vanderveen attended Thomas Jefferson High School in southeast Denver before spending four years at the University of Colorado-Boulder. At present, Vanderveen is a member of the 9Wants to Know team at Denver’s KUSA-9News. Vanderveen has covered everything from the shootings at Columbine High School and Aurora’s Century 16 theater, to recent fires and floods that dramatically changed the landscape of our home state. An award-winning journalist on many levels, Vanderveen was honored in 2011 with the Edward R. Murrow Award.

And that’s just a small sample of the incredible speakers you will get to learn from in Denver, April 16-19.

One Story Lesson Plan: Writing for Twitter

January 20, 2015 at 5:08 pm

Title

One Story: Writing for Twitter

Description

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.

Objectives

  • 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.


Length

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.

Assessment

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.

Differentiation

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.

One Story Lesson Plan: Examining Sources, Credibility and Verification for a Long-Form Story

January 20, 2015 at 5:08 pm

Title

One Story: Examining Sources, Credibility and Verification for a Long-Form Story

Description

Students will use an article in the series “Other Than Honorable” from the Colorado Gazette to examine the sources used — as well as those who refused comment. Then, students will then look at how the writer showed the credibility of the information through verification.

Objectives

  • Students will examine the sources used (both people and documents).
  • Students will see how the writer noted when someone refused to go on the record.
  • Students will  the author showed how the information provided was credible through verification.

Common Core State Standards

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.9-10.9.B Apply grades 9-10 Reading standards to literary nonfiction (e.g., “Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is valid and the evidence is relevant and sufficient; identify false statements and fallacious reasoning”).
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.9-10.1 Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.9-10.5 Analyze in detail how an author’s ideas or claims are developed and refined by particular sentences, paragraphs, or larger portions of a text (e.g., a section or chapter).
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.11-12.7 Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words in order to address a question or solve a problem.


Length

50 minutes

Materials / resources

Handout: Copy of one of the articles from the series “Other Than Honorable” (one per student)

Slideshow: Sources, Credibility and Verification

Three colors of highlighters and pens or pencils

Lesson step-by-step

1. Introduction — slideshow (3 minutes)

Show students the first four slides of the slideshow. (Stop at the “Today’s goal” slide.)

2. Reading (may skip if students have read the first segment) — 10 minutes if needed

Students should read the segment titled “Disposable.”

3. Preparation — 2 minutes

Distribute copies of the story. Show Slide 5 with the following instructions:

Ask students to create a color key. Have them write the following at the top of the story:

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Students will highlight Step 1 with one color, Step 2 with a second color and Step 3 with a third color. Students will refer to this key as they go through the activity.

4. Continue slideshow — 10 minutes

Go through slides 7-10 with the students. Give them time to work through each step.

5. Large group discussion — 5 minutes

Facilitate discussion concerning what the students found using the steps from the slideshow.

6. Pair work —10 minutes

Students should pair with a student next to them. Randomly assign the pairs the remaining segments as evenly as possible. If at least two pairs cannot combine for the next step, assign fewer segments.

Students should repeat the three steps just practiced in their pairs.

7. Small group discussion (10-15 minutes)

Students should find the other pairs who also worked on the same segment. Assign each small group to compare and discuss what they highlighted. Who was interviewed? What other information was used? Did someone refuse comment? How was the information verified? Walk around to answer questions as needed.

8. Large group discussion — 5 minutes

Each group should informally present two items discussed per step.

9. Assessment — 5 minutes

Ask students to put away all materials. They then should take the short quiz at the end of the slideshow to check for understanding.

If you’d like to grade the quiz in class, the answers are on the last slide.

Differentiation

For further extension, ask students to work through policy and procedure information.

Refusal to be interviewed:

How does the writer inform the reader that a potential source chose not to grant an interview? How would a policy state this? What would the policy say? How does it vary in refused versus unavailable for comment? How do these two differ?

One Story Lesson Plan: Making Editorial Decisions

January 20, 2015 at 5:08 pm

Title

Making Editorial Decisions

Description

In groups, students will analyze one of the stories that went into this Pulitzer-Prize winning multimedia package. Then, given access to the photos and layouts from the project, groups will decide how they would change the presentation and why.

Objectives

  • Students will analyze an editor’s choices of elements in a professional piece.
  • Students will decide as an editorial board elements that would make a story stronger
  • Students will present their ideas to the class.

Common Core State Standards

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.1 Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9-10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.1d Respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives, summarize points of agreement and disagreement, and, when warranted, qualify or justify their own views and understanding and make new connections in light of the evidence and reasoning presented.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.4 Present information, findings, and supporting evidence clearly, concisely, and logically such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and task.

Length

Two 50-minute classes or one 90-minute class

Materials / resources

Lesson step-by-step

  1. Building background — 10 minutes

Explain to students that today they will be presented with potential elements for an online multimedia package. As a hypothetical editorial board, they will determine what they feel would be a stronger presentation of the story using the elements provided, defend their decision and then list elements not provided that they feel would make the story stronger.

  1. Individual work — 40 minutes

Divide the class into four groups by giving each student a number/letter that represents one of the following stories.

  1. Disposable
  2. Left Behind
  3. Locked Away
  4. Pattern of Misconduct

Allow each member of every group to read each piece independently. As each student reads, have him or her take note of the photos that were chosen to go with that piece, the caption information included with each photo, and the video interviews included.

For each photo/video, have students record their thoughts in the graphic organizer.

  1. Small group work — 30 minutes

Divide the class into four predetermined story groups. In each group, students should act as though they are members of an editorial board deciding how they will present this story. Using the graphic organizer they each completed in the prior activity, the group will discuss each element of their particular story. As a group, they will reach consensus on what changes they would like to see in the presentation of the piece.

  1. Small group presentations — 20 minutes (approximately 5 minutes each)

Each group will share its decisions with the entire class. In order for the rest of the class to be a bit more prepared for the presentations, consider building in a homework assignment that allows each student to look at the other three stories, leading to full-class discussion based on each presentation. A written editorial board plan should propose point-by-point changes to make in the story/graphic presentation. Clear evidence of each individual’s contribution to the group presentation should be present. This could be in the form of a reflective piece from each student describing his/her role in the group decision-making process. Students should also turn in their individual graphic organizers.

  1. Extended activities (optional)

Option 1: In small groups, have students select a topic to cover in their own publication/website. For the story, they should list how they plan to present the topic including a list of story(ies), audio elements, video elements, photo elements and infographic elements. Each element should answer the question “Why should this be included in this multimedia piece?

Option 2 (Preparation would involve a lot more advanced work on the teacher’s part): Take a professional piece (like the One Story selection used for this lesson). Break it down into basic elements: photos, videos, infographics and text. Assign students to put the pieces together into a long-form piece without having seen the finished professional piece, then asking them to defend their decision-making process in writing. Groups then can compare their decisions to those made by the professional editors.

Differentiation

Consider assigning different roles for members of the editorial board group meeting. Higher level students might serve as the editor-in-chief of the group while struggling students could serve as staff members at large on the editorial board. Set your expectations for the end product based on the roles you assign each student. For instance, the editor-in-chief might be responsible for the majority of the oral presentation, while the member at large might simply turn in his or her graphic organizer.

One Story Lesson Plan: Analyzing Research in an Investigative News Article

January 20, 2015 at 5:07 pm

Title

Analyzing Research in an Investigative News Article

Description

Using one or more of the stories in the “Other Than Honorable” project by the Colorado Springs Gazette, students will analyze how the reporter obtained information using a variety of research techniques.

Objectives

  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of a variety of research techniques used in journalism and recognize the purpose of journalistic research.
  • Students will evaluate research material for validity, authenticity and objectivity.
  • Students will analyze published stories and determine the type and effectiveness of the research within stories.

Common Core State Standards

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.1 Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.7 Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.10 Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.8 Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, including the validity of the reasoning as well as the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence.


Length

One class period of 50 minutes

Materials / resources

Class set: Analyzing News Stories for use of Research handout

Research Assignment Rubric

“Other Than Honorable” news stories

Slideshow: Journalistic Research (optional; use as needed)

Lesson step-by-step

  1. Tap Prior Knowledge — 5 minutes

Ask students to think of the ways in which journalists, other than interviewing, would conduct research while reporting.

If necessary, use the Journalistic Research slideshow to go over different types of research that journalists use.

  1. Analyze a story activity — 30 minutes or longer

Have  students use the Analyzing Research in a News Story handout to analyze one of the four investigative news articles in the project “Other Than Honorable” from the Colorado Springs Gazette. Students should determine what research techniques were used by the reporter(s) of the story. This is primarily a reading activity and should be accomplished individually.

  1. Closure

Have a short Q&A with students about their reaction to the “Other Than Honorable” project. Try to keep focus on the reporting required to write and publish this story.  Assign the Analyzing Research in a News Story handout for homework to allow time for students to read then entire story and find 10 research examples.

Assessment

Use the Research Assignment Rubric to grade the Analyzing Research handouts.

Differentiation

For students who have difficulty reading on computers, copies of one or more of the stories in the Other Than Honorable series may be printed out. Beginners may be more comfortable simply annotating a print-out and finding the attribution of sources and researched information. Additionally or as an option, students can use the videos embedded within the package to look for types of information that the reporter found using records and other research as well as interviewing.

One Story Lesson Plan: What Happened Next?

January 20, 2015 at 5:07 pm

Title

What Happened Next?

Description

This is a short research lesson to use after reading one or all of the articles in the series “Other Than Honorable” from the Colorado Springs Gazette.

Objectives

  • Students will use Internet search skills to find follow-up stories to the series.
  • Students will take notes on the follow-up stories they find.
  • Students will choose a source with knowledge about the situation outlined in the series (a senator, congressman or military officer) and write questions to elicit more information than they found.

Common Core State Standards

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.1 Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.3 Analyze how and why individuals, events, or ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.10 Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.7 Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

Length

1 50-minute class period

Materials / resources

“Other than Honorable” story package online

Internet access

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.”

  1. Tap prior knowledge — 5 minutes

To begin, ask students what they think should have happened next, after this series was published. You can confirm that this series won a Pulitzer Prize, but focus on the action that students think needs to be taken by the military and Congress.

Explain that today they will research what did happen after the series was published and write interview questions for any additional follow-up stories they think are still needed.

  1. Research — 15-20 minutes

Students will use computers, tablets or phones to search the Internet for any stories related to military discipline. They should find these two stories from the Colorado Gazette:

http://gazette.com/congress-eyes-changes-to-military-discipline/article/1501862

http://gazette.com/colorado-rep.-mike-coffman-seeking-senate-support-for-wounded-soldiers-investigation/article/1505771

If they do not find these stories easily, provide the links and ask for suggestions for search terms to find any other information. Be aware that not much information exists. It appears that the House Bill died in the Senate and nothing of note has been done to change the situation.  Students should also reach this conclusion.

  1. Write

After students have found the few follow-up stories available, ask them who they would interview if they were a reporter assigned to find out more. Answers may include senators or members of Congress, military officers or mental health professionals. Students should choose one source specifically by name, using sources named in the series and in the follow-up articles, and write three open-ended questions designed to find out what the situation is currently.

Assessment

Students should turn in their questions and the name/title of their chosen source for a daily grade. Full credit should be given for three open-ended questions posed to an appropriate source who would reasonably have an answer for the questions asked.

Differentiation

For students who have difficulty with the Internet search, provide the web links or appropriate search terms (Military Behavioral Health and Disciplinary Issues). Students who may have difficulty forming appropriate questions could work in pairs to assist each other.

One Story Lesson Plan: Writing Headlines

January 20, 2015 at 5:07 pm

Title

Writing Headlines

Description

A lesson on headline writing to use with one or all of the articles in the series “Other Than Honorable” from the Colorado Gazette

Objectives

  • Students will write headlines to accompany a story.
  • Students will use correct style for headlines.
  • Students will identify the different types of headlines.

Common Core State Standards

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.2.a Introduce a topic; organize complex ideas, concepts, and information to make important connections and distinctions; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., figures, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.2.d Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to manage the complexity of the topic.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.9-10.1 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.11-12.1 Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 11-12 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.


Length

1 to 2 50-minute class periods (depending on whether this is an introduction to headlines or a review and practice of concepts previously learned)

Materials / resources

“Other than Honorable” story package online

Internet access

Slideshow: Headline Review

Handout: Headline Checklist

Rubric: Headline Rubric

Lesson step-by-step

This lesson begins after students 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.” Ideally, this lesson should be used after students have already completed the headline writing lessons in the Writing strand of the curriculum. If necessary, use the headlines lesson from the Writing module in conjunction with this lesson’s activities.

  1. Review — 10 minutes

Discuss the facts of the articles from the “Other Than Honorable” series to activate prior knowledge. Select one of the stories and ask students to write a short, five-sentence summary.

  1. Slideshow — 10-30 minutes (depending on whether this is new material or review)

Present the “Headline review” slideshow, taking questions as raised. Students should take notes.

  1. Application — 20 minutes

Distribute the Headline Checklist and Headline Rubric. Working with a partner or small group, students will construct alternative headlines for the story. First, they should share their five-sentence summaries to see if they have the same understanding of the story. Explain that sometimes reporters and editors may have different understandings of a story, so it’s worth talking through any differences in takeaways. Give each group a type of headline (e.g. two-line, three-line, tripod) and a count for their headline (number of letters and spaces they have available to fill for each line). They should use the checklist and rubric to guide their work.

  1. Review — 10 minutes

Have students in each group share their headlines. As a class, discuss each headline and evaluate it using the rubric.

Differentiation

For students with no experience in writing headlines, use the Headlines lesson from the Writing strand of the JEA Curriculum and work slowly through the slideshow, pausing to work through word choices and headline style with each example. For instance, analyze strong verbs and active voice in examples and have students work through the exercises included on the final slides of the presentation.

For students who have experience writing headlines, ask them to evaluate with a paragraph explanation the actual headlines used for each of the “Other Than Honorable” stories. Ask them to consider how the headlines work with the visual presentations of the stories to create a verbal-visual link with the photographs accompanying them.

One Story Lesson Plan: Narrowing the Field

January 20, 2015 at 5:07 pm

Title

Narrowing the Field

Description

In this lesson, students will explore the photography used by the Colorado Springs Gazette in the “Other Than Honorable” project. Students will pretend they are the journalist in charge of the story and select photos to include in a photo essay, then explain their decision and their reasoning to a small group of students.

Objectives

  • Students will analyze a large collection of photos and make value judgments about how to narrow them down and group them effectively.
  • Students will explain their decision-making process to their peers.

Common Core State Standards

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.9-10.1 Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.9-10.1.A Come to discussions prepared, having read and researched material under study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence from texts and other research on the topic or issue to stimulate a thoughtful, well-reasoned exchange of ideas.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.9-10.1.C Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that relate the current discussion to broader themes or larger ideas; actively incorporate others into the discussion; and clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.9-10.4 Present information, findings, and supporting evidence clearly, concisely, and logically such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and task.


Length

45 minutes

Materials / resources

Lesson step-by-step

  1. Introduction — 5 minutes

If this is your first time using the Other Than Honorable story, give students a short explanation for the news coverage:

The Colorado Springs Gazette did some in-depth reporting on the amount of soldiers being released from the Army with no benefits. The Gazette’s coverage was extensive and includes stories, photos, and several different spreads over a period of time. David Phillips from the Gazette won a 2014 Pulitzer Prize in National Reporting for his work on the project.

Explain to students that today, they will be analyzing the photography from this project — a collection of more than 70 photos — and determining which 5-7 stories they think would go together to create a good photo essay.

  1. Discussion — 10 minutes

What should a photo essay include? In order for a collection of photos to tell a story adequately, what should those photos have? Sample responses include:

    1. Photos should be tied together through unifying ideas or themes.
    2. Photos should represent a wide range of angles and techniques (close-up, wide shots, and so forth).
    3. Photos should be placed in an order or layout that helps each viewer make sense of the story.
    4. Photos should force the viewer to stop and think.

Ask students to work by themselves or with partners, based on availability of images. For this lesson, it is probably easiest (and cheapest) to allow students to access the images electronically through a device on a shared network. That way students can view and discuss using their own “set” of images. Then, students can share their responses with small groups using prints of the images.

  1. Independent work time — 15 minutes

Give students time to work individually or with a partner to choose which 5-7 images they would include in their photo essay. As students work, have them complete the Photo Essay Decision Guide that asks them to analyze their own decisions.

  1. Group sharing — 10 minutes

After students have adequate time to work, rearrange into larger groups and have each person/partnership share their decisions and reasoning with a larger group. Members of the larger group can offer feedback by responding and/or asking questions to clarify why the individual/partnership made certain decisions.

  1. Class discussion — 10 minutes

Reconnect so each group can share as part of a whole class discussion. Ask students to nominate other individuals/partnerships in their larger groups who made exceptional decisions and had good reasoning, then ask those individuals/partnerships to share with the whole class.

Assessment/extension: Distribute the “Narrowing the Field” exit slip and ask students to complete this assignment for the next class.

Differentiation

  • For advanced students or students who finish early: Ask what photo is missing from the collection that they feel should be included. Students can “plan” how they would go about shooting that particular photo as if they were a journalist in that situation.
  • For students who are struggling or at a lower level: Ask them to identify which of the photos seem to tug at their emotions more. Can they identify why those photos are more emotionally powerful?