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WRITING AN ARTICLE FOR ONLINE
Grades 7 to 12
Language Arts, Journalism, Social Studies, History
OVERVIEW OF LESSON PLAN
This lesson provides step by step information for teachers to
integrate online journalism into the classroom. Doing this lesson
plan in association with SchoolNet News Network (SNN) http://www.snn-rdr.ca/snn
gives the teacher and student online resource material, professional
assistance and an online publishing outlet for student writing
in a safe, structured environment.
MATERIALS AND PREPARATION
Writing a Newspaper Article
Brainstorming story ideas
Intro to school journalism
DAILY LESSON PLANS
Start out your class telling students that they will be writing
articles for an online newspaper - SchoolNet News Network (SNN
Online) www.snn-rdr.ca/snn. They will each be responsible
for one article, but may work in pairs to write two articles.
- Teacher to review the SNN website prior to class
- Brainstorm with the students on ideas for stories
- Encourage students to include all facets of the teen life,
school and its activities. Story ideas to have final approval
- Once list is finished, allow students to sign up for topics
either individually or in pairs.
Assignment sheet: Write down all the ideas presented and
ask students to choose one. Write the students name next to the
idea presented. If a student has another idea, write it down
as their story with their name next to it.
Pass out the SNN Writing Guide.
- Review the sample news article by SNN Student Reporter
- Review Assignment Sheet with students.
- Explain what limitations there might be. In some cases, students
may censor themselves too much, and you will need to explain
that it is okay to take risks.
- Ensure that there are different types of articles: news,
opinion, profile, sports, entertainment, feature. Limit the number
of feature articles. (See SNN Writing Guide)
- Talk about how to write a newspaper article. Show students
SNN's Newsroom site for students which will provide students
with information on writing skills, various types of writing
and research and reporting guidelines, using video and audio,
and copyright information.
- Talk with them about journalistic writing: that a 'lead'
is the opening to their article and should hook the reader. Their
article should answer the 5 W's: Who, What, When, Where, Why
(and sometimes How). Tell them about the inverted pyramid. This
means that articles should be written with the most important
information first and the least important last. Encourage them
to use the SNN site information to development journalistic writing
- Get students to use the library, the internet, newspapers
and television broadcasts as well as other resource to research
their story idea. This gives them practice in research and adds
substance to their article.
- Read your students an article you have found from the internet
or a newspaper/magazine that includes facts/statistics. Explore
with them how the facts/stats support the article.
- Ask them where they think the reporter found these facts/stats.
Tell students they must try to find two or more facts or statistics
to support their topic.
Day 4, 5
- Continue researching and writing articles. Tell students
articles will be due in two days.
- Students can also include photos with their articles (.gif
or .jpeg files)
Day 6, 7
Back to lesson plans
- Have students exchange their articles. Ask them to check
that the 'lead' paragraph answers the 5 W's.
- Ask them to answer the question, "Did this article 'hook'
you into reading more? Why/ why not?"
- Ask students to revise their articles if it is necessary.
- Publish articles in your school newspaper or submit to an
online youth ezine.