PLAN: BE THE PRESS: LOCAL INTERVIEWS, NATIONAL NEWS
Syd Golston, an educational administrator, curriculum writer and historian and
Lisa Greeves, an English and journalism teacher
Journalism, Social Studies, Media Studies, Government
Covered: Campaign issues, newspaper writing formats
One class period, followed by student homework
(This lesson requires one
50-minute classroom period to introduce the project, and several days of homework
to research a topic, complete an interview and write an original newspaper article.)
Objectives: This lesson will teach students:
to research and write a newspaper article
information on a single selected issue in the 2004 presidential election.
learn two formats for newspaper articles, the "straight news" article and the
"in depth" news article.
choose a national issue of interest to them, and interview someone on the local
level about that issue.
newspaper articles may be placed in school publications or in the newspaper serving
to National Standards
the Notes and Criteria handouts, along with a recent newspaper article.
the principles of a straight news article, and ask students if they can find and
o the "who/what/when/where/why/how" in the lead paragraph.
the decline in importance ("pyramid") of the details in the paragraphs
Ideas for Articles and allow students to choose. Encourage
them to invent their own ideas for articles on national problems seen from the
and discuss the Templates handout, even though students
are not yet ready to use it.
should consult the Internet for background information on their chosen
is an excellent resource for this research)
students needing help in arranging interviews, especially if public officials
students have gathered information, review the Templates handout. If there is
time, slotting the information into the template could comprise a second class
excellent and interested writers, an in-depth article can be assigned. (See second
template.) The best straight news articles can be submitted to school papers or
parent newsletters, and to community newspapers. Contact Leah Clapman (firstname.lastname@example.org)
with outstanding articles, and some may be selected for online publication at
our Web site.
to NCSS and Civitas Standards
Council for the Social Studies Standards, X: Civic Ideals and Practices: b. Identify,
analyze, interpret, and evaluate sources and examples of citizens' rights and
Locate, access, analyze, organize, synthesize, evaluate and apply information
about selected public issues-identifying, describing and evaluating multiple points
Standards (National Standards for Civics and Government): "Forms of political
the Authors Author Syd Golston is an educational administrator, curriculum
writer and historian. She taught secondary Social Studies for 20 years, wrote
lessons and in-serviced teachers in 40 states as Supervisor of Education for Kids
Voting USA, and serves now as Dean of Students at Alhambra High School in Phoenix,
Arizona. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the National Council for
the Social Studies.
Greeves has taught journalism and English in two school systems in Virginia. She
has a B.A. in English and journalism and an M.A. in English. She published a chapter
titled "Vignette: Collaborating on an Editorial" in Applying NCTE/IRA Standards
in Classroom Journalism Projects, published by NCTE in 2002.