Writing in Stereo

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WiS Lesson 7A Newspapers

April 17th, 2010

The original Writing in Stereo was published online back in the late 1980's.  Its purpose was to apply creative radio dramatics to all aspects of the teaching of high school English.  Each lesson included a lesson plan and notes.  I'm sharing these with you here.


UNIT OBJECTIVE: (VII) The student will improve primary research and writing skills using the discipline of broadcast journalism.

LESSON OBJECTIVE: (A) The student will read a newspaper daily.

MATERIALS REQUIRED: Paper and pencil, daily newspaper

INTRODUCTION: As part of our writing unit we're going to become serious newspaper readers. If we're going to write, we have to have something to write about. Each day we'll begin class with ten to fifteen minutes of daily newspaper reading. Let's look at today's paper.


1. Go through the parts of your local paper. Point out the front page and world news sections, the editorial and op-ed pages, the masthead, local news section, arts, and sports sections.

2. Describe the contents of each.

3. Using a large card on the wall or bulletin board, discuss the daily news story summary paper. The card should have the following information in a model for students to use on their own papers.

a. Student's Name and Today's Date

b. Story Headline and Page Number

c. Byline (if there is one)

d. Lede (first paragraph copied)

e. Story Summary

4. Allow them time to complete their first summary.

5. Allow students 10-15 minutes daily (or any weekly routine you find convenient) to research and complete these.

EVALUATION FOCUS: Close this session with a review of the parts of the newspaper and a quiz. You hold up the section, and they write the name of the part on their own papers. Throughout the course of the writing unit you may wish to award points or grades for the routine completion of these summaries.