Lessons

1.1 Explore Your World Through the News: An Introduction to Journalism

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This photo taken Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012 and released by the National Geographic Society on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, shows Paul Salopek standing on the desert flats in Djibouti. (AP Photo/National Geographic, Paul Salopek)

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A salesperson in a mobile phone store in Abidjan, Ivory Coast on March 2, 2012. Photo by Peter DiCampo.

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Image by the Center for Public Integrity and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

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A young girl in her parents' roadside shop in Duekoue, Ivory Coast on March 7, 2012. Photo by Peter DiCampo.

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A golf course outside of Garden City Shopping Center in Kampala, Uganda on May 19, 2012. Photo by Peter DiCampo.

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A teenage boy and girl embrace in Kakuka, Uganda on June 7, 2012. Photo by Peter DiCampo.

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Land for sale in Bundibugyo, Uganda on June 2, 2012. Photo by Peter DiCampo.

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A lab technician in a rural clinic in Kakuka, Uganda on June 7, 2012. Photo by Peter DiCampo.

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Garden City Shopping Center in Kampala, Uganda on May 19, 2012. Photo by Peter DiCampo.

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Six-year-old Bahe Campbell in Pinhou, Ivory Coast on March 7, 2012. Pinhou's official traditional dancer was killed during post-election violence last year, and now several children wear traditional attire to train and compete to fill the role. Photo by Peter DiCampo.

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A manual laborer rests amidst sacks of cocoa at Saf Cacao, the largest nationally owned cocoa exporter in Ivory Coast, in San Pedro, Ivory Coast on March 5, 2012. Photo by Peter DiCampo.

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A driver waits for his passenger in Abidjan, Ivory Coast on March 14, 2012. Photo by Peter DiCampo.

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Sunday brunch at a cafe in Kampala, Uganda on May 20, 2012. Photo by Peter DiCampo.

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A woman hangs laundry in Takira, Uganda on May 29, 2012. Photo by Peter DiCampo.

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A guest at Vanilla Hotel in Bundibugyo, Uganda on June 1, 2012. Photo by Peter DiCampo.

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Vendors try to make sales to bus passengers traveling in rural Uganda on May 21, 2012. Photo by Peter DiCampo.

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A Ugandan soldier pets a donkey in Kakuka, Uganda on June 7, 2012. Photo by Peter DiCampo.

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A health care worker at a hospital in Iganga, Uganda on May 22, 2012. Photo by Peter DiCampo.

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A woman reaches for flowers in a village outside of Bundibugyo, Uganda on June 4, 2012. / TV at Vanilla Hotel in Bundibugyo, Uganda on June 1, 2012. Photos by Peter DiCampo.

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Dancers prior to a performance at a festival in Mpisi Village, Zimbabwe on May 20, 2012. / Cheerleaders before a soccer game in Harare, Zimbabwe on May 26, 2012. Photos by Austin Merrill.

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Tourists photograph while on safari in Matobo Hills, Zimbabwe on May 24, 2012. / The front desk of Rainbow Towers Hotel in Harare, Zimbabwe on May 27, 2012. Photos by Austin Merrill.

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Fishing boats in the harbor in San Pedro, Ivory Coast on March 6, 2012. Photo by Peter DiCampo.

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Employees of a rural clinic meet with foreign NGO workers outside of Iganga, Uganda on May 21, 2012. Photo by Peter DiCampo.

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Men sweep the street after a rainstorm in Mbale, Uganda on May 25th, 2012. Photo by Peter DiCampo.

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Passengers awaiting flights at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa on May 18, 2012. / The grounds of the Royal Livingstone Hotel in Livingstone, Zambia on May 2012 22, 2012. Photos by Austin Merrill.

​Standards:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.5: Describe how a text presents information (e.g., sequentially, comparatively, causally).

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.6-8.1: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 6-8 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.

Objective:

 

You will gain an understanding of what journalism is and why it is important while exploring various and differing sources, learning and describing different ways information can be presented.

 

Warm-up:

1. Provide thoughtful and well-written answers to the questions in this survey.

2. Click on the Responses tab. Read responses (skip the names, cities, age, and teacher information). Teachers click on individual responses to view student work.

  • How are other student responses similar to yours?
  • How are other student responses different than yours?

3. Discuss the following with a partner:

  • Your thoughts and opinions on the survey questions.
  • Any patterns you noticed in the responses.

4. Create a Journalism folder in Google Drive. Share the folder with your teacher.

Section 1: Explore your world through journalism

1. Watch the video What is Journalism?

2. In your Journalism folder create a document to take notes. Journalism Notes could be a possible title for the document.

3. Write down what you learned from the video. Rewatch if necessary and add notes.

4. If possible on your devices at home or at school, download and play TB2: Mali’s Ancient Manuscripts. Download information and general beginning directions can be found here.

5. Add what you learned from playing TB2 in your notes.

6. Create a class definition of journalism and hang in the classroom. We will be adding to this definition as we go along.

7. Create a new document in your Journalism folder called News Resources.

8. Explore 5 or more different news resources. Write down notes and observations from each site. Provide the name of each site and the link in your notes. Creating a table would be a good way to organize your notes.

9. Sit with a partner and your notes. Together explore, discuss, and takes notes on the following sites:

10. When complete, switch to a new partner. Take your time to really explore, discuss, and take notes on the following:

11. Discuss what you learned about these journalism projects as a class.

Section 2: Summarize and share your learning

1. Add new learning to posted class notes.

2. In your journalism folder, create a document and write about why journalism is important. Include why it is important for you personally, as well as why it is important to others.

3. Discuss why journalism is important. Create a list and post in the classroom. Add to this list as new ideas come up.

4. As a class, tweet what you have learned about journalism and why it is important using the #journalism, #edchat, and #8thchat (or your grade level) hashtags

Next step:

This week, notice different sources of news you come across. What works for you? What doesn’t? How can engaging with the news sources become a part of your daily or weekly routine?

Educator Notes: 

The purpose of this lesson is to introduce students to journalism and teach them to blend narrative and informational writing to eventually create their own news stories. The lessons in this series are very loosly based on Writing Pathways by Lucy Caulkins. 

To prepare for this lesson it is helpful to download the Pulitzer Center's TB2: Mali's Ancient Manuscripts ahead of time by clicking here.

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