One of the most important tasks journalism teachers face is helping students to understand the difference between writing a regular non-fiction piece and a journalistic article.
This activity "Mapping the Story: WHAT'S THE BUZZ?" gives beginning journalism students the opportunity to practice writing pieces in the proper journalistic style and format. It also serves as an excellent reinforcement activity for advanced journalism students.
Before students write their first piece, they will analyze professional journalism stories following specific guidelines. After they complete the article analysis exercise, they will employ a variation of the same guidelines they used with the analysis to write a news, feature sports or review piece of their choosing.
First year journalism students should complete this activity before they begin writing every news story. Advanced journalism students should complete this activity for reinforcement each time they write an article.
This activity encourages students to explore what is involved in writing articles for newspapers. Also, budding journalists will develop their analytic and critical thinking skills which are essential in both print and broadcast journalism.
For this activity, each student will need access to a computer, the Internet, hard-copy periodicals, and people to interview, as well as pages 3-8 of this packet.
Teachers should introduce these two activities by reviewing the 6 Primary Points of a Journalism Story - Location, Timeliness, Notable People/Places, Conflict, Extraordinary Elements, and Arouses Emotions -as well as the reason for writing in the Inverted Pyramid format. (page 3)
Next, students will brainstorm with each other until each of them has selected a topic to write for the school newspaper. Using pages 4-8, they will complete a story between 300-700 words. The length will depend on the topic, the type of story (News, Feature, Sports or Review) and the needs of the newspaper.
Teachers should review the included Article Criteria to choose those that they wish to modify or adopt as guidelines for their own requirements..
Journalism- Mapping the Story: WHAT'S THE BUZZ? coordinates with all of the other journalism activities in my store. It is an essential aspect for teaching students the basic aspects of writing in this genre.
Here are a few other products that enable journalism students to write right:
Journalism: Analyzing Newspaper Leads and Articles Worksheets
Journalism Article & Layout Rubric & Guidelines
Journalism: Reporting Practice Worksheets
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