The zipped file contains the forms to run a junior high journalism writing workshop. The following forms are included in this listing: article checklist, brainstorming graphic organizer, inverted pyramid graphic organizer, peer review, peer edit, subject approval, grading rubric, and article analysis reading assignment.
****Each of these files can be purchased separately, or in this listing together at a discounted price. All the files are created in Microsoft Word, so you can edit them to fit your specific needs. Several of the documents are formatted so that you can make copies and then cut them into half sheets in order to save some paper.
Descriptions of individual forms:
Article Checklist: The checklist guides junior high students through all the necessary steps to complete a publishable news or feature article. I teach an elective journalism class for 8th and 9th graders and run it as a writing workshop with each student writing about a different topic. This checklist enables each student to work at their own pace.
Brainstorming Graphic Organizer: The brainstorming graphic organizer helps students to identify what they already know about the topic they will be writing about, what they need to learn, and where they can go to find the information. It's a variation on a KWL that helps them to figure out what questions they need to ask during their interviews.
Inverted Pyramid Graphic Organizer: The inverted pyramid helps students to organize their news articles with the most important information (including the five W's and how) at the beginning of the article and the least important information at the end of the article.
Peer Review: The peer review form details specific things the reviewer needs to look for and also specifies how the writer can make improvements based on what the reviewer found. The reviewer answers 10 questions about the article, and there are 10 corresponding suggestions for the writer. The things the reviewer needs to look for are aligned with the article rubric and fall under three categories: content, objectivity & research, and structure & organization.
Peer Edit: The peer edit form focuses on fragments, run-ons (and how to fix them), appositives, capitalization, plurals, and quotation marks. It is rather basic and just gives students a list of things to check for that have already been taught.
Subject Approval: Since junior high students are new to interviewing and sometimes have a hard time writing down everything that their source says during an interview, I require them to get approval from the subjects of their articles prior to publication. The purpose of this is to give the faculty and staff a chance to fact-check the article and make sure that the journalism student didn't misunderstand any of the interviewee's answers.
Grading Rubric: The journalism article rubric is a true rubric, with descriptors for each level, rather than a simple scoring sheet. There are four categories on the rubric: content, objectivity & research, structure & organization, and grammar/fluency. Each category is worth five points, with descriptors at the 5, 3, and 1 point intervals. The total points possible for each article is 20. I've found that not only can I evaluate and edit my students' writing more quickly using this rubric, but they also produce higher quality work since they know the specifics of what I'll be looking for.
Article Analysis Reading Assignment: The article analysis assignment requires students to read and analyze a news article from a reputable news sources. Students will summarize the article, articulate what the journalist did that was effective, and make a couple goals for their own writing. I have the students in my journalism elective class do this assignment every other week. I like that they're reading the news, but it also gives them something productive to work on if they can't get in to interview someone or are waiting on another student in class to finish their peer review.
When I run the workshop, I give students two grades--one for going through the whole process and another for the final draft of their article. I collect the article checklist with each of the forms and all their drafts. At the beginning of each semester I do a lot of modeling, and the students all write their first article about the same topic so we can work at the same pace while learning the process. After that first article the students are ready to work at their own pace.