Celebrate Scholastic Journalism Week
with lesson plan gifts for others
by Candace Bowen
It’s time to celebrate! Feb. 17-23 is Scholastic Journalism Week. Did your staff make 45 cookies, each with one word from the First Amendment on it? Wear staff t-shirts? Sign the TAO pledge?
That’s great, but celebrations also need gifts and how about some for your colleagues, the other teachers down the hall? It’s likely some of them could use a great last-minute lesson plan, so how about letting THEM see how well journalism skills apply to their content areas, not just in your classroom? The links below are a good start.
• Some think math and journalists don’t mix, but unfortunately, they must because stories have numbers — everything from budgets to school levies to percentages on standardized tests. EditTeach.org, edited by Dr. Deborah Gump, is full of useful goodies, but one of its teaching resources is “Math for journalists – and readers.” Included are math story dilemmas (READ: story problems) journalists – and their readers – face frequently. Yes, the answers are there, too – and so are two PowerPoints.
• HSJ.org is THE site for lesson plans for you, but it includes plenty to share with others in your building. One is perfect as a gift for a history teacher. JEA Illinois State Director Stan Zoller, who attended the ASNE Institute at Hampton University in 2003, created “Watergate: The Coverage and the Aftermath.”
• Concordia University’s HotChalk offers a range of lesson plans tied to rather generic but probably useful standards. For instance, for social studies teachers “Do Something about…Teen voting/civic engagement” gives examples of using writing to spur others to action. Activities include role playing as muckrakers and creating blogs while seeing what impact those can have on civic engagement in the real world.
• The New York Times and Learning Network is just full of lesson plans, all formatted and complete with accompanying materials.
• How about sharing a lesson plan on the history of Valentine’s Day with materials from articles in that publication.
• The economics teacher might like “Here Comes the . . . Bill,” a lesson plan on the cost of milestone events.
• Do teachers in theater classes have students study reviews? Offer them a lesson plan from the New York Times that discusses the pros and cons of using movie reviews to choose what to see.
Use Scholastic Journalism Week to build some good will with these gifts for your fellow teachers. And my gift to you? Some sites you may not have known about, full of additional lesson plans for you!