Journalism Lessons

Are you a veteran sponsor of your school's newspaper but want to check out some new lesson ideas?
Are you new to sponsoring the school's newspaper and are not sure where to even begin?

Either way, take a moment to check out these journalism products. Not only will they help you to plan lessons that will turn your students into top-notch journalists, but they will show you ways to  create a school newspaper that will meet deadlines while offering articles that exhibit the students' understanding of the tenets of journalism.

This page provides the summaries and links for all of my Journalism activities and lessons that you will find in my Teachers pay Teachers store:

Have fun shopping.

Journalism 1 Whole Course Lessons and Worksheets
Middle School and High School Journalism Lessons
This 14-page posting offers a chronological order of lessons, by quarter, to teach beginning journalism students the basic concepts of journalistic writing such as What is News?, the various structures and genres of journalistic writing,interviewing, learning layout and design and studying media ethics. It offers lessons and activities that reinforces these concepts and prepares students to write and publish a quality high school newspaper.  ($4.50)

 Journalism: Analyzing Newspaper Leads and Articles Worksheets
Journalism: Analyzing Newspaper Leads and Articles Worksheets
This is a packet of templates for students to analyze various types of leads and articles studied in Journalism 1 (J1), the introductory course that supports the publication of a school newspaper.Teachers may also use them with any advanced Journalism classes to review and reinforce the standards for leads and types of journalistic writing. After they complete the handouts, each student writes a piece on any topic they choose for each genre. 

The following principles-necessary to guarantee the newsworthiness of any article-make a terrific poster to pin up in the classroom. 

Six Principles of Every Journalism Story:
Read the details on the criteria for these lessons on

Activity Sheets, Analyzing Journalism Genres, Middle School Language Arts Lesson Plans, High School Language Arts Lesson Plans ($4.00)

 Journalism:Beat Sheet
Middle School and High School Journalism Lessons
Because it is important for a school newspaper to cover cover all of the clubs and activities a middle or high school offers, this Beat Sheet presents a succinct way for journalism students to find story ideas they can develop. Sometimes the info is quite brief, i.e. an announcement of up-coming events, so it is summarized in a column set aside for that purpose. Other times, the information sparks ideas for a news or feature piece. The Beat Sheet is an excellent way for newspaper staffs to find ideas and to plan for the next issue. Also, it offers first year students a chance to write for the paper, insuring their desire to remain a part of the journalism scene throughout their high school careers.($1.25)

Journalism: Reporting Practice Worksheets
Journalism: Reporting Practice WorksheetsReporting Practice Assignment Teacher Notes:
This is an excellent activity for students to practice interviewing techniques, to write effective leads, and to write straight news stories.
Here are some of the directions:
Students: For this assignment, you will take on two different roles: that of a reporter writing an accurate story relating the event in question, and then that of a person to be interviewed for a scenario( this must be different from the one that you are writing). If you are a reporter one day, you will be a person in a scenario the next day, and vice versa.

Person to be interviewed:
You will receive a piece of paper that explains the role that you are playing. You will meet with the other people in this scenario and will create a story line based on the scenario fact sheet. As a group, you will come up with specific facts that happened during the incident to be used later when you are being interviewed. You will also need to make-up biographical and/or work-related information about yourself. In some of the scenarios, you will have to decide whose side you will take in the conflict.

You will interview the people involved with the story in order to obtain the facts for your article. You will conduct interviews with these people and write a factual news story. Reporters: ask the person that you are interviewing to create a list of:
what he/she witnessed
what he/she is working on to solve the case
what he/she experienced
what he/she knows
his/her biographical information

The format and context criteria, as well as all 7 scenarios are included in the complete product. ($3.00)

Journalism Article & Layout Rubric & Guidelines Printables
Middle School and High School Journalism Lessons
Consistency in articles and layout is the key for producing quality high school newspapers. The two rubrics posted here are used by the staff on The Stinger, our school newspaper. After compiling student feedback, I chose to focus on the points that cause the most stress, and those which the class has deemed the most important for creating quality pieces and for meeting the monthly deadlines. The layout guidelines refer to the InDesign CS4 program. Although I sell the Taboo Words and Phrases list as a separate posting, since I referred to it in the Articles Rubric, I have included it here. Also included is a sample News article by a young man who shows consistent quality writing. He has given his permission for me to include his piece. ($3.00)

Journalism: Fact-Finding Scavenger Hunt
Journalism: Fact-Finding Scavenger Hunt

One vital aspect of being a successful reporter is learning how and where to find factual information. With this activity, students will use any source that they can, i.e. the internet, the telephone, in-person interviews, etc., to figure out the needed information. An answer key is included. 

This product offers students the chance to exhibit a number of reporting skills. Although I use this activity for a Journalism 1 class, teachers could also use this in any language arts class to reinforce a lesson on facts vs. opinions or on research techniques. ($3.00)

Journalism Rights and Ethics Scavenger Hunt
Middle School and High School Journalism Lessons
This is a 21 question (many questions with multiple points) scavenger hunt where students use their reporting skills to find answers to questions about the First Amendment, the Code of Ethics for the Society of Professional Journalists, information about famous and infamous journalists and much more. It's a great way for students to learn about the rights of professional and, importantly for them, student publications.

Journalism Ethics Activities
Middle School and High School Journalism Lessons
Helping students to understand that print and broadcast journalists follow a code of ethics formed by the Society of Professional Journalists, is crucial to their growth and development as journalists. Whether they are taking journalism just to be on the staff of the school newspaper or if they plan a career in this field, students need to be fully cognizant of journalists' ethical responsibilities. ($3.00)

Journalism Movie Worksheets
Middle School and High School Journalism Lessons
During the study of various aspects of journalism (Facts vs. Fiction, interviewing and reporting, investigative reporting and journalism ethics), I show the following movies: Absence of Malice, All the President's Men, Shattered Glass and The Insider. The worksheets in this packet insure that the students actively watch the films. In the Preview, I offer a Parent Permission Form that I attach to the syllabus in September. If a parent wants his/her child to opt out, I send the young person to the Media Center with a correlating assignment, or I have the student complete the worksheet using the Internet. ($3.00)

Journalism  Movie: "good night, and good luck" Research and Activity

Movie: "good night, and good luck" Research and Activity
This product offers students a chance to research and discuss some of the people and events from the McCarthy Era for study prior to the viewing of the movie, "good night, and good luck". It also includes eight open-ended questions for post-viewing discussions. 

The ideas and discussion questions in this lesson also can be used in conjunction with my PowerPoint: Teachers may choose any of the names and incidents from the slide presentation to emphasize by using the research aspect as well as the discussion questions that compose this activity. Download this activity from ($1.50)

 Journalism: Murrow vs. McCarthy PowerPoint
Journalism: Murrow vs. McCarthy PowerPointThe purpose of this 8-slide presentation is to familiarize students with Edward R. Murrow and Joseph McCarthy before they view the movie, good night, and good luck. Although various slides refer to McCarthyism, HUAC and other players who were a part of the scene for this aspect of U.S. history, these topics are addressed only enough to give a general understanding. I chose to focus on Murrow and McCarthy, as they are the key components of the film, and students need some 5 Ws and H knowledge about the conflict between them. I always find the PowerPoint presentation serves as an information-rich appetizer to the movie. However teachers choose to use this product, it raises some interesting comparing and contrasting the middle of the 20th century with contemporary national and international events issues. Their clash plays a big part in my 4th quarter Journalism 1 class which focuses on Ethics in Journalism. An activity for the movie, with a Pre-Viewing Research aspect that is excellent to use with this PowerPoint can be downloaded from for $1.50. Download the Murrow vs. McCarthy PowerPoint PowerPoint for $4.00 from

Journalism - Analyzing Front Page Stories

Middle School and High School Journalism Lessons

This 6-page activity for Middle and High School journalism students, "Journalism - Analyzing Front Page Stories" speaks to both of these concerns.It is essential for beginning journalism students and it also makes an excellent reinforcement lesson for advanced journalism students.

Students will use the Front Pages section found on the Newseum site to choose Front Pages of newspapers from around the United States to analyze.

This activity encourages students to explore what stories newspapers choose for the Front Page and why. Also, students will develop their analytic and critical thinking skills which are essential in both print and broadcast journalism.

Journalism - Research and Interviewing Activity

Middle School and High School Journalism Lessons

For this activity, "Journalism - Research and Interviewing Activity," Middle and High School student journalists focus on Who to interview and What questions to ask. Although they receive very basic facts for each scenario outlined in Activity 1, their job is to consider what information they would need to write an effective news, feature, or sports story.

The two research and interviewing activities in this packet, help budding and advanced journalism students gain confidence in finding reputable and reliable sources,in preparing for interviews by composing open-ended questions and in being responsible for a Beat. 

Download this activity from ($2.50).

Journalism Activities Bundle

Middle School and High School Journalism Lessons

This bundle for Middle School and High School aspiring journalists contains 14 journalism activities that are sold separately. Here, teachers can purchase them all for a little more than 20% off the total cost of the separate prices. 

Journalism teachers and newspaper sponsors, check out each product by clicking on my Custom Category -  Download the Journalism Activities Bundle for more than 20% off the separate prices from ($30.00).