Student Reporting Labs Curriculum & Lesson Plans

PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs (SRL) creates project-based learning resources to support teachers and young people invested in building vital media literacy skills and reporting on important issues in their community. The stories students produce through SRL’s award-winning curriculum are shared with local media outlets and the national PBS NewsHour.

Along with technical instruction on the use of cameras and editing equipment, our lesson plans focus on understanding the role of journalism in society and developing broader media literacy and communication skills, including listening, asking questions, writing scripts, teamwork and public speaking.

In response to the increasing demand for SRL programming, we created StoryMaker, a new, free, self-directed online curriculum and resource tool that serves as a one-stop shop for educators interested in engaging with SRL’s signature youth journalism and storytelling resources. 

Every resource on StoryMaker is standards-aligned to help students build life-long learning skills that translate to other areas of their lives, both academic and personal growth. On StoryMaker, you’ll find:

  • Lesson plans, activities, and how-tos for journalism, video and audio production, recording, and editing
  • Media making and journalism challenges and projects 
  • Personalized dashboard for educators
  • Calendar with upcoming opportunities such as challenge deadlines and professional development
  • Educator directory to connect with like-minded teachers
  • Office hour scheduling with youth media experts

SIGN UP and WATCH this video to help you get started.

Sample signature lesson plans now on StoryMaker:

2021-2022 PROMPTS:

Every year, Student Reporting Labs (SRL) creates new prompts for students in our network to create video stories about topics tied to national and newsworthy issues. Labs in SRL’s community use the prompt instructions and guidelines to submit work to our team of youth media producers for publication.

Any school, teacher, and student can use our newest prompts to practice essential video journalism and production skills. The prompts include deadlines, but educators can create their own timelines and deadlines. You may submit student work that you would like for SRL and the PBS NewsHour to consider for publication by following the submission instructions in each project. SRL chooses your story for publication, and a producer will be in touch with you.

RESEARCH:

Independent research from the Temple University Media Education Lab and New Knowledge Organization show that students who participate in Student Reporting Labs have significant increases in media literacy, news literacy, STEM and information literacies, as well as critical thinking skills. After producing video news stories and experiencing public recognition for their work, students are more civically engaged, meaning that they are more likely to discuss current events, seek out different types of news, share stories and volunteer in their community.