Lesson 3.2: Team Work and Planning

Subjects: Journalism, Language Arts, Social Studies

Estimated Time: One 45-minute class period

Grade Level: Upper Elementary, Middle and High School

Overview
Working in groups can be challenging for even the best students and so helping kids learn how to work well together can be an invaluable lesson not only in journalism but across the curriculum. Remind students that while some news organizations have APJs (All Platform Journalists) who work in field alone producing news packages, it is still common practice to collaborate in teams of two to five production members.

Materials: Print out Worksheet A for each group. Have at least 2 sheets of 8.5” x 11” paper for each group

Warm Up Activity
The Great Marshmallow Challenge

or

Which Holds More?

Which Holds More?

1. Put students into groups and in front of the class give pose this question to your students  “which holds more?”

  • An 8.5” x 11” sheet of paper rolled into a cylinder the long way/hotdog way?
  • An 8.5” x 11” sheet of paper rolled into a cylinder the short way/hamburger way?
  • Or do they hold the same amount?

Give each group at least two sheets of paper and tell them to figure it out on their own without using any technological resources or text books.  Emphasize to the group that they should carefully examine the wording of the question and to be prepared to share their answer and explanation to the class in ten minutes.

At the end of ten minutes have each group give their answer and explain why they are right.

This exercise gives students an opportunity to try to work together and be creative- something they will need in order to work together successfully.

Main Activity
Group Work Beginnings

Pass out Worksheet A to pre-arranged groups and go over page 1 of the worksheet. Some of the items may seem silly, but are very important in helping students move from “their” identity, to a collaborative “team” identity.  Give them 5-10 minutes to complete Page 1 and assign positions. Walk around to facilitate.

Direct students attention back to the front of the classroom and share with them several great resources from  other Student Reporting Labs groups from around the country:

  • View the Student Reporting Labs link to see what your high school around the country peers are producing.
  • Advanced students who are seriously interested in pursuing a career in journalism can check out Soul of Athens by students at Ohio University’s School of Visual Communication and E.W. Scripps School of Journalism.
  • Also the winning multimedia stories from The College Photographer of the Yearcompetition.

After students have had a chance to feel inspired and get their creative juices flowing they should complete the rest of Page 2. The producer should get as much input from your team as possible. The producer of the news package should be inviting and engaging with his/her team. Everyone should feel invested in the project regardless of whether it is a three-minute news story or a longer feature story.

Before students are allowed to move on, make sure that their story pitch sounds solid. You may choose to let each group present in one minute to the rest of the class their story idea or simply run it past you.

Once students have prepped for their story read through Page 3 with the entire class and answer any questions students may have about scripting.  Then allow students on their own to complete Page 4.

Students are now very close to being ready to going out to capture their story (although that may have to take place during the next class or at another agreed upon time). Use the video tutorials to ensure that they have a solid foundation for using the equipment and conducting interviews.

*Make sure that you follow up with groups about their rules and help them to make sure that expectations continue to be met throughout the course.  AND if students commit behaviors that the group decided would expel them from the group it is YOUR job to follow through with them and ask the student to leave.  That student will be given an alternative assignment and have to work without the group.

Standards

Common Core
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.8.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.7.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 7 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.8.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 8 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.1 Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9–10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.11-12.1 Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 11–12 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

ISTE
ISTE: Media Concepts, 6.0 
Students will demonstrate leadership, citizenship, and teamwork skills required for success in the school, community, and workplace.

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