Student Reporting Labs Curriculum

PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs is a project-based learning program that supports teachers and young people to report on important issues in their community, creating impactful video reports for local media outlets and the national PBS NewsHour.

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

The full curriculum is available to teachers who have been accepted to the Student Reporting Lab program, but we have posted 10  flexible lessons that can be used in the context of courses in English, social studies, or video production classes and include critical thinking, analysis and production activities. Each lesson is designed for a 50-minute class with engaging high-interest activities to nurture a sense of purpose and accomplishment. We’ve also taken a deep dive into the Common Core State Standards, ELA and ISTE to make sure that your students’ involvement in the program helps prepare them for college and career and builds life-long learning skills that translate to other areas of their lives, both academic and personal growth.

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.

SRL Video Tutorials:

The SRL team has updated our video tutorial collection with a new series called “LEVEL UP” — aimed at inspiring your students to take their storytelling and camerawork to new heights.

An early nine-part instructional video series starring SRL teacher Gil Garcia can be found here.

More key resources for Teachers and Mentors:

Pitch Sheet – make sure that students fill in this pitch sheet and get feedback from the teacher, mentor or PBS NewsHour before continuing.

Student Release Form – Please send this release form home with your students and have a parent or guardian sign it. Because students’ work will be displayed across the Web and possibly on television, it’s important to make parents aware of the program and receive their permission.


The following files represent past versions of the SRL curriculum: