Making Curriculum Pop


Journalism Teachers

This group is for journalism educators to share and collaborate with each other.

Members: 23
Latest Activity: Feb 7, 2017

Discussion Forum

ARTICLE & INTERVIEW: The Film Spotlight & Research Methods 2 Replies

If you have not seen the Oscar Nominated film Spotlight - it is essential viewing and an excellent companion film to All The President's Men. Two additional reflections - First an NPR…Continue

Started by Ryan Goble. Last reply by Ryan Goble Jan 19, 2016.

Cells for sale Book Review by Mike Gange

Cells for saleBy Mike Gange The Immortal Life of Henrietta LacksBy Rebecca SklootBroadway…Continue

Tags: sale, for, cells, lacks, henrietta

Started by Mike Gange Oct 23, 2015.

Editorial Cartoon Competition

The first Editorial Cartoon contest from The New York Times’ Learning Network invites students to channel their thoughts into images, with inspiration from The Times’ cartoonists. Students’ challenge…Continue

Started by Frank W. Baker Oct 1, 2015.

How Do You Know What News Sources To Trust? 1 Reply

The news editor for SLATE does a …Continue

Started by Frank W. Baker. Last reply by Shirley Durr Aug 31, 2015.

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Comment by Shirley Durr on June 30, 2011 at 1:03pm

In case you don't already know of it:

Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting: Global Gateway

"inspires students to become active consumers and producers of news and information"


Comment by Mike Gange on February 25, 2011 at 10:31am

Certainly the stuff used by Josten's is golden. You might also find some information from the Poynter Institute in St Petersberg Fla. (Wouldn't that be a road trip!) I think it is poynter dot org for the website.

You might find some ethics cases on Indiana U's web site for journalism.

I think the key is to start small. Build their confidence by smaller items. No more than 200 w. You might make it a game. Anything over 200 w is a mark off for every word, for example. And you might even use something with info graphics, as USA Today does. "Make a chart that shows..." .details......whatever you task them to do. And photography. It's all still journalism, story telling.  

Comment by Janet Miller on February 25, 2011 at 10:03am

I use the curriculum designed by Jostens (123 yearbook) for our yearbook portion. It covers reporting, leads, headlines, captions and such. It is wonderful! It comes with worksheets, powerpoints, and tests ready to go. I would advise your school to purchase this (it even works with middle school). You can just reuse it year after year. I also got the book, Radical Write by Bobby Hawthorne. It is great for teaching them to write from a personal point of view and not just cover the event.


I make up a lot of our curriculum myself and just wing it according to how they do the work. Getting them to write is like pulling teeth. I don't understand why they would join journalism and not want to write. *sigh* The joys of teaching.

Comment by Shirley Durr on February 25, 2011 at 9:26am


I also began my Journalism teaching in those middle years, grades 7 and 8 in my case, and struggled with early adolescent issues while trying to teach something. Everything -- teaching, researching, interviewing, writing, editing, revising, layout -- had to be done during the hour of Journalism class. Some students in that class did not want to be there at all; they just a hole in their schedules that needed filling and counselors doing the scheduling thought this would be an easy "project" class for struggling learners. Somehow I made it work and gained a reputation for doing well with special ed students.

Making things more difficult, most Journalism resources I had given to me, and even the ones I found later, were geared to older students. The constraints of my students' age and maturity, as well as the school's and district's constraints, made adaptation necessary. I also had less than limited budget -- zero. I had to beg money from the gifted and talented program to get anything. What proved helpful was joining a professional organization like Journalism Educators of America (JEA) and National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA), paid for with those begged funds. These two associations, once again, are geared for high school journalism; however, they offer discounts on resources and workshops/conferences. I took my students with me to a local conference and my school paid for a summer week-long local training conference for me. After that conference, I revamped what I had done to that point and wrote a Staff Manual geared for junior high/middle school that served as our journalism text. If you are interested, I'll send you a copy. My students were psyched, by the way, when they won "Best in Show" for a junior high level newspaper when we attended a local conference. I was less psyched since only two schools at this level were present. I was more psyched that two students also won awards.

Query: What textbook do you use (if any)? Again, I found most geared to high school students working on the newspaper after school. Are you producing an online newspaper, print newspaper, or both? I had no cooperation from the school for the online newspaper I dreamed for my students. Instead, we printed the newspaper on the school copier, another money saving choice.

Comment by Janet Miller on January 22, 2011 at 11:52am

Welcome everyone,


This is my first full year of teaching journalism at Thompson Middle School in Quinlan, Texas. We are a small school and our budget is very limited. I have the honor of working with a group of great middle school students to put together our yearbook and learn the basics of writing and journalism techniques.


Don't get me wrong, these are still students so sometimes getting cooperation and teaching accomplished is like pulling teeth. However, I love my students and I wouldn't want to be doing anything else.


Let's start a discussion on how your journalism department is run and ideas you have to make it better. I know that our administration doesn't always listen, so let's listen to each other!


Members (23)



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