NWHM Journalism Lesson Plan
Content Area/Online Exhibit:Women with a Deadline: Female Printers, Publishers,and Journalists from the Colonial Period to World War I
Grade Level: 5th-8th Grades
Lesson Prepared By: Kïrsten Blake
When students take a field trip to a museum they are often given a “guided worksheet” to take with them around the museum and answer questions about the exhibits. This way, the teacher has a way to guide the students through the museum and ensure that they are learning from what they are seeing. Often, there is a good amount of information, so guided worksheets are a good way to keep students focused and on-point while exploring the space.
This lesson provides the students with a “guided worksheet” to help them navigate their way through the Online Exhibit, Women with a Deadline. The information on the website spans many years, so the Guided Worksheet helps the students stay focused, so that they do not become overwhelmed with the depth of information.
The teacher has two options on how the students can use the guided worksheet:
- Students work with a partner to navigate through the entire Online Exhibit and answer all the questions on the Guided Worksheet. Since there are 27 questions, the teacher might decide to give the students 1-2 classes to find all the necessary answers.
- Use the “Jigsaw Method”—the teacher places the students into groups of 4-5. The Guided Worksheet is divided into sections so that each student in the group gets 5-6 questions to answer (Please note: ALL students should answer question #27). Each individual student will be responsible for answering the questions that they are assigned by navigating through the Online Exhibit, Women with a Deadline. The teacher then puts all the students who answered the same questions into groups—these are their “expert groups.” The expert groups are given time to discuss what they found, see where they might need to add information that they might have missed and get feedback from one another. The original groups then get back together…each member of the group will have researched a different part of the Online Exhibit, so they will then be responsible for teaching their portion to the rest of their group. Group members should be sure to write down the information they are learning from their peer on the Guided Worksheet.
As a final assessment, each student will be responsible for writing a newspaper article about the Online Exhibit. The teacher can decide whether class-time is used to write the article OR if it is assigned for homework. The students should use their guided worksheet (which should be complete at this point) to help them write the article. The students can chose to write about one female journalist, the entire Online Exhibit or one theme in the exhibit. The teacher is assessing that the student is including “new” information from the Online Exhibit and is following the guidelines for writing a newspaper article. The students’ articles should be handed in with their completed Guided Worksheets and will be graded. All the students’ articles will be put together to create a classroom newspaper. If able, a teacher should make copies of the final newspaper to pass out to the class so that they can see their work and their peers’ work in its final state.
Time: Determined by teacher…
The teacher can determine how complex and detailed this lesson should be. If s/he wants the students to explore the Online Exhibit in pairs, then they will need more time in the computer lab than if s/he chooses to have students use the Jigsaw Method. If the Jigsaw Method is used, they the students will need a class period to share information with both their “expert group” and their “original group.” Also, the time is determined by whether or not the teacher will have the students write their newspaper article in class or for homework.
Objective: Students will be able to…
- Demonstrate knowledge of women’s contributions to journalism and the press by working collaborativelyin groups and sharing the knowledge learned through the Online Exhibit, Women with a Deadline.
- Name, describe and recognize the important facts in the Online Exhibit, Women with a Deadline, by filling in answers on the Guided Worksheet—either by themselves or with a partner.
- Summarize facts from the Online Exhibit, Women with a Deadline, by writing a well-constructed newspaper article.
- Students should have an understanding of what the 1st Amendment is and why it was created.
- Students should have an understanding of the components of a newspaper article and how to write a newspaper article (i.e. Journalists’ Questions: who, what, when, where, why and how; the Inverted Pyramid, etc.).
- Computer Lab…access to the following link: http://www.nwhm.org/online-exhibits/womenwithdeadlines/wwd1.htm
- If a computer lab is not available, then the teacher can print out the information from the website and create packets. Please Note that the Online Exhibit is 29 pages.
- Print outs of the “Guided Worksheet” for each student. [Available for download here]
Class Starter/Hook: [5 minutes]
- Give the students 2-3 minutes at their desks to write down the names of journalists or newscasters that they know or are familiar with. They can be from local newspapers/TV stations or national ones.
- Ask each student to name at least one from their list, while you write them on their board. If a student doesn’t have a new one to add, then go onto the next student.
- How many did the class come up with at the end?
- Have the class count the number of women that are on the list.
- If there are more men than women, ask the students why they think this is.
- Do the students know about any female journalists from the past?
- As you are examining these facts, have the class come up with a list of three to four questions that they want to know about when it comes to women in journalism. List these questions on a piece of butcher paper and hang it where all the students can see them.
- Explain that they are going to take the next few days to learn more about the contributions that women made to journalism and the press, by examining the NWHM’s Online Exhibit, Women with a Deadline.
- Partner-Research: Either have the students pick a partner or assign them one. These two individuals will then answer all 27 questions on the Guided Worksheet together. If this option is chosen, then the students should be given the 25 minutes during the remaining class period, as well as 20 minutes during the next class period. Then they will have 10-15 minutes to discuss with their partners and another partner-set [so that they will be in groups of 4] any observations based on how they answered the Guided Worksheet.
- Jigsaw Method: Divide the students into groups of 4-5. The Guided Worksheet is divided into sections so that each student in the group gets 5-6 questions to answer (Please note: ALL students should answer question #27). Each individual student will be responsible for answering the questions that they are assigned by navigating through the Online Exhibit, Women with a Deadline. The students will get the 25 minutes during this class period to answer their assigned questions. The next class period, all the students who answered the same questions are placed into groups—these are their “expert groups.” The expert groups are given time [10-15 minutes] to discuss what they found, see where they might need to add information that they might have missed and get feedback from one another. The original groups then get back together…each member of the group will have researched a different part of the Online Exhibit, so they will then be responsible for teaching their portion to the rest of their group. Group members should be sure to write down the information they are learning from their peer on the Guided Worksheet. The original groups will have 20 minutes to teach each other.
- Independent Practice [60 minutes]—
- The “Independent Practice” is spread out over two class periods (unless you are teaching in the block schedule and have a 90 minute class). This is the time that the students have to navigate through the Online Exhibit, Women with a Deadline, and answer the questions on their Guiding Worksheet. As the teacher, you should circulate around the room/computer lab to ensure that students are on task and answer any questions they may have. Also, check to see that their answers are detailed enough—as they will have to pick up the next day and teach fellow classmates about what they are reading. Challenge them to further explain their answers if you feel that they are not detailed enough.
- The remainder of the “Independent Practice” will be the time spent within their groups (please see “Guided Practice” for instructions/time limits). They will either be with their partner and another partner group OR with their expert group/original group during this time. Again, be sure that you are circulating to make sure that the students are on task and contributing to their groups about what they learned from the Online Exhibit.
Closure: [10 minutes]
- Pull class together and discuss observations that were made in their groups.
- Ask two students to explain their answers to Question #27.
- Take the time to look at the questions that the class constructed BEFORE they visited the Online Exhibit, Women with a Deadline. Can they now answer the questions based on what they learned from the exhibit and their peers?
- Take 2 minutes to tell them their assignment for writing a newspaper article using their Guided Worksheets. (Determine if they will have the next day in class to write it OR if they need to do it for homework and hand it in during the next class). Make sure that you have guidelines that are created and can be handed out to them.
- Each individual student will be responsible for writing a newspaper article, which they will hand in along with their completed Guided Worksheet. The teacher should set up guidelines for what is required in the newspaper article. It is suggested that you give the students options about what they can write about. For example, they can chose from writing about one female journalist from the Online Exhibit, doing a “press release” about the Online Exhibit, OR writing an informative article about one certain time period that is covered in the Online Exhibit. Articles should be graded based on both their writing and inclusion of facts from the Online Exhibit. It is recommended that the articles then be compiled into one classroom newspaper and copies be made for each student. Another suggestion is that they sell the newspaper to other grades in the school to raise money for a field trip or your school. That way other students get to learn about the contributions of women journalists and you raise money for the class!
- Have the students look through a local newspaper and see how many women journalists there are. Have them examine the articles that the women are writing and see if they can find any themes or general areas that women are writing about. Are there themes? Is there a balanced staff of women and men writers? What observations were made?
- Invite a local woman newscaster or journalist to come into your class and present. Have her talk about her experiences in journalism and how she got to where she is. How did she decide to become a journalist? Have the students quiz her on her knowledge of past women journalists (based on the information they learned from the Online Exhibit, Women with a Deadline)!
- Women in the Press:
- Writing newspaper articles:
- Jigsaw Method:
1. Students read a wide range of print and nonprint texts to build an understanding of texts, of themselves, and of the cultures of the United States and the world; to acquire new information; to respond to the needs and demands of society and the workplace; and for personal fulfillment. Among these texts are fiction and nonfiction, classic and contemporary works.
3. Students apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts. They draw on their prior experience, their interactions with other readers and writers, their knowledge of word meaning and of other texts, their word identification strategies, and their understanding of textual features (e.g., sound-letter correspondence, sentence structure, context, graphics).
4. Students adjust their use of spoken, written, and visual language (e.g., conventions, style, vocabulary) to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and for different purposes.
5. Students employ a wide range of strategies as they write and use different writing process elements appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes.