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Lesson Plans

Chris Ardis
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Lesson Plans

Redesigning The Wheel

Full coverage

Full coverage

Chris Ardis of McAllen High School in McAllen, Texas.

Chris S. Ardis
McAllen High School
McAllen, Texas

Title: Full Coverage

Generative Topics

Generative Objects

Understanding Goals Essential or Guiding Questions

Critical Engagement Questions

Performances of Understanding, Rationale and Time Line

This unit actually encompasses two areas: defining our coverage community and mindfulness of diverse populations. It is essential for an effective newspaper to cover all segments of its community. This unit will take approximately two weeks to complete.

Activity 1

Place the students in groups of three. Give each group a camera. (Depending on the number of cameras available, this may have to be done in shifts. If this is the case, provide the students left in the classroom with a variety of magazines and ask them to cut out pictures of as many different types of people as they can.) Tell the students they have one day to take pictures of different people with the goal of defining their school community. The following day, students will develop their group’s pictures.

Activity 2

Have each group present its pictures to the other groups. Discuss the similarities and differences. Acknowledge different groups within our school community.

  • Which groups were left out or barely covered?
  • Which groups were covered too heavily?

Look at the wall with the names of all of the different teams and organizations within the school. Line up the ones that were represented through the pictures. Make a separate line representing those that were not represented at all. Discuss this.

Activity 3

Continue by having the students look at a couple of week’s issues of The Monitor, our daily newspaper.

  • What local groups are represented several times?
  • What groups can the students identify that are not represented at all during this time frame?

Do the same with last year’s issues of The Wheel, McAllen High School’s student newspaper. Let this lead into the topic of diversity and the importance of covering all areas of our school and city communities. Use the Diversity Analysis Tally Sheet from "The Full Palette Diversity Guide" as a basis for determining diversity in the issues from last year’s papers.

Activity 4

Complete the activity from The Full Palette Diversity Guide entitled “Total Coverage-Covering All Sectors of the Student Body”. This is a 2-3 day activity.

Activity 5

Discuss with the students ethical concerns about covering diverse populations. When is it necessary to use a person’s race in a newspaper story, and when should this be left out? Lead into a discussion on stereotypes and experiences the students have had that have left them feeling discriminated against.


Students will be divided into two to three large groups. Each group will be asked to produce a four-page newspaper, which covers diverse populations within our school. Two stories in the paper must be about the McAllen community at large. The group should include with their completed newspaper, but as a separate document, a rationale for the stories and pictures that were used and how they address the issues concerning diversity. Ethical concerns they faced while producing the paper should also be pointed out.

Resources Recommended

"The Full Palette Diversity Guide" edited by Mary Arnold (Iowa City: The University of Iowa, 1996)

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