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Lesson Plans

Roseanne Riolo
English teacher
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Lesson Plans

The Key to Good Journalism is Storytelling

The Key to Good Journalism is Storytelling

Roseanne Riolo of Woodlands Middle/High School in Hartsdale, N.Y.

Roseanne M. Riolo
Woodlands High School
Hartsdale, N.Y.

Title: The Key to Good Journalism is Storytelling


Storytelling is writing and sharing an engaging story. Storytelling is something that is personal, individual. In journalism, the journalist must know the audience and capture the attention of the audience. There is a story lurking around everywhere!

Activity 1

Discussion of individual objects found at the site of the World Trade Center tragedy. (Paper cup with water, squeegee used to open elevator, etc.) There are stories everywhere and in everything; you could use another major event.

  • Teacher brings in objects: Pens, paper, chalk, student objects, objects brought in by teacher (medal, fuzzy-tipped pen, licorice, and baby powder container, etc.)
  • Students brainstorm about their objects.
  • Four-minute writing assignment.
  • Two-minute discussion.
  • Two minutes listening.
  • Evaluation.

Homework: Show class articles about certain items. Line up on desk. Ask student to pick ONE article and write a four-minute story about it. Time the writing.

Homework: Bring an individual object to class that has become a symbol or a valuable trinket.

Activity 2

Students will:

  • Write a four-minute story about an individual OBJECT in their lives that has become a symbol or a valuable trinket.
  • Discuss the story with the partner (listener) for two minutes.
  • Listen to the partner’s story for two minutes.
  • Gain praise from the partner for “”what was good about the story.”” No criticism allowed at this time.
  • Write a four-minute story.


Have students write a longer story.

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