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editorial page editor: The individual in charge of the editorial page and, at larger newspapers, the op-ed (opposite editorial) page. News Reporting & Writing (Eighth Edition) by the Missouri Group. Copyright 2005. Reproduced by permission of Bedford/St. Martins.

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Lesson Plans

Lisa Reigel
English and journalism teacher
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Lesson Plans

Be a consumer of news

Be a consumer of news

Lisa Reigel of Worthington Kilbourne High School in Columbus, Ohio.

Lisa Reigel
Worthington Kilbourne High School
Columbus, Ohio

Title: Be a consumer of the news

Overall objective: The students will become better reporters by becoming better consumers of the news.

Skill objectives:

The students will be able to:
  • Explain why articles are newsworthy, how they are localized, and evaluate the quality of sources by examining front page articles from daily newspapers.
  • Analyze and critique leads then offer alternatives.
  • Critique the overall writing in the article paying close attention to the active voice.
  • Examine the evidence reporters offer and decide whether it is adequate.
  • Compare and contrast the way different daily papers report the same front page news.


  • Overhead of front page news article from USA Today or other daily paper.
  • Handout explaining assignment (attached)
  • The New York Times, USA Today and several other daily papers (can use online or paper version)
  • A copy of the front page of a national daily and your local daily that covered the same news event.

Activities: 35-45 minutes

  • Using the article on the overhead, model the assignment by discussing each of the skill objectives above. (5-7 minutes)
  • Have groups of students (3-4) create a new lead for the article and then share the leads.  Focus on the fact that the way the lead is written implies what is the most newsworthy in the story. (5-7 minutes)
  • Pass out a copy of USA Today and your local daily paper to each of the tables.  Make sure both papers have the same news story as one of their front page stories.
  • Give tables 15 minutes to read the articles and discuss the similarities and differences.  Have tables make a chart of similarities and differences.  Share as a class and discuss the angles the journalists took based on the difference audiences, the way the papers packaged the story, and where they placed the article on the page. (25 minutes)
  • Assign the current events notebook. (2-3 minutes)


  • Current events notebook is worth 100 points
  • 20 points per critique for a total of 80 points
  • 20 points for compare and contrast paragraph.
  • Use criteria in assignment to determine credit.  Must answer all questions within each of the four criteria thoughtfully to receive full credit. Each of the four sections is worth 5 points.

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