Lesson Plan : V.I.J Very Important Journalists

Teacher Name:
 Mrs. Brenda Evers
Grade:
 Grade 9-10
Subject:
 Language Arts

Topic:
 Researching noted journalists
Content:
 Journalism History of Journalists
Goals:
 Students will use a variety of materials to research the biographical background of a noted American journalist. Students will write a short journalistic paragraph telling the who, what, where, when, why and how this person became a noted journalist. Students will create and present the poster of the V.I.J with only a photo and caption paragraph of information. Students will keep bibliographical information following MLA format about the sources of the V.I.J.
Objectives:
 To read and summarize information about a very important journalist. To create a visual poster with a picture and the most basic information in an interesting format: Who was this person? What did this person do in journalism? When did this person become famous? WHere did this person live and work? Why did this journalist become noted for his/her work? How did this person accomplish these achievements?
Materials:
 List of noted American journalists. Library resources -- books, magazines and internet.
Introduction:
 At the beginning of the term, introduce the terms of Mass Communication, journalism and especially Journalist. Ask class to list names of several famous journalists; most will know today's celebrities--Katie Couric, Anderson Cooper, etc. Discuss how they became famouse or noted in their field --tv, print,photography, radio, etc.
Development:
 Show them a list of noted journalists from the text and history of Journalism. Each must select one to research the WHO,WHAT,WHERE, WHEN, WHY and HOW of each journalist.
Practice:
 Since few students will know John Peter Zenger, yet he is in the text and the first journalist to give the U.S the right to freedom of the press, create a poster of Peter Zenger, using the MLA source documentation of the textbook and a website photo.
Accommodations:
 These students are directed to more easily available journalists and are assigned only one source and picture instead of two. Everyone is given two days in the library or research and creation mode; if the student needs more time, she/he is given extra time before presentations. Also, if needed put students in teams of two to work on same journalist.
Checking For Understanding:
 Before the poster presentation to the class, students must help each other in the library or in the class room with a prepared rubric which tells them exactly what is needed in the poster, report, bibliography and presentation. The teacher is constantly helping, monitoring and checking each person's work before the posters are presented.
Closure:
 On the third or fourth day (depending on when they are ready), students place posters on the wall of fame, talk about their chosen V.I.J. and answer any questions that audience may ask. They turn in the rubric and all papers attached. The audience must take notes and applaud for each presentation. As we continue the course, we refer to all the journalists as we study the time periods.
Evaluation:
 The individual work in the library or classroom is monitored. The rubic of the poster and writing is graded. The 1-3 minute oral presentation is graded as a part of the rubric.

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