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TeachNet NYC  |  Lesson Plans  |  Teachnet

Hot links for Student Journalists

Project URL: http://teachersnetwork.org/teachnet-lab/fklane/pmaslow/journalism.html

How it works:
Students go to the hot links page on the web and then choose other student articles to read from all over the country. Depending on what type of article, commentary or feature/news, the students evaluate the article using a worksheet. Usually, it takes a full class period for a student to find an article he or she is interested in, read and complete an evaluation. Students are allowed to work with a partner or in groups.

Another type of activity using the hot links is to do the contest from SSNB by going to www.straightscoop.org.  The contest entry has to be a feature article published in the school paper and mailed to the contest by May 31. The site provides excellent ideas for articles and resources as well.

Other hot link sites included in the project actually instruct students how to write a certain kind of article. One site provides expert analysis of a current newspaper article.

What you need:
Internet connection and search engine such as Netscape.

The students: 
Two levels of journalism students use these hotlinks. Beginning students use them with structured guidance from the teacher. Advanced journalism students who currently write for the newspaper can have more freedom to explore. However, all students are required to hand in their evaluation of what they have read.

Overall value:
Student journalists need to meet specific criteria when writing a feature or news article. Evaluating how other writers satisfy the requirements of the form of article, especially other students journalists, is very useful.

Also, students need to come up with new ideas for articles, often inspired by the exploration of these hotlinks. The contests are also very motivating.

Technology: Students develop critical thinking and research skills while evaluating the credibility and appropriateness of Web sites and the validity of the information available at those sites. They locate specified sites, employ the computer and the Internet as research tools and resources, develop word-processing skills, develop research skills appropriate to computer usage, and express information with accuracy and creativity. 

Language Arts: Students read and comprehend informational materials to develop understanding and expertise, and produce written work that makes connections to related topics or information. They critique a document, skim texts to gain an overall impression and for particular information, and take notes and organize information.

Teachers should evaluate the links themselves, decide what their student journalists' needs are and use the links in lessons accordingly.

Peggy Maslow, a New York City high school English teacher for 23 years,  has used technology in the classroom for over 16 years. She has also been her school's newspaper advisor for almost two years. She has taught all levels of students ranging from those with reading difficulties to honors, and has taught courses in journalism, mystery, American literature and other topics.

E-mail Contact: 


Subject 1:
Language Arts

Subject 2: Journalism

Number of class periods: 10 or more

Beginning grade level: 9

Ending grade level: 12



What do you think of my project?  I'd really like to hear your opinion - 
Click here
for a very brief survey.


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