Planning for Back-To-School Night or Fee Days
A lesson on why it is important to have a visible presence at Back-To-School Night or Fee Days
Students will research other media staffs around the country to see how they promote their programs at Back-To-School NIghts or Fee Days. They will interview other staff members and compile a list of pros and cons from that staff’s point of view and then analyze from their own point of view. They will develop a plan for their own Back-To-School Night or Fee Days.
- Students will interview peers from around the country.
- Students will examine the arguments for different Back-To-School Nights and Fee Days they discover.
- Students will select the Back-To-School Night or Fee Day structure they think will work best for their staff and explain and defend their position.
Common Core State Standards
|CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.1||Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9-10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.|
|CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.1d||Respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives, summarize points of agreement and disagreement, and, when warranted, qualify or justify their own views and understanding and make new connections in light of the evidence and reasoning presented.|
|CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.2||Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) evaluating the credibility and accuracy of each source.|
|CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.4||Present information, findings, and supporting evidence clearly, concisely, and logically such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and task.|
|CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.7||Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.|
|CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.8||Gather relevant information from multiple authoritative print and digital sources, using advanced searches effectively; assess the usefulness of each source in answering the research question; integrate information into the text selectively to maintain the flow of ideas, avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation.|
Two 50-minute classes and one to two weeks for independent research
Class set: Any current back-to-school or fee day plan for your staff
Access to computers for research (1:1 if possible)
1. Building background — 10 minutes
Explain to students that today they’ll begin a research project to find how other high school media staffs around the country promote themselves at Back-To-School nights and Fee Days. The purpose of doing this research is to see if there is a way of promoting your publication at these events that might work better for your staff than the one you have in place.
Explain that students are going to find another school, make contact with the student editors at that school (possibly through their adviser), interview the student editors and/or advisers, create a list of things that staff does to promote themselves at back-to-school nights and fee days, then report what the editors/advisers you interviewed feel are the pros and cons of that system. In a separate analysis, students will evaluate what they feel could work for our staff and what they believe will not work for our staff.
(Hand out copy of materials we use now to promote ourselves at back-to-school nights and fee days. Do all students realize this is the way you operate? What do they think is working well or not working well now?)
2. Think-pair-share — 10 minutes
Next, group students into groups of three. Allow students to pick a task (reader, writer, speaker). Instruct all students to look over the list of promotional ideas now used and to write down their individual thoughts as to what is working and what isn’t. Then, the group should spend a few minutes discussing their notes. The writer should keep notes on the group’s ideas. Finally, the group should come to a consensus about what they think is working and what is not working and prepare to present to the entire class.
3. Present — 30 minutes
Have each group explain its pros and cons to the class (the speaker talks – one writer can write on white board all pros and cons that are suggested.) See what ideas all groups had in common and discuss as a class what they feel is working/not working and why it is important to see what other schools are doing.
4. Independent research — one week
Each student will be responsible for finding another similar publication staff from somewhere else in the country. (Use resources like the publications you exchange with; a list of similar publications that have won awards like Pacemakers, Gold Crowns, Gallup Awards; a list of high school publications found on www.jeadigitalmedia.org, etc.)
Students should contact the adviser at the school they choose to make sure they are willing to be interviewed and have time to share info about how the staff promotes the publication at back-to-school nights and fee days. Students should also try to get contact information for the editors at the school they choose.
Students should develop a list of interview questions to prepare for their interview and decide how they will conduct the interview. It might be good to conduct a series of interviews so that some rapport can be developed between staff members.
As an end result, each student should create a list of promotional ideas/game plans of the staff they have interviewed. A written report should include a list of the activities used by that staff with a brief description of how each activity is organized.
The written report should also include the pros and cons of the promotional ideas based on the comments gained in the interviews. Distinction should be made between comments of an adviser and those of students.
Finally, the written report should include an analysis by the author of what could work for our staff and what might not work for our staff.
Your proposal should address the following things:
- When will you be setting up a table to do staff promotion? What events? (examples might include back-to-school nights, fee days prior to school opening, club fairs, lunch shifts)
- Who will be working at the table? What will those people be doing?
- What types of displays need to be created?
- Will you sell advertising (patron or business ads), subscriptions or anything else?
- Will you create a pamphlet that summarizes your program?
- Will you have a tri-fold display that visually describes your program?
- Will you need change for anything? If so, how much change do you anticipate needing?
- Will you have any sort of promotional giveaway or raffle? What will you give away?
- What goals do you have for this promotion? What do you hope to get out of it?
- How will you measure if those goals are successful?
5. Individual presentations to class — one class block
Each student will present their research findings to the class by providing us all with a copy of the promotional ideas from the school they researched, describing briefly the results of their interviews, listing the pros and cons as reported by the students/advisers at that school, and then their analysis of their findings and how they might work for our staff.