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Choosing social media tools


In this lesson, students use a decision-making model to determine the most appropriate social media tool for their intended purpose. They will build on previous knowledge by developing a framework to select the best social media tools in different scenarios. Then they will create an infographic or written policy manual section that could be used to convey this information to their staff.


  • Students will develop a framework for determining the best social media tool to use in a given scenario.
  • Students will evaluate the pros and cons of social media tools for different scenarios.
  • Students will communicate their decision-making process in a product.

Common Core State Standards

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.9-10.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization and analysis of content.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.9-10.1.D 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.9-10.4 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.


70 minutes (or several class periods, depending on the use of extension activities)


Handout: Choosing social media tools entrance ticket

Answer key: Choosing social media tools entrance ticket

Handout: Choosing social media tools framework assignment

Assessment: Choosing social media tools

Rubric: Choosing social media tools

Lesson step-by-step

1. Warm-up — 5-10 minutes

Distribute the entrance ticket and give students time to complete it. This assignment aligns with the Social media 101, Writing social media posts for breaking news, and Investigating the pros and cons of social media outlets lessons in the Marketing and Audience Engagement curriculum and may be adapted to align with other lessons about social media you have used in your classroom. You might also use the Social Media + Photography lesson from the Photojournalism module or the Truth and Social Media lesson from the News Literacy module for a broader analysis of social media before using this lesson.

2. Tap prior knowledge5-10 minutes

Go over the answers to the entrance ticket with students and clarify any misconceptions they might have about the purposes and features of social media tools. If students need a refresher, you might consider using the slideshow presentations in the Social media 101, Writing social media posts for breaking news, and Investigating the pros and cons of social media outlets lessons in the Marketing and Audience Engagement curriculum.

3. Task review — 5 minutes

Distribute the task instructions and discuss. Make sure students understand the directions for how to develop a decision-making framework and how they are supposed to apply their knowledge once they have completed their framework.

4. Practice — 45 minutes

Give students time to complete their frameworks and begin creating their products or completing the lesson assessment. There are three options for this lesson:

  • Infographic or written policy section: Students will create an infographic or write a policy section for a staff manual about how to determine the best social media tool for different scenarios. Either product could be used with a journalism staff to convey the framework they created.
  • Presentation (for advanced students): Students will create a presentation about their framework that could be given to school personnel, parents or other adults to build rapport about students’ decision-making abilities as related to social media.
  • Assessment (for less experienced students): Students will complete a worksheet, which could also be used as a quiz, in which they use their framework to respond to several scenarios and justify their use of a social media tool for each scenario.

You may choose to extend the lesson further and/or spread across additional class periods, depending on your students and the amount of class time you wish to devote to the assessment process.


This lesson includes adapted assessments for advanced and less ready learners, as well as extensions to multiple lessons you might use for students who need a specific review of social media concepts.