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Creating a professional news package


Reflecting on previous work, students will practice how to conduct a critique. Then, using the provided clips and footage shot by professionals, students will edit a news package. Afterward, they will compare and contrast their choices with those of the pros.


  • Students will be able to analyze work using common criteria and present their findings using support for their opinions.
  • Students will be able to edit work applying provided criteria and evaluate it based on professional standards.

Common Core State Standards

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.11-12.2 Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; summarize complex concepts, processes, or information presented in a text by paraphrasing them in simpler but still accurate terms.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.11-12.3 Follow precisely a complex multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks; analyze the specific results based on explanations in the text.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.11-12.6 Analyze the author’s purpose in providing an explanation, describing a procedure or discussing an experiment in a text, identifying important issues that remain unresolved.


Five or six 60-minute sessions (varies based on class size and equipment)


Slideshow: Professional package presentation

Handout: JEA broadcast package review sheet

Handout: Gun club gets grant (script)

Video clips:

Lesson step-by-step
1. Group discussion — 60 minutes

Review student-produced news packages you have produced with your class at this point. Ask students to reflect and share what does or does not make their package “airable.” Why should this project be a model for future students, or what could have been done differently? (The slideshow presentation has prompts to guide you through this and each part of the lesson.)

2. Think-pair-share — 120 minutes

Split the class into appropriate-sized groups that allow you to thoroughly analyze the local stations you have in town. If you have limited availability, consider selecting stories for students on your own in advance. Review the JEA Broadcast Package Review Sheet with your students. This is the same rubric used in the JEA Broadcast Write-offs.

Choose an example news package from your local market and play it for your students. Use the criteria, broken down individually on the slideshow, to talk about each specific point on the rubric as it relates to the story you chose.

When finished with the example package, ask each group to find, watch and critique at least two different news packages. They should then present their critique to the class. You could also assign each student to critique one news package as homework to present to the class the next day.

3. Direct instruction — 15 minutes

Review the provided script “Gun club gets grant” with the students. Be sure to review scriptwriting terms with the students. The presentation highlights key terms and definitions.

4. Practice — 105 minutes

Give the students the remainder of the day and the next class period to work independently to edit the news package to the script. Be sure not to give students the recap video at this point. (The timing here may vary depending on student skill level and equipment availability.

5. Discussion — 60 minutes

Watch the provided recap video. Then discuss as a class what students saw and in what ways students made different decisions with their own edits.

6. Reflection

As a simple form assessment, invite students to complete a brief written reflection. Consider using notecards, Post-its or quarter-page handouts as an exit ticket. Because this lesson will continue across multiple class periods, you may want to use a daily journal at the end of each class to check for understanding instead. Possible reflection questions and ways to check for understanding include:

  • Which criteria from the rubric are most important to a package? Why?
  • How does one editing decision affect another?
  • As a class, which aspects seem to be a strength based on the packages you reviewed? Which skill or criteria seem to be the biggest areas for improvement? How can you tell?
  • Which edits in your project differ from the finished professional sample? If you would change any of your decisions now, what would you do differently, and why?


Consider adding more time or pairing students based on ability level as needed to complete the package in a professional manner that is appropriate for your class.