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Entrepreneurship in scholastic journalism


This lesson digs deeper into the “how” of entrepreneurship and what it looks like in high school settings by displaying examples of how other high school journalism programs have engaged in entrepreneurial activities. The lesson is structured around an inquiry format, focused on answering the question, “What are the best ways to engage and invite an audience to participate in a journalistic experience in a high school setting?”


  • Students will be able to evaluate the merits of entrepreneurial activities in a high school setting to determine which activities are more likely to succeed in engaging and inviting an audience to participate in a journalistic experience.
  • Students will be able to discuss entrepreneurial examples in a whole-class setting, offering their own insights and ideas about them and determining which they agree and disagree with.

Common Core State Standards

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.3 Analyze a complex set of ideas or sequence of events and explain how specific individuals, ideas, or events interact and develop over the course of the text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.7 Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words in order to address a question or solve a problem.


60-70 minutes


Data set 1: Social media

Data set 2: In-house marketing

Data set 3: Funding

Data set 4: Branding

Handout: Data set analysis

Handout: What about us? Reflection

Case study rubric

Lesson step-by-step

1. Group brainstorming — 10 minutes

Display the teacher-compiled list of student suggestions for incorporating professional entrepreneurial activities in a high school setting from the end of the Entrepreneurship vs. Reporting Lesson. Ask students to review the list with a partner and determine the three ideas they believe have the best chance of engaging and inviting an audience to participate in a journalistic experience in a high school setting, or to suggest new ideas that may be more effective.

2. Reporting back to the group — 5 minutes

Solicit responses from each partner pair and record students’ initial insights about which activities they believe are most likely to succeed. This record will create a set of class hypotheses before continuing on to the data sets. The teacher should return to this list of hypotheses throughout the class period to ask students to reconsider and revise their thoughts.

3. Data analysis — 25 minutes

Guide students through analysis of the data sets, either via slideshow, a document camera or on paper, depending on your situation. Students should be asked to consider each set on their own and then to talk to their partner about it, filling out the chart in their handout as they go from data set to data set. Consider using the Case Study Rubric to grade this work.

4. Large group discussion — 10 minutes

Conduct a full-class discussion on each data set before moving on to the next one to analyze the set in light of what is known about entrepreneurial activities and to consider how it informs their own perspectives about how they should be conducted in a high school setting. Give students an opportunity to revise their hypotheses several times during the data set analysis.

5. Hypothesis revisiting — 5 minutes

At the end, ask students to reconsider their list of hypotheses and offer thoughts on which are more important, based on the data sets. Students may also be asked to provide outside knowledge that the class may not have considered with the data sets.

6. Student evaluation — 5 minutes

Conclude the inquiry by asking students to consider and evaluate their current reality in terms of entrepreneurship in their school-based news business. Some questions to consider: What is going well? What is not? Which types of entrepreneurial activities are being addressed and which are left out? What is the audience responding to the most? What are their dreams for their program? The “What about us? Reflection” assignment should be completed for homework.