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News gathering vocabulary


During a slide presentation on 62 terms related to news gathering, research, interviewing and advanced reporting, students will complete a study sheet to study the terms. Support activities include vocabulary bingo and vocabulary word sort. Teachers may also opt for a word wall. The lesson concludes with a test on the terms. Throughout discussion of terms, instructor is encouraged to extend discussion by talking about or showing examples.


  • Students will build a foundation of knowledge of news gathering terms.
  • Students will place news gathering terms in proper context.
  • Students will classify terms into news gathering sub groups (news judgment, research, interviewing, fact-checking and advanced reporting).

Common Core Standards

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.7 Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.9-10.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone (e.g., how the language of a court opinion differs from that of a newspaper).


Portions of eight or nine class periods. None of the lesson steps requires an entire class period except the test.


Slideshow: News gathering vocabulary

Class set: Review of terms handouts (1-31 and 32-62)

Class set: Unit test and key

Optional use:

News judgment vocabulary

Research vocabulary

Interviewing vocabulary

Advanced reporting vocabulary

Class set: Vocabulary Bingo game charts (chart 1 has odd items; chart 2 has even items) and teacher sheets

Vocabulary word sort cards

Lesson step-by-step

Each step is meant to take no more than 30 minutes on any given day.  Vocabulary is best taught as part of the unit to which it is related, but if you prefer to teach it all at once, that is possible. This lesson also can be used as a review of terms for advanced students.

1. Slideshow — 15 minutes or longer over at least four days

Present the slide presentation to the students, discussing each in the context of journalism. The slide presentation consists of 62 terms, divided by category. It may be used as part of the units related to the vocabulary or used as a warm-up activity over several class periods.

2. Review — 30 minutes or longer after all vocabulary is taught, or as each section is taught.

Pass out one set of handouts to students. Advanced and honors students can use the review of terms handouts that include all terms in a randomized order.  For beginning students, ESOL and ESE students, use handouts with specific unit vocabulary (news judgment, research, interviewing, and advanced reporting). The unit handouts can be used within the units related to the vocabulary.

Ask students to fill in the study sheet with the terms they know silently for about five minutes, then allow them to share the information with the class as a whole (they choose an item they want to contribute, then they read the answer and the definition).

Repeat for additional handouts.

3. Activity — 20 minutes

Option 1: Vocabulary bingo (Best for honors and advanced, but can also be modified for all students.)

Students can play vocabulary bingo with all or part of the vocabulary terms. For beginners who have not been taught the advanced reporting vocabulary, remove those terms from the word bank on the game charts before you copy them.

Provide a sheet with the bingo chart and word key copied on both sides to create two word cards. Let students fill in their own bingo cards with the terms.

Choosing randomly, read definitions or offer examples, and allow students to mark the correct answers. Use the teacher sheet to mark each item called. It is best to have more than one winner to extend the review session. Also, use a variety of bingo outcomes (horizontal and vertical, double vertical, etc.). When playing two games, you may focus on definitions with one and examples with the other, or you may increase the speed of the second game.

Provide small prizes for winners and points or credit for participation.

Option 2: Vocabulary word sort (best for beginners)

Copy sets of “Vocabulary word sort cards” from the file provided and cut into individual words.  The last page of the word sort cards file is the advanced reporting vocabulary. If you do not teach those terms, do not include them in the word sort activity.

Separate the words into random sets of 10 to 20 words for each pair of students (multiple copies of the cards may be needed.)

Ask students to sort the cards into the categories they know: news judgment, research, interviewing or advanced reporting.  Then ask the students if they can sort the terms into other categories.  Suggestions:  fact checking. sources. writing. computers. law/ethics.  Ask them to sort their words into at least three other categories.

SHARE:  Ask pairs of students to share the categories they chose and what words they placed in that category, explaining why the words belong in the category they chose.

To repeat the activity, have students swap their set of cards with another pair of students.

Provide points or credit for participation.

Option 3:  Word wall (for any classroom)

When you have a few minutes left in a class period or to occupy students who are between assignments, have students create cards using the vocabulary words to place on a word wall in your classroom.  Ask them to write the definition or an example on the back of each card they create. Let them be creative with their word design. Check and give points for cards completed with correct definitions or examples on the back, then have students place the words on the wall.

4. Assessment — 50 minutes

Administer the test. Allow one class period. If you do not teach advanced reporting, do not include Section 6 in the test.  Section 7 can be used separately as a quiz in the news judgment unit.


The vocabulary can be taught organically as part of individual units or as review for advanced students who should already know the terms. Worksheets for individual units will be more accessible to beginning, ESOL and ESE students. Advanced students can use the longer, randomized worksheets for review and challenge. Activities can be used by various levels of students. The test can be given to students who do not receive lessons in advanced reporting by eliminating Section 6.