Search Menu


This site is available only to JEA members. Please log in below.

Parts of the opinion section


This is a lesson on the different features students may run into in a newspaper opinion section.
Students will look at opinion pages and identify the parts of them. Then they will create their own editorial or Op/Ed page designs.


  • Students will understand what goes on an editorial and Op/Ed page.
  • Students will be able to identify the opinion sections of a newspaper.
  • Students will plan their own editorial or op-ed pages.

Common Core State Standards

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.6 Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products in response to ongoing feedback, including new arguments or information.


50 minutes


Slideshow: Opinion section

Handout: Opinion section planner

Examples of opinion page designs

Quiz: Opinion section

Answer key: Opinion section

Lesson step-by-step

1. Building background — 15 minutes

Distribute editorial page examples for students to examine. Ask students what parts their eyes go to first. Use slideshow for direct instruction about parts of opinion pages. Then have students identify the parts they see on their own opinion pages.

2. Plan their own pages — 25 minutes

Put students into small groups and have them discuss what they would put on an opinion section for a newspaper they are in charge of. Ask students to consider what issues they think the newspaper needs to take a stand on, how much room to give to columnists, and what other types of features they want on their pages. Have them especially consider their audience — what would they like to see on an editorial page? Give them the planner with instructions to draw rough sketches on the back.

If students are not familiar with design rough drafts, walk them through how to draw boxes to show where elements will go, and how much space they will take up. Have them draw XXXX for headlines, boxes with X for photos and arrows for columns of text.

When done, have the groups present what they’ve worked on with the class, and discuss what parts of an opinion section would be most useful or appealing.

3. Quiz — 10 minutes

After the groups present, give the students a brief quiz over what you covered today.