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Teaching & advising in a pandemic

The JEA Curriculum Initiative team is providing these resources outside of the curriculum paywall, and in coordination with the anywhereJEA initiative, to support journalism advisers in this unprecedented time.

Resources posted to this page will remain outside the paywall while this initiative is active, including self-directed lessons, instructional videos, professional development sessions through Zoom and other similar content. These resources will be added to this page as they become available.

Zoom-in discussions

These 40-minute curriculum sessions address how JEA can help teachers move into the new school year. Educational Initiatives Director Shari Adwers, MJE, and Curriculum Coordinators Megan Fromm, MJE, and Abri Nelson, CJE, will facilitate discussion to support advisers and make suggestions for how they can use JEA resources when school resumes, regardless of teaching situation or learning environment.

You can register for upcoming sessions through the links below. Click links for description; please note that sessions have participant limits, but all registrants will be emailed a direct link to the recording once it has posted to this page.

  • Aug. 3 (11 a.m. CST), Aug. 4 (2 p.m. CST), Aug. 6 (12 p.m. CST): Staff bonding — all sessions are full as of August 4, but you can register to receive an emailed link to the recorded session once it has been posted online

Past sessions can be viewed here and include the following topics:

Thursday, July 23: Creating a game plan for 2020-21

Monday, July 27, 1 p.m. CST: Creating a game plan for yearbook
Recording | Chat 

Thursday, July 30, 1 p.m. CST: Creating a game plan for newspaper, broadcast or online
Recording | Chat 

Monday, Aug. 3, 11 a.m. CST: Team building
Recording | Chat 

Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2 p.m. CST: Team building
Recording | Chat 

Thursday, Aug. 6, 12 p.m. CST: Team building
Recording | Chat

Self-directed lessons

The curriculum team is currently developing a set of self-directed lessons that will be posted as they are finished. These lessons are intended to be used by students for self-paced learning in a virtual or hybrid format. They are posted below as view-only Google docs, so you are encouraged to copy them and add them to your own personal Google Drive in order to use and adapt. While we encourage you to use and/or adapt these for posting in your own LMS (e.g. Schoology, Canvas, Google Classroom), we kindly ask that you not post these on a personal website.

Please view the “about these lessons” video below for a brief overview of how these lessons are constructed and ideas for how to implement. You can also watch this video that gives suggestions for using these lessons within Google Classroom.

About these self-directed lessons:


Role of journalism: A brief introduction to the important role journalism plays as a recorder of historical events.
Slideshow | Student handout | Teacher key

First Amendment: A brief introduction to the five freedoms of the First Amendment, unprotected speech and student press rights
Slideshow | Student handout | Teacher key

SPJ Code of Ethics: A brief introduction to the provisions of the SPJ Code of Ethics and ethical decision-making.
Slideshow | Student handout | Teacher key

News values: A brief introduction to what makes a story newsworthy.
Slideshow | Student handout | Teacher key

Story types: A brief introduction to the four story types (news, features, sports, opinion) with sub-type examples and how a journalist makes decisions about which story type to choose.
Slideshow | Student handout | Teacher key

The return of the inverted pyramid: A brief introduction to this format and why it works well for online.
Slideshow | Student handout | Teacher key

News lead writing: A brief introduction to the summary news lead, perfect for traditional and breaking news stories.
Slideshow | Student handout | Teacher key

Feature lead writing: A brief introduction to writing feature leads.
Slideshow | Student handout | Teacher key

Interviewing basics: A brief introduction to planning, writing questions for, conducting and transcribing an interview.
Slideshow | Student handout | Teacher key

Quote formatting and attribution: A brief introduction to the role of quotes in stories and how to format them correctly.
Slideshow | Student handout | Teacher key

Photo composition: A brief introduction to the basic rules of photo composition and how they can enhance images.
Slideshow | Student handout | Teacher key

Caption writing: A brief introduction to writing informative captions for all publications.
Slideshow | Student handout | Teacher key

Curriculum maps

Every journalism class is different, so we do not prescribe a set sequence for everyone to follow. Curriculum leaders involved in this initiative have put together curriculum maps to suggest how they might use the JEA Curriculum in their classroom. These files contain links to resources both within the JEA Curriculum and outside of it. While anyone is able to use these curriculum maps for planning, linked lessons to the curriculum within the maps remain behind the paywall. Each map was designed for a specific context and explanatory author’s notes have been provided. Teachers may be interested in perusing these samples for inspiration in their own classroom.

Yearbook curriculum maps for high school, middle school, club programs and leadership teams

Journalism I

Honors Journalism

21st Century Journalism/Digital Media Technology

Beginning Journalism

Intro to Journalism

Media Arts English

Instructional videos

The curriculum team is currently curating instructional videos from advisers around the country that will be made available here in mid-August.


Other resources

JEA Digital Media

JEA Scholastic Press Rights Committee lessons

Communication: Journalism Education Today magazine online supplement