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Types of editorials


This is a lesson that outlines the difference between editorials and columns and types of editorial  topics. After presenting on what editorials are and the kinds commonly found, the teacher will reinforce key concepts with guided notes. Students will take a quiz at the end of the lesson.


  • Students will understand why newspapers have editorials.
  • Students will understand differences between columns and editorials.
  • Students will be able to understand different types of editorials.
  • Students will brainstorm topics they can write an editorial about.

Common Core State Standards

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.5 Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on addressing what is most significant for a specific purpose and audience.


50 minutes


Examples of opinion sections (You can use opinion sections in resources, pass out copies of recent newspapers or direct students to opinion sections of newspapers online.)

Slideshow: Editorials and columns

Slideshow: Types of editorials

Guided notes (copies for each student)

Quiz: Editorials

Answer key: Editorials

Lesson step-by-step

1. Why editorials? — 20 minutes

Discuss the significance of having editorials in a publication and present slideshow about differences between editorials and columns.

Distribute copies of opinion sections, and have students note not just the stylistic difference between editorials and columns, but also the topics covered. Explain that editorials are a chance for the newspaper to show leadership and take a stand — the newspaper’s opinion has more weight than one person’s. As students look through the examples of opinion sections, make sure to check that they know how to identify editorials and columns and can tell the difference.

2. Types of Editorials — 15 minutes

Distribute copies of the guided notes. Present types of editorials, encouraging students to follow along and get the answers needed for the quiz.

3. Quiz — 15 minutes

Deliver the quiz covering types of editorials.