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Duration
More than 90 minutes
Topic(s)
  • Journalism
Grade(s)
  • 6-8

  1. Ask: What do you know about your community? Who lives there? What are their interests?
  2. Distribute the worksheet and give students time to complete the census activity.
  3. Have students identify a local resident to interview and prepare five questions to ask this person, in addition to the three questions provided.
  4. For homework, students interview the resident, then analyze a local newspaper front page (print edition or homepage). Optional: You could adapt the lesson plan to include watching a local television newscast.

News About My Community worksheet (download), one per student

Copies of at least one local newspaper’s front page or its homepage

Internet access. Bookmark the United States Census Bureau's website with local census reports: https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/

As a group, students compare and contrast their findings. Questions include:

  • How similar or different are residents’ interests? Why do you think that is?
  • What news source are residents most likely to turn to for local news? Other news?
  • How closely do the front page stories reflect your interviewee’s interests? The common interests of the residents?
  • Based on the census data, how closely do you think the front page stories respond to community interests? Explain your reasoning.
  • How well do the news sources cover topics interesting to you? If you can’t find stories that interest you, how could you change that?

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