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More than 90 minutes
  • Current Events
  • Journalism
  • 7-12

  1. Tell students that with their newly polished search skills, they’ll now return to some of the topics from their initial content creation exercise to dig deeper and learn more. Review the articles students wrote for the Reporting Part I lesson plan. 
  2.  As a class, identify the topics students reported on that could merit additional research or investigation. Which ones do they still want to know more about? Which ones are the most complex?
  3. Divide students into small groups (three students per group is ideal) and have each group adopt one of the topics identified in the previous step. Tell them that they are going to revisit this topic, but this time they will work as a team to go even deeper and broader with their research, being sure to ask and answer both thick and thin questions (requiring both quick skim and deep dive searches) in their final reports. Distribute the Beyond the Basics worksheets to get them started. Give students a 48-hour deadline for turning in their reports, just as real reporters must complete their work in a set amount of time to keep up with the news cycle.
  4. When students have completed their articles, post them on your class “publication” to showcase their work. (As in the previous content creation lesson plan, this could be done using a blog or simple Google site or as a printed collection.) Give students time to read their peers’ work.
  5. As a class, discuss the articles they’ve produced, using the questions below to guide the conversation.
  6. If desired, have students revise their work based on your class discussion and then share the collection of revised articles beyond your classroom, with fellow students or in the community.


  • Beyond the Basics worksheet (in lesson plan download), one per small group
  • A Google site, blog, or desktop publisher to create a “publication” that will showcase student articles

  • Which of your thick questions were the easiest to answer? The most difficult? Why?
  • Did any of your thin questions turn out to be thick questions or vice versa? Explain.
  • How many sources did each article require? Do you think they used enough? Too many? Too few?  
  • Which articles stand out to you, and why?
  • What have you learned from reading these articles?
  • With whom (other than your peers in this class) would you like to share this content? Why?


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