Writing the lead – Lesson Plan

Every news story begins with a lead, the most important part of the story.

A good lead to needs to catch the reader’s interest and make them want to read the rest of the story.

Less is often better as it helps you get your point across quickly.

Think Twitter’s 140 character limit.

Social media can help you become a better writer.

Lesson Plan: Lead Writing

Objective

  • Student will learn to write effective leads using 140 characters or less.

Activity 1

  • Students will identify the lead sentence of three stories taken from a newspaper article. Students will explain why a particular sentence was chosen as the first sentence, why it is important, and what makes it interesting.

Activity 2

  • Students will write at least 10 questions (no yes-no questions) and spend 15-20 minutes interviewing a fellow classmate. Their assignment is to gather information that will be used in a future assignment to write a short bio about their classmate.

Activity 3

  • After completing the interview, students will think about how they want to begin their story. Students will identify the most important and/or most interesting piece of information. Students will write a short sentence (140 characters or less) using the 5Ws and H to write an informative and interesting lead.

Assessment

  • Students will be given three short articles and will identify the strongest and weakest lead and explain why it is strong or weak. In addition, they will explain what catches their attention when they pick up a newspaper, what makes them want to read a story, what makes a story interesting, and what can cause readers to lose interest in a story.

Materials

  • Paper
  • Pens or pencils
  • Newspapers

 

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