Lesson Plan No. 2: WWWWWH, Inverted Pyramid and Ledes

Start of class:

– Discuss story ideas with small groups. Make sure students have a plan of how they will approach their stories, give advice.

– Have 3-5 volunteers share story ideas with class.

Who What When Where Why How

– Six elements every story should answer

– Activity: As class, pick front-page story in The Lantern. Read first few paragraphs of story in small groups, have students figure out what the five 5 W’s and H’s are, discuss as class

Inverted Pyramid

This is how students will write their stories

– Most important information at the top, story continues in order of importance to bottom

– Using same Lantern story as before (or could use a hypothetical story on something happening at CNIS), discuss as a class what information is most important + should be in first few grafs of story


The first paragraph of your story

– Only one sentence — this definition of a paragraph is likely different than what the students are used to, so make sure they understand that news paragraphs are only 1-3 sentences

– Lede is not as simple as “Homecoming was Saturday,” but rather what happened during homecoming

– Reader should know what your story is about after one sentence

End of class

– HW: First stories due Monday

– Focus on the top of the inverted pyramid: find the 5 W’s and H’s, incorporate them into a lede that explains story to reader in one sentence, don’t wait to write important facts in your story

– Set up a deadline to send draft to mentor OR time to meet with mentor during week — should be Friday at latest — make sure both sides have established communication so that Q’s will be answered


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