Lesson: News 7: Basics of Newswriting: The Inverted Pyramid

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Introduction:

Beyond the news lead, the rest of the traditional straight news story requires a specific formula called the inverted pyramid.  Stories written in the inverted pyramid proceed from most the important to the least important details, and writing with this requirement in mind, requires a challenging and new kind of critical thinking and offers refreshing way of looking at writing for many students.  This is the second piece of real news training students need before they start writing their own news stories.

 


Objectives:

  • Introduce students to the inverted pyramid and have them begin to develop an ability to write using this new format.

 


Materials:

  1. Appendix 7:  “The Inverted Pyramid”
  2. Appendix 10: “Rubric for evaluating inverted pyramid stories”
  3. Worksheet 9: Demonstrating the inverted pyramid
  4. Worksheet 10: Writing a brief using the inverted pyramid
  5. Worksheet 10: Writing a brief using the inverted pyramid — Teacher’s Manual

 

 


Activities:

  1. Remind students that one of the requirements of a straight news lead is that information generally flows from the most important to the least important detail. Explain that that principle dictates the form for the rest of the news story, too.
  2. Review Appendix 7:  “The Inverted Pyramid."
  3. As a way of looking at how the inverted pyramid plays out with a modern news story, use Worksheet 9: Demonstrating the inverted pyramid to deconstruct a news story, noting how details in the story are arranged in decreasing order of importance, and how background material generally is relegated to the bottom of the story.
  4. Follow up by asking students to try their own hand at ordering an inverted pyramid stories using Worksheet 10: Writing a brief using the inverted pyramid.
  5. Follow up once again, this time by asking students to try their own hand at writing an inverted pyramid stories using Worksheet 10: Writing a brief using the inverted pyramid and checking their work against the original in the Teacher's Manual entry for the story.
  6. Evaluate their work using the Appendix 10: “Rubric for evaluating inverted pyramid stories”

 

 

 

 

 


Homework:


Assessment Questions:

  1. Do students understand the principles of the inverted pyramid?
  2. How much facility do students seem to have in applying the inverted pyramid to sets of facts provided on the worksheets?  Do they need more practice?

 


Connections to Standards:


Teacher Notes:


Time needed to teach:

1 Session


Tags:

Reading Activity
Writing Activity



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