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Lesson | 50 Minutes

Research and Understanding


Students will identify what they know and don’t know about their story’s topic. Once students know what they don’t know, they will use curiosity to guide research that will result in better developed stories.

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Central Questions

  • What do I know and not know about my story’s topic?
  • What is research and why is it an important part of journalism?
  • How does research and understanding help us make informed decisions?

Learning Outcomes

  • Students will learn how to get really curious about any given topic.
  • Students will learn how to initiate research.
  • Students will understand how to use a variety of research tools and methods to find facts and information for their stories

When Would You Use This Lesson?

  • As part of the pre-production phase of a journalism story
  • After students have completed Pitch Your Story
  • When students are trying to grow their understanding of specific topics

Media Literacy Connection

Good journalism starts with curiosity, a desire to learn more about the world and to ask questions. A successful news story not only educates its audience, but also the producers, reporters, and journalists who have made the piece, which is why student journalism is a powerful way to learn.

Civics Connection

It’s important to recognize that no matter how much you know, there is ALWAYS more to learn. In fact, the more you learn about something, the more questions you may have. Cultivating curiosity about the world, other people, and our society leads to better understanding of complex issues.


People are attracted to information that helps them make good decisions. If you like music, you find musician interviews relevant. If you’re looking for a job, the business news is relevant. We need to depend on relevant information that helps us make decisions.


Something that is known or proved to be true.


Something that is accepted as true or as certain to happen, without proof.


An investigation into and study of sources in order to establish facts and reach new conclusions.


A source is an individual, company, document or more that can provide information to fuel a new story. In order for a story to be considered verified and to maintain a reputation as a news outlet, it is important to have a credible source.


The process of verifying the accuracy of a piece of information.


A desire to learn and know about something or anything.

Speaking and Listening - Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas

Empowered Learner

Students leverage technology to take an active role in choosing, achieving, and demonstrating competency in their learning goals, informed by the learning sciences. (ISTE)

Knowledge Constructor

Students critically curate a variety of resources using digital tools to construct knowledge, produce creative artifacts and make meaningful learning experiences for themselves and others. (ISTE)

Demonstrate writing processes used in journalism and broadcasting media.

Reading - Integration of Knowledge and Ideas



Media Literacy

Digital Literacy/Citizenship







White board, chalkboard or other visual board



Estimated Time

50 Minutes