A story pitching session with English 307 students
The English 307 class focuses on basic journalism skills from
how to write a professional email to journalism ledes, quotes
and nut grafs. Students write a variety of stories: weather,
speech, breaking news and event coverage.
For the breaking news assignment, there is a surprise "attack"
during class where a former student comes in screaming about
a bad grade and hits me with a lightsaber, followed by a press
conference with the "police chief,"and a student witness. They
must turn in a short story by the end of class, and then turn
in a longer story, interviewing other students as witnesses,
by the next class.
I also introduce very basic multimedia, social media and video
skills. They typically live Tweet an event with photos. Last
semester, the class put together a Storify about their trip to
the 2017 Philadelphia Flower Show.
It's a fast-paced, intensive class. We use Justin Bieber's
Miami Beach arrest records to learn about public documents and breaking
news. We practice Tweeting using Shaquille O'Neal's retirement
speech. I bring in random objects from my office and, in small groups,
they must come up with 10 story ideas in 15 minutes. Then they pick
the best one and find experts to interview on that subject.
Fallik307 Syllabus and Course Schedule
Harry Potter quiz
Weather student example
Live Tweeting Halloween Parade
Speech student example
Flower Show Storify
Glassblower slideshow (YouTube)
Breaking News Assignment
Student final paper 1
Student final story 2