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Journalism Bell Ringers

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

As a journalism teacher, you want to help your students learn to make the most of their time. The bell ringers in this lesson will help you with classroom management while also keeping your students focused on the big ideas you want to teach.

Bell Ringers in Journalism Class

Are you wondering what you can do with your students during those sometimes knotty transitional times when you just need a moment to take attendance or catch your breath between periods? As teachers, we know that every moment counts, and particularly in journalism, it is important for students to learn to make the most of the time and resources they have.

By using bell ringer activities, you can help get your students focused and ready to work and learn with minimal effort in the moment. Using these activities will also help you take care of minor clerical tasks so that you can be focused and ready to work properly with your students. This lesson offers bell ringer activities oriented specifically toward journalism classrooms.

Reading Bell Ringers

  • Put a different newspaper article at each student's spot. As they come in, ask them to read their articles and jot down some ideas about the strengths and weaknesses of the article from a journalistic point of view.
  • Project the lead paragraph of an article that you think really does a good job grabbing readers' attention. Have students read the paragraph and talk quietly at their tables about what does or does not make it a strong opening paragraph.
  • Ask your students to read over something they wrote during their last class with you. As they read, they should think about what they like about their own writing, and also what they might change about it.
  • Have a few newspaper or magazine articles available at each table; these articles should illustrate a journalistic strategy your students have been learning and thinking about. As students come in, have them read the articles you have made available and prepare themselves to talk about the different strategies being used, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of the usage.
  • Place an award-winning journalistic article at each student's desk. Have them read the article and think about what makes it especially good. Students should read with an eye toward discerning why this particular article won a journalism award.
  • Project two or three major quotes about the importance of journalism. As students come in, ask them to read the quotes carefully and talk together about whether or not they agree with what is being said in the quotes, and why.

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