Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.
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.
Writing Bell Ringers
- As students come in, ask them to write down a list of questions they have based on your last class or on a homework assignment. You can use these questions to catalyze the day's work and discussion.
- Instruct students to imagine they are about to interview someone for an article. They should write a list of questions they would like to ask this person, and write a brief justification for each question they hope to ask.
- Ask students to write two different examples of a lead for an article they hope to work on. This is an opportunity for them to experiment with different strategies for leads.
- Have students write a paragraph or web of ideas about how they might investigate a topic they think they are becoming interested in. Their writing should function as a brainstorming exercise for an article they hope to approach soon.
- Ask each student to write a letter to a journalist whose work they have come to admire, describing what they admire about the person and why.
Visual Bell Ringers
- Project an image that you think demonstrates good journalistic photography. Ask students to talk at their tables about what makes this image strong and how it contributes to overall journalistic efforts.
- Make a pile of newspapers and magazines available at each table. As students come in, have them look through what you have given them and find an image that really stands out. They should be prepared to justify their selection.
- Have students think about a photograph or graphic they would like to include in an article they are working on, and jot down a few ideas for how they will create or acquire the image they want.
To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account
Register to view this lesson
Unlock Your Education
See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com
Become a Study.com member and start learning now.Become a Member
Already a member? Log InBack