Subject: English/Introduction to Journalism
Intended Grade Level(s): 9-12
Description: (Brief summary of the lesson)
Accessing specific web sites, students will find yearbook or newspaper designs they like. They will
perform a search to find the creator of the designs and contact that person to ask how the design
was achieved; including what inspired it, what software was used to create it, and how it was
created. Once the student receives the information, they will submit the materials they’ve compiled.
Objective(s) and Curriculum Benchmarks:
To explore publication design possibilities by finding and evaluating award-winning designs and
seeking out their creators to learn more about the processes involved in effective design.
I.2.HS.1. Write fluently for multiple purposes to produce compositions, such as stories, poetry,
personal narratives, editorials, research reports, persuasive essays, resumes, and memos.
I.2.HS.3. Plan, draft, revise, and edit their texts, and analyze and critique the texts of others in such
areas as purpose, effectiveness, cohesion, and creativity.
I.2.HS.4. Demonstrate precision in selecting appropriate language conventions when editing
text. Examples include complex grammatical constructions, sentence structures, punctuation,
IX.11.HS.2. Determine, evaluate, and use resources that are most appropriate and readily available
for investigating a particular question or topic. Examples include knowledgeable people, field trips,
prefaces, appendices, icons/headings, hypertext, menus and addresses, Internet and electronic
mail, CD-ROM/laser disks, microfiche, and library and interlibrary catalogue databases.
15 minutes Explain purpose, objective, and assignment requirements; show students the web
sites they will be searching (on TV, connected to computer)
30 minutes Have students log on to computers and begin search for designs;
students must have design choices approved
15 minutes Have students perform a search to find the school and adviser contact information
20-30 minutes Using a template, have students draft a letter asking the designers to answer
questions regarding the designs
At the end of the hour, students will turn in printed copies of the designs they’ve chosen, along
with the contact information, and a draft of the letter
Students will revise their letters based on the teacher’s feedback, get final approval, and send their
correspondence via e-mail or regular mail. 20 minutes
Once students receive the feedback from their contact(s), they will (re)submit the following:
Printed copies of the designs they’ve chosen
What means they used to find the contact information, including search process
and attempts made, and what finally worked
The contact information
The final letter
The return correspondence
Ronalee Peck Henderhan • e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org • (248) 344.8420 • Room 212
Computers with internet access
Printer and printer paper
Letterhead and/or template
Prepare a list of web sites for students
Verify web site accessibility
Create assignment sheet with purpose, requirements, instructions, and assessment
Create template or provide letterhead
Post assignment sheet and template (with hyperlinks) on the server for student access
Prerequisite Student Skills:
Students are expected to have grade-level reading and writing skills. They will begin this lesson
having a basic understanding of publication design. Additionally, they will be able to do the following:
Use a computer keyboard and mouse
Navigate the internet
Be familiar with different ways to search and research using the internet
Create a document in Microsoft Word (type, format, save, and print)
Draft a letter using complete sentences and proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation
1. After an introduction to the assignment and the web sites they will search, students will log onto
the computer and look for three yearbook and/or newspaper designs they would like to emulate.
2. Once they’ve found three designs, students will have their choices approved by the teacher.
After the designs are approved, they will print one copy of each design.
3. Next, students will begin a search to find the contact information for the school and adviser for
each design they’ve chosen. Students will save and print a copy of all contact information.
4. Using a template in Microsoft Word, students will draft a letter to each contact person,
requesting information about the design. The letter must include the student’s name,
information about the class and the assignment, Northville High School’s contact information,
and the student’s e-mail address (if desired). The letter should request information regarding
who created the design, what inspired it, and what software was used to create it.
5. Students will submit the designs, contact information, and a draft of the letter.
6. Students will make revisions to the letter based on teacher feedback. After getting final approval
of the letter, they will send a copy to each contact.
Students will be assessed on successful and timely completion of the following tasks:
Submitting three approved designs that follow the rules of design taught previously
Submitting valid contact information for schools and advisers responsible for designs,
including what means were used to locate the information
Submitting a draft and approved revision of a request for the required information,
using proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation
Submitting all requested material, including the response from the contact, when it is received
Note: Students will not be penalized if they do not receive a response.
Students will use the information from the contact to emulate and adapt the design for a
yearbook and/or newspaper page appropriate to this class and school.
Students will continue correspondence with contact to share ideas and suggestions, setting up a
newspaper/yearbook exchange, if possible.
Students will seek out and share other sites that offer design ideas and inspiration.
Herff Jones Yearbook Showcase. 2000. Herff Jones Company of Indiana, Inc.
Reason, Ron. Ron Reason News Design and Training. 2 Sept. 1997.
Society for News Design. 2005. <http://www.snd.org>.
Taylor Publishing Design Ideas. Taylor Publishing. <http://www.taylorpub.com>.
Northville Public Schools
Northville High School
45700 West Six Mile Road
Northville, Michigan 48167