Lesson 2: Finding news

This lesson will build on the concepts from Lesson 1 - want to know versus need to know and will then introduce the ideas of ͚finding news͛ stories and checking their validity.

Learning outcomes

  • Investigate ways to find news
  • Analyse and evaluate news stories to check for truth and accuracy

BBC newsreader, Huw Edwards, explains where you can start looking for inspiration for stories to cover in your reports and emphasises the importance of making sure you have reliable sources for your stories.

Kay points of the lesson
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English version
Welsh version

Activity 1: Five top tips for finding news

Brief outline

Watch Huw’s 'Finding news' video - young people must decide on the top five tips and provide a rank order of 1-5.

Share and discuss.

Evidence of learning/assessment opportunity

  • Young people identify and compare key information. They analyse the importance of information and have to justify their rank of information in a given source.

  • At KS4, young people are required to display the skills of analysis, evaluation and be able to justify their comments.

Suitable for: KS3/4 or 11 to 16-year-olds

Duration: 10 to 15 minutes

Activity 2: Ways of finding news

Brief outline

To investigate ways of finding news. Give young people a list of scenarios, e.g. they have to go to a cinema they haven't been to before - how/where would they find the information they need.

Evidence of learning/assessment opportunity

  • Introduce the skills/concept through personalised problem solving.

Suitable for: KS3/4 or 11 to 16-year-olds

Duration: 15 minutes

Activity 2: Ways of finding news
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Activity 3: Play 'stand up / sit down'

Brief outline

Play stand up / sit down to generate ideas for how and where we get information.

Stand up / sit down: young people are asked to stand up. The teacher names a young person to make a statement related to the question. If the young person can immediately make a statement they remain standing, if not, they must sit down. The last young person standing is the winner.

As they generate ideas, e.g. social media / newspapers etc., the teacher records them on the board. Young people can then discuss the appropriateness of each source for certain scenarios, e.g. if their school had been shut suddenly, where would they go to find accurate information?

Evidence of learning/assessment opportunity

  • Young people would be practising the key skill of analysis and evaluation of sources.

Suitable for KS3/4 or 11 to 16-year-olds

Duration: 15 minutes

Activity 4: Checking your facts

Brief outline

Return to the 'What is news?' worksheet. Ask the students to pick out a headline. They must then list the things/sources they could use to check the validity of a story. For example, 'Gareth Bale dropped from the Welsh squad' could be a big news story. To check whether it is true, they could:

  • phone the Football Association
  • phone his club
  • check with his agent
  • look at his official Twitter account to see if he has commented

Evidence of learning/assessment opportunity

  • This activity continues to build upon research skills.
  • Young people are encouraged to develop co-operation and peer learning through a role play task, while further developing research skills.
  • The role play activity would introduce and consolidate the journalistic practice of verifying sources and the 'two eyes' rule.

Suitable for KS3/4 or 11 to 16-year-olds

Duration: 15 minutes

Activity 4: Checking your facts
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Activity 5: Checking for truth and accuracy

Brief outline

To analyse and evaluate how news stories are checked for truth and accuracy.

Ask young people to record on sticky notes the most interesting or informative thing someone has told them in the past two days. Who told them and how do we know if it is true? Share and discuss.

Evidence of learning/assessment opportunity

  • Personalised learning, and this begins to build on the concept of reporting in a concise style.
  • This activity seeks to analyse a young person's choice of language when using a concise headline style.

Suitable for: KS3/4 or 11 to 16-year-olds

Duration: 10 minutes

Activity 6: Meet the audience

Brief outline

One of the big things that BBC journalists think about when they are researching and presenting their stories is the people who will watch or listen to them - the audience.

Lots of different people watch BBC News - from children to grandparents - and they will all be interested in slightly different things.

We want you to take on the role of a Young Reporter editor: decide which of these stories will be interesting for your audience - young people aged 11 to 18 - and why.

Evidence of learning/assessment opportunity

  • In English Language, pupils need to be able to identify the purpose and audience in given texts, and in their own writing

Suitable for: KS3/4 or 11 to 16-year-olds

Duration: 10 minutes

Activity 6: Meet the audience
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Activity 7: Finding news quiz

Brief outline

This multiple choice quiz is designed to test your knowledge of news programmes and services, sources, and truth and accuracy.

It also provides real-life scenarios to prompt discussions about the issues that surround the world of news.

Evidence of learning/assessment opportunity

  • Personalised learning, and this begins to build on the concept of reporting in a concise style.
  • The quiz consolidates and evaluates learning.

Suitable for: KS3/4 and 11 to 16-year-olds

Duration: 10 minutes

Activity 7: Finding news quiz
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More from this series:

Lesson 1: What is news?
video
Lesson 3: Gathering news
video
Lesson 4: Writing news
video
Lesson 5 - Producing news for different platforms
video
Lesson 6 - Organising and producing news for broadcast
video