"Flip that pyramid."
News stories are written in a very clear way. Why are they so easy to read? Students will find out. Using the inverted pyramid as a guide, students will analyze the structure of a news story, and practice finding the main idea while they're at it.
—Identify the main idea of a news story
—Determine the order of information in a news story
—Explain why they think a news story is written in the order it is
—Consider whether a specific news story
45 minutes (or longer, depending on how many news articles you'd like to read)
—The most recent Week in Rap video
—Flocabulary Main Idea video
—Link to a news story from the Week in Rap information text box
—Inverted Pyramid worksheet
—Newspaper or additional news website (optional)
You can use Part 1 of this lesson to introduce the concept of the inverted pyramid. You can use Part 2 to dive into a specific news story in the most recent Week in Rap video.
Part 1: What is the Inverted Pyramid
1. For a Do Now: Ask students to think of their favorite story. Do the big important pieces of information come all at the beginning, in the middle, or in the end, or spread out?
2. Choose a news story from the most recent Week in Rap. Read the article together as a class. Ask students what the main idea of the story is. You may want to use the Flocabulary main idea video to review. Once students have identified the main idea, ask them to say where in the article the main idea is.
3. They'll likely notice that the main idea is near the beginning of the story. Tell students that journalists do this on purpose. Ask students to reflect on why in news stories, all the important parts are at the beginning. (They may say: To get the reader's attention, because most people don't finish the article...)
4. Introduce the inverted pyramid, using the worksheet. Explain which elements are in the news story. At this point, you may want to move to part two.
Part 2: Analyze a news story
1. Review the concept of the inverted pyramid.
2. Watch the most recent Week in Rap and choose a story of interest. Choose a story to start with.
3. Read the story through once, and discuss the main idea.
4. As a class, work through the story to determine the key details, and fill them into the inverted pyramid.
5. Discuss any ways that the story differs from that style, and why.
6. After you're done, have students choose another news story of interest from that week. Have them fill out another copy of the inverted pyramid sheet.
Extension activity: Read the newspaper
Bring a newspaper into class, or access a news website. Invite students to browse the newspaper and find a story of interest that you haven't yet discussed. Have them identify the main idea and share with the class, either casually or with the worksheet.