Authentic Lessons for 21st Century Learning

The K20 Chronicle, Lesson 4

Putting It All Together: Layout and Final Product

Margaret Salesky, Lindsey Link, Ryan Rahhal | Published: July 5th, 2022 by K20 Center

  • Grade Level Grade Level 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th
  • Subject Subject English/Language Arts
  • Course Course Composition, Creative Writing, Journalism
  • Time Frame Time Frame 120 minutes
  • Duration More 2 class periods


In this fourth and final lesson of "The K20 Chronicle" journalism unit, students will have an opportunity to peer review/edit a classmate's article, learn about magazine/newspaper layouts, preview examples and non-examples of proper layouts, hear from two graphic artists on how they came to be in the career field they are in today, and finalize their articles. Following the completion of the lesson, students will have completed a Senior Spotlight article that will fit neatly and cohesively into their school's newsletter, newspaper, magazine, or yearbook.

Essential Question(s)

What are the components of a journalistic article? What makes a good article? How do you create an engaging story?



Students watch a brief "How It’s Made" video on the daily creation of the New York Times and reflect on it using the S-I-T strategy.


Students peer review a partner’s completed article utilizing resources from previous lessons to help them provide effective feedback.


Students watch an ICAP interview.


Students analyze examples and non-examples of newspaper layouts to determine which would be most appropriate for their Senior Spotlights.


Students use the knowledge gained throughout the unit to complete their article in a preferred layout that can be sent to the "presses."

Unit Evaluate

Students reflect on what they used to think about crafting articles and what they now know about the complete process.


  • Lesson Slides (attached)

  • S-I-T handout (attached; one per student)

  • Article Rubric (attached; one per student)

  • I Used to Think, But Now I Know handout (attached; one per student)

  • Justified True or False handout (attached; one per student)

  • Layout Templates (attached)

  • Computer (iMacs are preferred)

  • Appropriate student access to one or more of these preferred programs:

    • Canva

    • Google Sites

    • Keynote

  • Writing utensils


Introduce the lesson using the attached Lesson Slides and explain to students that this is the last lesson in the journalism unit. Display slide 3 to share the essential questions and slide 4 to go over the lesson's learning objectives.

Display slide 5, share the S-I-T (Surprising, Interesting, Troubling) strategy with students, and pass out the attached S-I-T handout.

Share the "How It’s Made" video, which shows how the New York Times is printed every morning.


Display slide 6 and bring students’ attention back to the class-created anchor chart from Lesson 1 detailing the components of a good article.

Move to slide 7 and pass out the attached Article Rubric. Partner students up and instruct them to review their partner's article with a critical eye. While they are reading, they should also be referencing the class "Looks Like," "Sounds Like," and "Feels Like" anchor chart to help them provide feedback.


Display slide 8 and pass out the attached Justified True or False handout using the Justified True or False strategy. Instruct students to read through the list of statements and make an educated guess on whether each statement is true or false.

Explain to students that the ICAP video they are about to watch is a talk from Caitlin Shogren and Ann Marcelli, graphic artists for the K20 Center. They discuss the work of being an online and print media specialist. As the video is playing, students should listen for key words that help them determine whether the statements are true or false. When the video is over, ask students to review their list and provide justification for their selections.


Display slide 9 and place students into groups. Ask them to explore different articles from newspapers, magazines, and websites. Have them find 2-3 examples of articles with good layouts and 2-3 with poor layouts. Ask students to make notes about the strengths and weaknesses of these article layouts.


Display slide 10 and explain to students that it is time to finalize their projects. Have them download the attached Layout Templates, which they can then use as a model when they are creating their own article or using one of the optional programs or tech tools.

Unit Evaluate

Once students have completed their Senior Spotlight articles, move to slide 11. Pass out the attached I Used to Think, But Now I Know handout, and have them complete a unit reflection using the I Used to Think, But Now I Know strategy.