Maple River Journalism

  • Journalism

    1 English Elective per Trimester.

    All Three Trimesters=3 English Electives.

    Instructor: Mr. Willis



    Students will learn the fundamentals of journalism through hands-on projects and experience.  During the course, students will be exposed to grammar and style, layout principles, photography principles, journalistic writing, desktop publising, and television journalism.  Students will learn a variety of editing software as well as get to use technology and equipment.


    Trimester Expectations:

    At the beginning of the Trimester, students will be assigned written and photographic assignments for the literary magazines, The Talon.  Students will also be expected to participate in at least one episode of Eaglevision.  During Fall, Winter, and Spring, students must participate in one of the “focus” units of newspaper writing, radio, or yearbook (respectively).


    Weekly Assignment

    Every five-day week, students will brainstorm a journalism assignment.  This assignment can be met through Eaglevision, Radio, the Talon, or Yearbook pages. Since journalism is about making timely deadlines, the assignment will need to be submitted on time (usually Friday) or receive a zero.  There will be opportunities to “work back” the points that were lost.


    Weekly Tests:

    There will typically be seven unit tests each trimester.  The lecture/notes/material will be covered on a Monday with the exam the following Friday.  Each tests will be worth 50 points.


    Bonus/Remediation Work:

    Like in the real world, journalists that follow “the early bird gets the worm” mantra often are rewarded.  With Maple River Journalism, there are countless ways to supplement or replace daily work by hustling after the following opportunities:

    1. PSA.  Activities Director Dusty Drager is actively seeking journalism students to read the starting line ups and sportsmanship creeds at home games.  A pregame introduction or “commentating” during live broadcasts is worth 50 points per game.
    2. Weekly Photography.  There are countless academic/sports/activites happening on a weekly basis.  Providing at least 10 photographs of mixed variety, subject, and perspective is worth 50 points per photo shoot.
    3. Weekly news articles.  There are numerous academic/sports/activites happening on a weekly basis.  Students that can provide a Pyramid/5w&h article of at least 300 words in length can earn 50 points per acticle.
    4. Sales/Commericals.  Although students will collectively be seeking sponsors and making ads at the beginning of each trimester, acquiring news sponsors and creating new ads will be worth 50 points per sponsor and ad.
    5. Yearbook Pages.  Although Trimester 3 is dedicated to yearbook and graphic design, there will be opportunities to work on Fall and Winter activity pages.  A finished yearbook page is worth 200 points (but will be graded upon a rubric).
    6. Bonus video projects.  There are often videos needed for English 10 or mythology.  You can contract a grade (depending on time/level of difficulty) with Mr. Willis (or another teacher with a need).  Examples of projects include sports highlight videos, Gwen Ward’s MacBeth, or Gwen’s Harry Potter videos.



    Trimester One Trimester Two Trimester Three

    F1 Photography W1 Photography S1 Photography

    F2 Reporting W2 Reporting S2 Reporting

    F3 News Writing W3 Video Cameras S3 Graphic Design

    F4 Sports Writing W4 Video Editing S4 Yearbook Copy

    F5 Feature Stories W5 Audio Basics S5 Headlines

    F6 Editorials W6 Music S6 Captions

    F7 Columns W7 Broadcast Journalism S7 Photoshop

    Typical 100-60% A to D- grading.


    Plagiarism will result in a “0” for the assignment and a full letter grade drop for the trimester.


    Eaglevision: Eaglevision is a highschool news program typcially featuring 3-5 student made reports.  Along with the reporters, roles often include anchors and a sports reporter. A typcial episode is 15 minutes long and is shared 6-12.


    The Talon: The Talon is a 50 page literary magazine distributed each trimester.  It will feature student life interest stories and regular columns geared toward teens.  It will have a mixture of ads, photography, and written content.