Lesson Plan for the First Day of Class

Amy Marquis
Journalism Teacher
Banning High School
Banning, California

Unit Objective

Students will discover the information normally given on the syllabus through interviewing methods. Students should understand the importance of good interviewing and note taking skills.


  • Teacher introduces him/herself and welcomes students to the class.
  • Teacher explains that he/she will run the class, while the students will run the newspaper.
  • Teacher explains that the students need to know the very important information that is usually given to them in a syllabus, but the teacher will not be giving the students a syllabus.
  • The teacher explains that interviewing skills are among the most important in journalism; therefore, students will begin their journalism experience by interviewing the teacher to get the information normally given in a syllabus. Teacher recommends that students take notes.


  • The teacher needs to have a clear idea of everything the students need to know.
  • If possible, it would be helpful to start questioning with students who have been in the class previously. (Even if this is the first time for the assignment, those students might feel more comfortable asking questions and will be more familiar with procedures from previous years.)

Potential Problems and Solutions:

  • The students miss important questions and, therefore, information.
    • Solution: The teacher can give hints to draw students to those questions.
  • The students will not ask any questions.
    • Solution: The teacher can write random, but important topics on the board (i.e. grades, assignments, positions, etc.) to encourage students to ask questions along those lines.
  • The class runs out of time before getting all the necessary information.
    • Solution: The teacher should have a written syllabus prepared to give students the next day.


  • The following day, the teacher hands out the written syllabus.
  • Students compare the written syllabus to the information they gathered in their notes the day before.
  • The teacher can lead a discussion on what information the students missed, how they missed that information and why they missed that information.
  • That discussion can lead into a discussion or lecture on the importance of journalism fundamentals.