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Mrs. Stroh
English Language Arts
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Staff Member/Parent Contract

Course Material:  Over the course of the semester, staff members will be working to produce the Palm Echo yearbook.  Students will learn elements of good layout and design, engage in productive interviews and write meaningful copy and captions.  Staff members will be required to take photographs for yearbook production and learn the concepts of good photocomposition, including how to edit photos and place them on a page using Jostens Yearbook Avenue software.


Units of Study:  The following units of study will be covered over the course of the semester

The Yearbook  (2 days):

Students will be able to: 

o   Identify the functions of the yearbook

o   Recognize the most effective ways to report the story of a school year

o   Recognize the importance of audience and readers’ expectations


Key Terms:  Primary Audience, Secondary Audience, Yearbook, Purpose


Concept (2 days)

Students will be able to: 

o   Recognize the function of a theme as a verbally and visually unifying and personalizing concept

o   Recognize the verbal elements that contribute to theme development

o   Recognize the visual techniques available to unify the theme


Key Terms:  Cover, Divider Pages, Opening/Closing, Folio, Graphic Unifiers, Sidebar


Photography (4 weeks)

Students will be able to: 

o   Recognize the different types of camera equipment and functions of an SLR camera

o   Identify planning and organizational strategies to guarantee complete coverage, strong content, and organized production

o   Identify skills important in photo editing

o   Recognize strategies for incorporating photographs into the yearbook for the strongest storytelling effect

o   Identify strategies used in photocomposition

o   Identify factors that contribute to the technical quality of photographs


Key Terms:  Photojournalism, DSLR Camera, Composition, Framing, Leading Lines, Perspective, Repetition of Patterns, Rule of Thirds, Cropping, ISO, Aperture, White Balance, Metering





Layout and Design (10 weeks)

Students will be able to: 

o   Identify the strategies used to enhance readability

o   Identify the strategies for combining verbal and visual element for more complete storytelling

o   Recognize the importance of dominance as an organizing element

o   Identify the function and format of primary, secondary, and subordinate headlines


Key Terms:  Contrast, Dominance, Eye flow, Gutter, Hierarchy, Margins, Pica, Eye line, Template, White Space, Primary Headline, Secondary Headline, Subordinate Headline, Byline



Captions (1 week)

Students will be able to: 

o   Recognize the importance of a caption in developing the story started by the photograph

o   Identify the content and structural approaches to caption writing


Key Terms: Collective Caption, Expanded Caption, Group ID, Lead-In, Quote Caption Summary Caption, Attribution,


Writing (4 weeks)

Students will be able to: 

o   Recognize the importance of notes in focusing and organizing a story

o   Identify the variety of writing approaches for putting information in a human context including the quote-transition story and quick read collections

o   Identify traits of good writing essential in yearbook copy.

o   Understand and utilize Associated Press Style conventions for journalistic writing

o   Identify and master information-gathering skills and options for researching background material

o   Conduct original research for use as facts and figures in stories

o   Recognize the guidelines for preparing questions and for interviewing sources as well as using interview information in stories

o   Recognize the importance of accuracy in establishing credibility in the yearbook

o   Recognize the importance of editing for style and establishing consistency



Key Terms:  AP Style Manual, Feature Story, Lead, Quick Reads, Quotes, Transitions, Close-Ended Questions, Direct Quote, Interview, Open-Ended Questions, Primary Sources, Surveys







Coverage (3 days)

Students will be able to: 

o   Identify the factors that determine effective coverage   

o   Recognize traditional and unique section approaches to organizing activities, events and issues

o   Recognize the organizational and management contribution of a systematic ladder diagram


Key Terms:  Academics, Organizations, People, Sports, Student Life, Advertising, Content Module, Coverage, Ladder, Multiple, Signature, Interactive Coverage



Responsibility (1 week)

Students will be able to: 

o   Indentify the rights and responsibilities (fairness, accuracy and good taste) provided by the First Amendment and scholastic-specific court decisions.

o   Recognize libel as a type of unprotected speech and how to avoid it

o   Recognize the restrictions of copyright and trademark protection may place on the publication of material belonging to others.


Key Terms: Accuracy, Copyright, Fairness, Good Taste, Intellectual Property, Libel, Statement of Policy, Trademark Protection