Women in the News Activity (Grades 5-12)
Every day for a month, students study the front page
of their hometown newspaper.
Students are divided into groups:
- 2 groups to study photos
- 2 groups to study author bylines
- 1 group to study authorities and experts quoted
in the articles.
Groups studying photos should determine:
- the number of photos depicting women as leaders
- the number of photos showing women as window dressing
- the number of photos portraying women as victims
- the number of days there are no photos of women
- the number of days there are no photos of men.
Groups studying author bylines should determine:
- the number of front page stories written by women
- the number of front page stories written by men
- the total number of stories on the front page.
Groups studying authorities and experts should determine:
- who are the authorities quoted in the articles
- how many are women
- how many are men.
Before the survey begins, students should make predictions
about what the final results will be.
- Tabulate information daily.
- Graph the results.
- Discuss the results and debate what the information
means. Explore possible reasons for the findings.
- Write a letter to the newspaper inviting the editor
to visit the class and discuss the results.
- How does the local paper compare to USA Today, a
newspaper that claims to pay attention to making women
visible within its pages?
Activity developed by Ron Adams, Broad Meadows Middle
School, Quincy, MA.
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