Before you embark on this unit, it is a good idea for you to understand the nature of both journalistic profiles and their digital counterparts. The following links have been gathered as a starting point for this research.
Print Journalistic Profiles
Cub Reporters is an excellent, very kid-friendly place to start both for you as a teacher and your students. In particular, there is a step-by-step page of instructions for writing profile stories. Unfortunately, their examples of profile stories are not as user-friendly and must be screened before using them.
Suite 101 has a good article on how to write a profile.
For your red herring, or non-example, consider using a Wikipedia article of a person of interest to your students. These articles are very different from journalistic profiles and provide a good basis for comparison.
Sound/Slide Digital Profiles
This interview with the producers of One in 8 Million provides an excellent starting point for understanding what they were trying to accomplish and the journey they took as they produced these digital profiles.
Another interview with the producers adds to this understanding of digital profiles.
Doing Your Own Digital Profile
Included as an attachment at the bottom of this page you will find a six week Digital Profiles Unit of Study. Take some time to study the unit, and become familiar with the process we recommend for developing a digital profile.
As educators, we understand that going through a process—particularly a new process—can be one of the most important resources we have. Therefore, we strongly urge you to go through this process yourself before setting out to do it with your students. This way you will understand all of the steps necessary to accomplish your goals, the pitfalls along the way and the thinking necessary to produce a digital profile. In the end, you also will have your own personal profile to share with your students, a means of modeling the process as your students begin their own projects.
Find a cohort of like-minded professionals in your building and take this journey together, sharing your ideas, your challenges and especially, your triumphs with each other. And most importantly, have fun!Previous Chapter
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