Lesson Plan

You Be the Editor - Lesson

Lesson Plan

Level(s): Grades 8 - 12

Author: Adapted, with permission, from an article written by Gordon Sanderson, Reader’s Advocate for The London Free Press.


This lesson is based on an article, which ran in the January 21, 1995 issue of the London Free Press. In the article, readers were asked to “play editor,” by responding to cases based on real news events. The Free Press had an overwhelming response to their call for participants, which resulted in a follow-up article called “You were the Editor.” In this lesson, students will become aware of the editorial decisions that have to be made by assuming the role of a newspaper editor who must decide what information to report, and what information to withhold in a series of prospective news stories. Once students have made their decisions, they shall see what the real editors decided in each case.


Students will:

  • appreciate the tension that exists between freedom of expression and an individual’s rights to privacy
  • understand the editorial process in news journalism
  • analyse how individuals or groups are presented in newspapers and assess the accuracy and influence of these representations
  • understand media representations of social, political, and cultural issues

This lesson and all associated documents (handouts, overheads, backgrounders) are available in an easy-print, pdf kit version.

Lesson Kit: