• Views 142
  • Favorites
Photo by Bernard Hermant via Unsplash

Database Provider


Expository Writing, Research


9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


English Language Arts


100 minutes

Regional Focus



Google Docs, Google Slides


This lesson plan is licensed under Creative Commons.

Creative Commons License

Pitching the Idea (The Climate Beat for Student Journalists #1)

Created By Teacher:
Last Updated:
Nov 28, 2023
Ask a Question

In this lesson, students explore how journalism addresses the climate crisis and write a pitch for a feature article.

Step 1 - Inquire: Students participate in a climate journalism scavenger hunt, brainstorm what makes a story compelling, and explore the differences between news and feature articles.

Step 2 - Investigate: Students become familiar with climate change basics, choose a topic for their feature article, and outline a plan to investigate their topic.

Step 3 - Inspire: Students write a persuasive pitch for a feature article about the climate crisis.
Accompanying Teaching Materials
Teaching Tips


  • This lesson can be incorporated into an English language arts class, a journalism class, a science class, or a student newspaper club.

  • Through the scavenger hunt activity, students are exposed to quality, credible sources of journalism about the climate crisis.

  • This lesson emphasizes the planning that goes into good reporting and writing.

  • The lesson provides hands-on activities and many opportunities for student voice and choice.

Additional Prerequisites

  • This is lesson 1 of 4 in our 9th-12th grade The Climate Beat for Student Journalists unit.

  • Students should have a basic understanding of climate change.

    • Students who need a refresher can read this webpage from 350.org.

    • NPR's Climate Guide, a cheat sheet for reporters, is another useful resource.
    • This hour-long webinar from the Solutions Journalism Network, Climate Data and Frameworks, provides an excellent foundation. Note for teachers: At minute 31:30 a mild expletive is used. The panelists in the video provide a rich array of data about climate science and solutions. In a few places, the panelists provide their opinion. Teachers can ask students to identify and differentiate between climate facts and opinions.

  • Students need access to the Internet to complete the scavenger hunt activity. Alternatively, teachers can provide students with paper copies of local or regional newspapers that focus on environmental or climate change topics.

  • Teachers may want to preview the sources for the scavenger hunt the day before or morning of the class.

  • Students should have a basic understanding of persuasive writing in order to complete the pitch in the Inspire section.


  • Teachers can easily shorten or lengthen the scavenger hunt activity or edit the categories to fit their context.

  • The lesson can be extended by having students select, read, and analyze an interesting article they found during the scavenger hunt.

  • Students can work individually, in pairs, or in small groups to pitch ideas and, later in the unit, can research and write their articles collaboratively.

  • Teacher can assign the Investigate section or the pitch for homework.

  • If students need help identifying whether or not their sources reflect equity and justice, The Solutions Project’s guide for journalists is an excellent resource for students or teachers.

  • Advanced or upper-level students can create an annotated bibliography for the sources as part of the pitch.

Scientist Notes

Students write a climate story using the lesson's guide, and they will discover the best ways to publish an article about the climate crisis and potential solutions. The lesson has been examined, and it is advised for use in the classroom due to the methodologies, classroom activities, and all of the materials utilized in its creation.


This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

Supporting Standards

  • English Language Arts
    • Reading: History/Social Studies (6-12)
      • RH.9-10.5 Analyze how a text uses structure to emphasize key points or advance an explanation or analysis.
    • Writing: History, Science & Technical Subjects (6-12)
      • WHST.9-10.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
      • WHST.11-12.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

Note On Standards:

This lesson is aligned to SubjectToClimate standards. Review the aligned standards directly in the lesson plan document and teacher slideshow.

Discover more on SubjectToClimate.


Login to leave a review