From Theory to Practice
At the heart of all feature stories is human interest. This lesson asks students to write a profile of a classmate, with a particular focus on a talent, interest, or passion of that classmate. As an introduction to the feature article, students compare the characteristics of a hard news story to those of a feature story. They then practice writing about the same event in the two different styles. Next, they list and freewrite about their own talents and interests. These topics then become the focus of a feature story as students randomly select topics noted by classmates and write interview questions based on them. Finally, students interview a classmate, write a feature story, and share it with the class. This lesson enables students to practice interviewing techniques, develop voice, learn to write for an audience, and perhaps most importantly, celebrate their individual strengths.
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Qualities of a Feature Story: This handout lists the main characteristics of a feature story.
Printing Press: Students can use this online tool to publish their writing as a newspaper, flyer, brochure, or booklet.
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FROM THEORY TO PRACTICE
This lesson plan taps two pedagogical beliefs-students work best in collaborative and supportive environments, and moving beyond the typical essay formats can help students grow as writers. In Go Public! Encouraging Student Writers to Publish, Susanne Rubenstein explains that the writing teacher: "must create a classroom environment that allows her students to see themselves and each other as writers, not students. In this classroom-turned-writing-community, the writers support and encourage each other, and, through their efforts, not only as fellow writers but also as readers and as editors, they work to strengthen both the quality of each other's work and the confidence of the writer. . . within this classroom-turned-writing-community, writers are engaged in work that has meaning outside of the classroom." (15)
This notion of collaborative growth in the writing classroom fits naturally with writing feature stories, which move beyond the typical personal essay format and give students the chance to share significant personal information with one another. Rubenstein explains, "Certainly there is nothing wrong with teaching students to write personal essays . . . . But as a form it is perhaps overused in middle and high school classrooms, and when students begin to see it as the way one writes in school,' they adopt a writing voice that is academic and artificial and calculated to please the teacher alone" (43). To avoid this situation, Rubenstein invites students to "experiment with different genres to find their strong suit" (43). Feature stories provide just the right solution: "Through the writing and reading of each [feature] story, students come to learn a lot about each other in a very short time, and we are well on our way to becoming a community of writers" (44).
Rubenstein, Susanne. 1988. Go Public! Encouraging Student Writers to Publish. Urbana, IL: NCTE.
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Source: Art exhibit at the Moderna Museet
Author: Andy Warhol
"In the future everybody will be world famous for fifteen minutes."
In the future, everybody will be world-famous for fifteen minutes.
TimeFunnyExperienceArtFutureHistoryHistorical DocumentsAndy Warhol
This line was written by Andy Warhol for an art exhibit at the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Sweden (1968).
Andy Warhol, whose artwork was M'm! M'm! Good!, had a lot of thoughts on pop culture and fame. In a Time magazine article in 1967, Andy Warhol predicted the future as a time "when everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes." The next year, he included a similar version of this quote in an art show, saying, "In the future, everybody will be world-famous for fifteen minutes."
Warhol remixed this quote over the course of his career, saying in 1978, "In fifteen minutes everybody will be famous." Start the countdown…
Where you've heard it
You've heard the phrase "fifteen minutes of fame." The entire concept came from Andy Warhol, decades before reality TV made it even more likely for a person to achieve their fifteen minutes (or longer, in some cases) of fame… or infamy.
Additional Notable References:
If you were to drop this quote at a dinner party, would you get an in-unison "awww" or would everyone roll their eyes and never invite you back? Here it is, on a scale of 1-10.
Unlike Warhol himself, this quote has gotten way less pretentious with age. With YouTube, Vine, and more, it's a lot easier to get that fifteen minutes of fame.
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