Effective Communicators | ELA standards-aligned curriculum

Media literacy ◆ Social media mindfulness ◆ Digital citizenship ◆ Critical reading ◆ Objective writing ◆ Close listening ◆ Effective speaking

Our project-based curriculum for 6th to 12th grade uses Journalistic Learning to prepare students for the challenges of navigating a complex world. Effective Communicators supports the teaching of 21st-century skills, like media literacy and critical thinking, with an engaging student-centered approach. Lessons are ELA standards-aligned and no prior journalism experience is needed. All lessons and resources are available through an intuitive online platform.

Get the complete program

Educators gain access to a resource bank that empowers them to embed media literacy, information gathering, interviewing, public speaking, writing, editing, and publishing in a cohesive project, adaptable for 6th to 12th grades.

Lesson Plans
30 Lessons Designed for ELA Classrooms

The standards-aligned ELA unit includes detailed lesson plans, slides, worksheets, videos, podcasts, writing exemplars, assessments.

10 Hours of Professional Development

Self-paced online training helps teachers with no journalism background gain confidence as they unpack instructional materials and build their understanding

Opportunities for Networked Peer Learning

A discussion board connects teachers, including JLI mentors, to a community of peers who are also leading the project.

Explore the learning platform

The online platform offers a simple, organized way to preview, use, download, copy, or print the Effective Communicators resources from any device.

View the video walkthrough to discover the wealth of resources including:

Instructor onboarding
Detailed lesson plans
Multimedia support materials including videos, podcasts, and slides
ElA College & Career Readiness Anchor Standards
Discussion board for support
And much more
WHAT OUR Teachers SAY​

“Every single student I’ve spoken with who did the project last year has told me that it was the single most relevant and rewarding thing they have ever done. In the last few weeks, several students asked if they can come in and work with students who will be doing the project this year.”

– Jennifer Lesieur

Oregon public school teacher (March 2023)

See the program in action

See how Maria Vidas uses Effective Communicators to teach media literacy and increase student initiative and agency.
Learn how Patrick McDonald uses Effective Communicators to help students engage with their community by interviewing local experts on issues of concern.

Get Started today

To purchase multiple licenses for a school or district, please contact us

Get the standards-aligned ELA 10-week unit including detailed lesson plans, slides, worksheets, videos, podcasts, writing exemplars, assessments
Learn about the project at your own pace with our online professional development modules. Option to earn one graduate credit through the University of Oregon, for additional fee.
Join our online Community of Practitioners
Get updates, tips, and inspiration in our weekly Lens Bulletin newsletter
Receive a copy of the book Language Arts in Action: Engaging Secondary Students With Journalistic Strategies – a thorough, classroom-tested guide to using Journalistic Learning strategies to build vital communication skills
Earn a digital credential signifying completion of the professional development course

JLI is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that is helping students become more effective communicators and critical thinkers through a project-based, journalistic approach to learning. When you purchase a license for Effective Communicators, you are helping bring our programming to more students.

To learn more, get our book

Written by JLI Co-Founder and Executive Director Ed Madison, Instructional Design Consultant Melissa Wantz, and Education Consultant Rachel Guldin, Language Arts in Action is a thoughtful guide for teachers who want to implement a Journalistic Learning approach in their classroom.

Language Arts in Action is a book that skillfully blends language arts and media literacy concepts together in a way that makes it possible for every secondary English teacher to engage with adolescent learners and their complex media environments. This book revolutionizes and reinvigorates journalism education at a time when it’s never been more important to untangle the blurring boundaries between information, persuasion, and entertainment.
― Renee Hobbs, professor of communication studies and director, Media Education Lab, Harrington School of Communication and Media, University of Rhode Island
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