Instructions to Conduct a School Survey: A Cooperative Lesson Plan

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In addition to its usefulness in an English class, this lesson is an excellent introductory activity for beginning journalism and yearbook students.

Lesson Plan Description

Working individually, in pairs, or in groups of three, students develop and conduct a school survey to gather beliefs and values of fellow students, teachers, administrators, or community members on an assigned topic. Each student writes an article for the school paper or newsletter analyzing the results. The survey counts as 40% of the grade and should demonstrate the students' ability to:

  • use random sampling to gather opinions from about fifty students.

  • use a Likert Scale (1= strongly agree; 2= agree; 3= disagree; 4= strongly disagree).

  • gather students' attitudes and beliefs.

  • use simple, clear, brief questions or statements.

The article counts for 60% of the grade and must:

  • be written in the style and tone of a news analysis story (relatively neutral; short, clear paragraphs and sentences).

  • include a graphic or chart of the results.

Additional strategies include:

  • helping students choose a topic from a class generated list.

  • giving examples of a Likert Scale.

  • giving examples of articles.

  • choosing the survey group and making arrangements for the students.


  • Students will apply the writing process.

  • Students will communicate effectively.

  • Students will gather, analyze, and interpret data.

  • Students will analyze audience, tone, and voice.

  • Students will discuss basic components of a news article.

Quality Checklist

  • Have we gathered respondents' attitudes and beliefs about the topic?

  • Did we use a 1-4 Likert Scale (1 = strongly agree; 2 = agree; 3 = disagree; 4 = strongly disagree?

  • Have we used clear, simple, brief questions or statements?

  • Does our survey randomly sample opinions of an adequate number of respondents?

  • Does my article include a chart of results?

  • Has my article been written in the style and tone of a news analysis story (relatively neutral; short, clear paragraphs and sentences)?

Click here for a complete 1st semester curriculum map for language arts with lesson plans and links.

This post is part of the series: Cooperative Learning Lesson Plans

Use these cooperative learning lesson plans that help students work together to practice skills and work individually to show mastery.

  1. Cooperative Learning Lesson Plan: School Survey
  2. Discuss the Issues & Engage Students in Cooperative Learning
  3. Using Reciprocal Teaching to Engage Students
  4. Inspire Students With Literature-Based Teaching Strategies
  5. How to Make Collaborative Learning Work in Your Classroom