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Protocol Toolkit Item: 9d


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A creative and interactive protocol that engages all members in shared leadership as they create a newspaper front page with headlines representing the vision for their work together.


  • Chart paper
  • Multiple-colored markers
  • Pens/pencils
  • Electronic alternative: laptop or computer


45 Minutes


In preparation for this activity, facilitators must decide how to group participants. Teams of participants will work to create a newspaper front page/headlines. Participants should be put into teams based on common roles or affiliations. Some examples of sub-groups might be:
  • District- teams are comprised of participants from the same district/LEA
  • School- teams are comprised of participants from the same school
  • Role-Alike- teams are participants in similar roles (e.g., parents/families, students, teachers, administrators, district leaders, community partners, etc.)
  Each team will need a piece of chart/poster paper and multiple-colored markers, pens, and pencils.    The facilitator(s) can opt for teams to create their front page and headlines electronically using a laptop. The headline/front page will be created on a presentation slide, electronic document, or whiteboard. This electronic format must be used if the protocol is being done virtually.    Virtual Implementation
  • Each team should have access to their own electronic whiteboard or presentation slide where they can build their newspaper front page. As teams share their Newspapers, they can use screen share to display their work.


Step 1:

Introduce Protocol (5-10 min) Share the following information with participants:
  • Participants will be grouped into teams, and each team will create a newspaper front page with headlines. 
    • When doing this protocol in person, it is best to allow participants to move into their teams first and then continue introducing it. 
  • The front page/headlines will reflect the team’s hopes for the initiative’s or project’s work and their role in contributing to its purpose. 
  • Let participants know that their newspaper front page should include the following: 
    • A main headline that represents their vision for the initiative.
    • Sub-headlines, representing any context/details related to the headline and outcomes of the initiative. Teams may also develop sub-headlines using actionable steps that help achieve their headline vision.
    • Any photos, drawings, graphics, or icons that illustrate the vision. 
  • Ask participants to consider the following questions to guide them in creating their front page and headlines.
    • What do you and your team hope to achieve in being part of this initiative or group?
    • When the group’s work is over (provide a timeline if possible, for example, at the end of this year… or three years from now…), what will be the big headlines sharing the success of the project or initiative?
  • Responses to the questions should guide the team in creating their newspaper front page and headlines.
  • Teams will share their newspapers with the whole group. They will need to select a representative(s) to present on behalf of the team.
Note: It may be helpful to provide a sample newspaper front page to the group before the teams begin their work.

Step 2:

Team Newspaper Development (20 min)
  • Teams should spend 20 minutes designing their newspapers and headlines.
  • It may be helpful to display a timer so that teams can track their time as they complete the task.
Virtual Implementation
  • Teams will be put into breakout rooms and given access to a presentation slide, document, or electronic whiteboard.

Step 3:

Teams Share Out (10-15 min)
  • Ask each team’s presenter to share their team’s newspaper. Teams will have 2 minutes each to share. 
  Virtual Implementation
  • Teams will use the share screen function in the virtual meeting to display their newspaper.

Step 4:

Reflection and Debrief (5-10 min)
  • Once all teams have shared, the facilitator will ask the whole group to reflect on the following questions:
    • Where did we see similar or related headlines?
    • Where did we see differences in the headlines? Why are the differences significant to the overall work of the group, initiative, or project?
  • If not mentioned by participants, the facilitator should note the importance of each team and participant bringing their unique role to the work of the initiative or project. And how the leadership and outcomes of the initiative or project are the responsibility of all group members, no matter their role.

Resources & Further Reading

Sample Timeline Building Template

Examples of Use

  • Can be used for school-based or districtwide initiatives that engage multiple groups in decision-making and outcomes.
  • Can be used for statewide networks.
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