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"Cold Wave" Newscast

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Keywords: Newscast
Subject(s): Video, Writing, Reading, English/Language Arts, Drama
Grades 2 through 12
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: Hunter's Creek Elem School, Orlando, FL
Planned By: Sarah Gorecki
Original Author: Sarah Gorecki, Orlando
As a class, we read the story "Heat Wave" by Hellen Ketterman. This story is a tall tale that has elements of fantasy and realism. In the story the girl solves several problems by doing silly things that couldn't really happen in real life. The girl finally beats the heat wave by planting a bunch of iceberg lettuce. Now that the girl planted too much iceberg lettuce, Kansas has an early winter. So, the students were asked to write a sequal to the story titled "Cold Wave". I told the students to imagine that Kansas was having a cold wave that they wanted to bring back to normal again. They were told to use their knowledge of conflict resolution to find a solution to the cold wave. Students were allowed to use fantasy solutions since they did so in the story.
Usually I just have the students write their sequals and share it with the class. This time I took it one step further. The students were put into groups of two or three and asked to turn their sequals into a newscast. They had to decide who would be the news reporter and who would be the interviewee that defeated the cold wave like the girl defeated the heat wave in the story. The students wrote their news skit and practiced for awhile so they would be camera ready. When the students felt well prepared, I videotaped their news broadcast. Once I had videotaped all of their newscasts, I used Windows Movie Maker to make one big broadcast. I uploaded the videos to Windows Movie Maker and added titles for each news broadcast. I downloaded "breaking news" and "newscast" sound files free from the internet to begin the movie and to start each individual newscast. At the end of the movie, I added the credits to show everyone who was involved in the movie making production. When the movie was ready, I published it to a CD. The students were then able to watch everyone's newscast altogether as a class. They thought it was the best thing ever that they were in a movie!
The students absolutely loved this lesson! They had such a great time creating their newscasts and then watching their newscast videos when the project was finished. This lesson could be modified for any grade or ability level. Creating a newscast could also be used in any subject area for students to give their ideas and opinions.
This was the follow-up activity to a story that we were reading in class.
Materials: Flip Video, Projector Screens, CDs and DVDs, Batteries, Memory Cards, Flash/USB Drives, Slideshow, Video Tools