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What Firemen Read

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Keywords: community, interview, podcasting, English
Subject(s): Photography, Special Needs, Podcasting, Technology, Social Skills, English/Language Arts, Journalism
Grades 9 through 12
School: Union Endicott High School, Endicott, NY
Planned By: Kelli Krieger
Original Author: Kelli Krieger, Endicott
Armed with digital cameras, iPods with recorders, and great attitutdes, students will interview community members and find out what their favorite books are and why.

1. Students will form teams of approximately 3-5 members depending on class size and other factors. Teams should have interesting names. This gets the students excited and it helps me to manage the project.
2. Students will draw an occupation from a hat. The occupations represent local businesses or groups. In my case, I use the following: police, firemen, engineers, beauticians, professors, teachers, principals, veterans, cooks, doctors, and cashiers.
3. This next step can fly two ways. I can have small groups of individuals pre-selected and ready to be interviewed, or I can have students do everything including rounding up the professionals on their own. This is one of those teacher moments where you will have to make the decision that suits you best realizing all of the possibilities and pitfalls. Depending on what you pick, students will be given a very specific amount of time to contact their "people," conduct the interviews, and report back.
4. Students spend one to two days in class discussing the results of their interviews and sharing pictures and stories.
5. Students spend 2-3 class periods parsing through the information they collected and deciding how to arrange their informnation.
6. Students spend 4-8 days compiling and arranging their results in web and print formats. I have general guidelines to keep their final products somewhat uniform. For instance, I like students to include a written section as well as audio next to participants' pictures.
7. The final product is a website with links to audio interviews, pictures of the participants, and short writeups.
8. The final product can also be a short magazine.
Materials: Camera Bags, Digital SLR, Point and Shoot, Web Page, Podcasting