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Breaking News ... from Our Solar System!

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Keywords: news broadcast, science, solar system
Subject(s): Science
Grades 4 through 8
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  • Digital Citizenship
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: Harrison Intermediate, Wylie, TX
Planned By: Marci Knight
Original Author: Marci Knight, Wylie
BEFORE YOU BEGIN: Show your students video clips of different types of news broadcasts (local news, international news, special interest, weather, traffic). Explain that they will have an opportunity to create their own news broadcast on the happenings in our solar system.

1. Divide students into small groups of 2-3. Assign each group one or more objects in our solar system to research.

2. Within each group, there should be the following roles: producer, videographer, reporter. Students may perform more than one role.

3. RESEARCH. Students will use available books and internet resources to research their assigned topic. Research should address the following questions:
a. What is the temperature and/or weather like?
b. Has there been any recent data collected on this object?
c. Is further exploration planned?
d. What are some interesting facts about this object?

4. DESIGN. Students will use the information they gathered from research to write a script for their 3-4 minute news broadcast. The script should include a weather segment, a factual news story and a special interest story. Encourage students to be creative by using humor, props, etc.

5. REHEARSE. Have students rehearse their broadcast several times, making adjustments to their work as needed.

6. RECORD. Students will use a video camera to record their news broadcast.

7. EDIT and FINALIZE. Using a computer with Moviemaker or other Web2.0 video program, students will edit and finalize their broadcast. When finished, they will submit final product for grading.

8. SHARE and EVALUATE. Take class time to show broadcasts. As students watch each broadcast, have them fill out a peer evaluation rubric OR have them provide 1 piece of positive feedback and 1 idea for improvement on a piece of paper.

a. If your school has video announcements, look into showing a broadcast a day on the announcements.
b. Swap videos with the other science teachers on your campus (or within your district) so your students can see a variety of student work.
c. If your district has a public access channel, check into submitting student broadcasts for public viewing.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
Language Arts ... The script can be done during ELA time and graded for technical writing and grammar.
Materials: Video Cameras, Projectors, Projector Screens, Video Tools, Camera/Video Accessories, Computer Accessories, Science, Word Processor, Keyboarding, Web Page, Student Resources, Integrating Technology, Speech and Language