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Create a News Program

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Keywords: , Flip Video
Subject(s): Science, Writing
Grades 3 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: Dixie Attendance Center, Hattiesburg, MS
Planned By: Lisa Bickford
Original Author: Lisa Bickford, Hattiesburg
Part 1 writing a News story:

Students will: 1. Understand the purpose of journalism and appropriate terms and vocabulary
2. Sutdents will gain an understanding of the three Cs of journalism: clear, concise, and correct/ also discuss the 5 W’s and the H of writing.
3. Gain and understanding of what makes a good story
4. understand the structure of a news article/ news report
5. produce a written news story
6 .develop an understanding of how to write interview questions that will help them get at the facts
7 .analyze and assess the information and ideas gathered from a variety of sources
8. develop peer editing and proof reading skills


4. Students adjust their use of spoken, written, and visual language (e.g., conventions, style, vocabulary) to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and for different purposes.
5. Students employ a wide range of strategies as they write and use different writing process elements appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes.
6. Students apply knowledge of language structure, language conventions (e.g., spelling and punctuation), media techniques, figurative language, and genre to create, critique, and discuss print and nonprint texts.
8. Students use a variety of technological and information resources (e.g., libraries, databases, computer networks, video) to gather and synthesize information and to create and communicate knowledge.
11. Students participate as knowledgeable, reflective, creative, and critical members of a variety of literacy communities.

Part 2 Video taping a news story:

Students will:
1. become familiar with how to use video cameras to record interviews
2. become familiar with how to report a news story in front of a video camera
3. become familiar with how to record a news story using video and tri pod
4. become familiar with how to use green screen
5. become familiar with how to splice video and insert into a news story
NETS Standards: 2. Communication and Collaboration
Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance,
to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others. Students:
a. interact, collaborate, and publish with peers, experts, or others employing a variety of digital environments
and media
b. communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences using a variety of media and formats
c. develop cultural understanding and global awareness by engaging with learners of other cultures
d. contribute to project teams to produce original works or solve problems
4. Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
Students use critical thinking skills to plan and conduct research, manage projects, solve problems, and make
informed decisions using appropriate digital tools and resources. Students:
a. identify and define authentic problems and significant questions for investigation
b. plan and manage activities to develop a solution or complete a project
c. collect and analyze data to identify solutions and/or make informed decisions
d. use multiple processes and diverse perspectives to explore alternative solutions
6. Technology Operations and Concepts
Students demonstrate a sound understanding of technology concepts, systems, and operations. Students:
a. understand and use technology systems
b. select and use applications effectively and productively
c. troubleshoot systems and applications
d. transfer current knowledge to learning of new technologies

Day One:

Begin by showing students a clip from a news program. Talk with students about how the reporter gave the facts but left out unimportant details. Talk about what a reporter does. Discuss different parts of the news program and different roles of reporters. Introduce vocabulary. 5W’s and the H, Caption, Editor, Ethics, Facts, Feature, Headline, Interview, Lead, news, opinion, Reporter, Review, story, Transition and Flow.

Day Two:

Assign students to groups of 3 to work as a reporting team. Talk to the students about important school and community topics. Topics can range from things such as new principals, teachers, sports, the weather, new community leaders, upcoming events, new restaurants in town ect…anything that is of interest to the students and they agree would be of interest to the school and community. (This works best if they choose someone who is in the school, or you can call the community leaders and set up an appointment for them to come to the school) Allow students to choose a topic and a person to interview. For example, if the student chooses sports and it is football season they would interview the coach about how the season is going so far or about the last game. Help guide students as they choose topics to write their stories.

Day Three:
Students begin to think about questions to ask the person they are going to interview. In their group, they will discuss with their partners they types of questions to ask and make a list of questions. Guide the students as they create their list. Remind students they need to answer the 5 Ws and H in their article, so they will want to make sure they ask those types of questions. Allow students to go to the archives of the local TV station and view interviews that reporters have done. Tell them to pay close attention to the types of questions that were asked. After the students have compiled their list of questions, have them write the questions on que cards for their interview.

Day Four:
Introduce students to the video camera and how to use it. Allow different students to practice with the cameras. Assign students to different roles in their group. For example, each student will work the camera, hold the que cards and conduct an interview. They will take turns with each part. Talk to the students about how to conduct an interview. Look at the person they are talking to and speak clearly ect… Students will take turns interviewing their chosen person. This is where having more than one camera comes in handy. If you have enough camera’s, give each group one. Set up times to interview ahead so that teachers, coaches, principals ect are expecting students to come. Have students conduct their interviews.

Day Five:
Students review their interviews and begin writing their reports. Have students go to the website of your local TV station watch news reports from the archives to get ideas about how to write a story. They can also read articles from the local news paper. Have students begin an outline of what they want to say in their report. Students can work in their groups to help give ideas and work through problems. Guide the students in this process. Remind the students to use the 5 Ws and H in their report. Also remind students their report should follow the 3 Cs as well. Students will begin writing a rough draft once the teacher has approved their outline. This process may take a couple of days to complete. You can adjust your time based on how quickly your students work.

Day Six:
Continue from day 5. Have students peer edit rough drafts in groups. They may want to ask questions or point out anything that is not clear in the report.

Day Seven:
Students will complete their final copy to turn in to the teacher.

Day Eight:
Students practice reading their reports orally to other members of their group. Begin video taping students giving their reports. Set up a mock news desk in front of a green paper background. Green bulletin board paper works well. Many students like to use props such as coffee cups, globes, ect when reporting. Students may also wish to wear nice clothing on that day. Be sure to have them wear dark colored clothes that are not green.

Day Nine:
Students begin editing their video. The easiest way is to use imovie on a mac. This can also be done using movie maker as well. The first thing they do is load their video taped report into the program. Next have the students review their interview and find the parts they want to include in their report. Students then edit the interview and cut out the parts that go into their report and insert them into the correct position. After that, have the students add a background to their report. Using chroma key directions below, they put a background behind the video taped report.
Mac directions: http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Greenscreen-on-a-Mac-using-iMovie<br>PCdirections: http://www.wikihow.com/Chroma-Key-in-Windows-Movie-Maker
Have the students work in their groups to complete this process. This may take several days.

Part 3: Propaganda

Students will: 1. Build an understanding of propaganda
2. interpret and evaluate text to determine purpose
3. students will compose a persuasive piece of propaganda
4. students will write their own commercial
5. students will use spoken language and visual props to create a commercial
6. students will use video equipment to record comercials

1. Standards: Students read a wide range of print and nonprint texts to build an understanding of texts, of themselves, and of the cultures of the United States and the world; to acquire new information; to respond to the needs and demands of society and the workplace; and for personal fulfillment. Among these texts are fiction and nonfiction, classic and contemporary works.
3. Students apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts. They draw on their prior experience, their interactions with other readers and writers, their knowledge of word meaning and of other texts, their word identification strategies, and their understanding of textual features (e.g., sound–letter correspondence, sentence structure, context, graphics).
4. Students adjust their use of spoken, written, and visual language (e.g., conventions, style, vocabulary) to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and for different purposes.
6. Students apply knowledge of language structure, language conventions (e.g., spelling and punctuation), media techniques, figurative language, and genre to create, critique, and discuss print and nonprint texts.
8. Students use a variety of technological and information resources (e.g., libraries, databases, computer networks, video) to gather and synthesize information and to create and communicate knowledge.
12. Students use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes (e.g., for learning, enjoyment, persuasion, and the exchange of information).

Day 1:
Discuss propaganda and purposes. Talk about persuasive writing. View commercials and ads from magazines. In groups, have students discuss the purpose of the ads. Have the students look at the key elements of persuasion. Discuss what about the ad makes them want to purchase the product.

Day 2:
In groups, have students pick 3 products that they would like to write an advertisement for. Each of the three students picks one product. Students research their product write down the things that are selling points for their product. Students may choose to write an advertisement for a local business, or I have in the past had students write advertisements for a made up business.

Day 3:

Students write an advertisement for their product to convince people to buy it. Students create a storyboard to show how they want their commercial to look. In groups, students will peer edit their advertisements before turning in the final copy to the teacher. This process may take a few days, adjust the time as needed.

Day 4:
Continue day 3. Students who finish may begin video taping their commercial. They may bring in props if needed.

Part 4: Completing the news program

Students begin working together in groups to put together a completed news program. They will take the reports and insert them into a single imovie or movie maker file. Insert commercials between news reports. You may want to view a news program again and have students look at the number of reports followed by the number of commercials. When you have a completed file, you can make a DVD for students to take home and share with their parents.

NOTE: When completing this project with my 3rd graders, I also covered a science unit on weather. We included a weather report in our news video.

Materials: Flip Video, Flash/USB Drives, Tripods, Batteries