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Creating Our Own Newscast

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Keywords: Flip Video, iMovie, JOURNALISM, Daily Announcements, Newscasting, Creative Transitions, Student Recognition, Teacher Recognition, Club Promotion, Building a Community, Character Education, Fun Learning, Collaboration Skills, Self Reflection, School Spiri
Subject(s): Art, Video, Technology, Podcasting, Writing, Animation, Music, Reading, Information Skills, Photography, English/Language Arts, Journalism, Drama, Speech and Language
Grades 6 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: Windsor Jr Sr High School, Windsor, VT
Planned By: Terry Frey
Original Author: Terry Frey, Windsor
Effective and Creative Communication Of Daily Announcements to Post on the School Web Page/ Journalism, Public Speaking, and Web Design
Grades 6-8

Learning Objectives:
Upon completion of this lesson, students will know how to gather and pre-read announcements and paraphrase them for the camera. Students will also know how to develop a heading for each announcement in iMovie, choosing an appropriate photo and adding text to introduce announcements by topic. They will also format a daily segment of the announcements that include the following: 1. Quote of the day, 2. Weather forecast, 3. World and US Headlines, 4. Word of the Day or Joke of the Day, 5. School Wide Birthdays, and Famous People who Share This Birthday, and 6. A Daily Jeopardy Question and 7. The Daily Menu in the Cafeteria

Student Prior Knowledge:
Students should have some prior knowledge in viewing the news on T.V., and have some understanding of how to organize and format announcements. An artistic/creative nature will aid in developing settings for the broadcast as well as delivering announcements with personality to engage the audience. Editing skills in iMovie would also be a plus.

A supply of flip video cameras, all charged and ready to go along with a printed version of the daily announcements and research for the weather, World and US News Headlines, Word of the Day or Joke of the Day, School-wide list of Birthdays and Famous People who share the same day, and a challenging Jeopary Question to share. All of the above should be compiled into a readable script from which the teacher will delegate segments to be recorded.

1. Gather the class and brainstorm the possible news worthy items for the day and delegate who will be responsible to gather the news from the principal, teachers, and students. Possible resources are: The weekly or monthly menu from the cafeteria, All school wide club news that exists, sports announcements, Student Success and Award Stories, Field Trips, Fund Raising Efforts, Etc.

2. Using a list of previously gathered information, divide the group up and determine who is responsible for each segment of the newscast.

3. Encourage each group of students to assume ‘ownership’ of their portion and allow each group to determine the location from where they would like to record their announcement (s). Encourage them to use different settings to make the overall broadcast feel more school wide, and look for backdrops that enhance the subject of the announcement. Do all you can to show off the environment of the entire school, and not just your own corner of the building.

4. After all of the footage is captured, it’s time to enter the data. Give each student a chance to access a computer where they are responsible for importing their segment and editing its contents. A shared file should be set up ahead of time, so that each group can drop its finished work into a collaborative folder.

5. Instruct them in how to find an image on the computer and add a text box to create a colorful header for each announcement to separate them all and introduce each one with flare.

6. When in iMovie, instruct them in how to add transitions to segments, and allow each group to explore this for a while. When they are completely satisfied with their announcement as recorded and edited, and they have determined a creative transition and header for their segment, they may export their work to the collaborative effort. If iTunes is accessible, have them consider when and if some background music would be helpful to enhance their newscast.

7. Once all is gathered in the Master Computer, determine the order of the broadcast and which transitions work best and if there is a need for alteration. Consider if there is a common sameness that holds it all together, or if it’s too random and needs adjustment.

8. You may need to assign a group to design and implement an opening segment with the school motto or emblem or mascot or colors, and record a cheery, “Good morning” with the school song behind it all. Likewise, a closing slide or segment may need to be added.

9. Once you are happy with the completed work, post the finished product on the school website.

It would be good at this point to sit together and discuss the obstacles that were encountered and how to make the entire process for efficient. Determine when there was “down time” or unfocused periods and how we might use that time to make ready for a next recording. Discuss the pro’s and con’s of working together, and how you might alter the experience to benefit everyone more in the most inclusive way possible. Find out what the students enjoyed the most, what they learned the most, and what they would change. If you didn’t have all you needed, problem solve to figure out how to work as a team to polish any up and coming episodes. Personal appearance and dynamic delivery of the content can also be discussed, and a critique of who was effective and discussion of the necessary skills for journalism may be addressed.

A procedural essay could be assigned to determine who understands the sequence, and remembers all of the steps that go into producing ones own news broadcast. Also, this could be shared on a Youtube station that one might share. Commit to this, and listen to the school as they critique it and comment on its effectiveness.
Our school is equipped with most that is needed to completely make this happen. We use Mac Computers, and we are fortunate to have both laptops and a lab that is set up to handle this project. What we need are FLIP VIDEO CAMERAS, and we're all set!
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
Since this is all inclusive of the school, it might be fun to feature a department once a week in this newscast, and show off what each is doing. We could share our flip video cameras with the different departments and ask them to capture some footage of their best events or lessons to use in the newscast.
I've always appreciated instructional videos. Perhaps this whole experience could be come a series of "How to" lessons that the middle school could use to teach those in the K-5 some technology skills.
Materials: Flip Video, Camera Bags, Flash/USB Drives, Tripods, Batteries, Memory Cards, CDs and DVDs, Cables, Web Page, Slideshow, Clip Art, Worksheets, Timeline, Screen Capture, Animation, Video Tools, Music, Pro Composition, Early Composition, Sound Libraries