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Little Owl Press Report/Newspaper and Newscast Project

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Keywords: newspaper, newscast
Subject(s): English/Language Arts, Writing, Technology, Spelling, Grammar, Journalism
Grades 3 through 8
School: Madawaska Elementary School, Madawaska, ME
Planned By: Gina Jandreau
Original Author: Gina Jandreau, Madawaska
Setting the stage:
• At the start of the trimester, students will be told that they will be preparing throughout the trimester to produce an elementary school newspaper, which will culminate in a newscast to be broadcast to the surrounding communities at the end of each trimester. Student reporters will be paired early in the trimester.
• Students will learn the basics of operating the digital camera.
• Students will be introduced to news reporting by viewing newspaper and newscast segments. Students will learn the 6 W’s of informational writing (who, what, where, when, why/how).
• Students will learn the basics of conducting interviews by going through a mock interview in class. Acting reporters will write the 6 W questions on separate index cards. They will interview an “acting” organizer (teacher) of an imaginary event while taking notes on the proper index card. With these notes, the entire class will work together on developing a news story.
• Students will be shown the rubric that will be used to score their finished news piece.

Gathering Information:
• Student pairs will be assigned an event/program to photograph and/or take short QuickTime movie segments of as they occur during the trimester. These photos and movies will be downloaded into iPhoto and the movies folder on the classroom eMac for later use.
• Students will schedule an interview with the leader or organizer of the event or program. They will prepare index cards with the 6 W questions to bring to their interview. They will conduct their interview.
• Internet research will also be done on the topic if the topic lends itself well to it.

Developing the Little Owl Press newspaper:
• The students will put their interview cards in order of importance and use them to write their news story. They will type their news stories using Tool Factory Workshop and save them to a flash drive. They will open their news story on the class eMac and paste it on the newspaper template on that same computer. Students will drag in their photo(s). The Little Owl Press will be handed out to elementary staff and students at the end of the trimester.

Developing the Little Owl Press Report newscast.
• The teacher will place newspaper stories in a certain order. A student anchor will be chosen to introduce and wrap up the newscast. Each pair of student reporters will split their news report into two segments so both will have a speaking part. Students will practice their speaking parts in the classroom in the proper order. They will need approximately four, thirty-minute class periods to practice.
• The class will take a trip to the Channel 7 studio at the Madawaska High School to videotape the newscast.
• Fourth grade students will be trained in the computer lab on using the iMovie program. The eMac computer that will be used has Universal Access features for students with visual, auditory, and motor skill challenges.
• The raw footage that was taped at the Channel 7 studio will be downloaded into iMovie on the classroom computer. Each student pair will edit their section by inserting their digital photos stored in iPhoto and their QuickTime video clips. If voice recordings are needed over video sections, students will use the iPod to produce those. These recordings will be stored in iTunes for easy importing.
• Once the newscast is complete, it will be burned on a DVD using iDvd. It will be given to Channel 7 to broadcast to our community and surrounding communities.
Materials: Flash/USB Drives, Batteries, Camera Bags, Point and Shoot, Mobile Labs, Word Processor
Other Items: 5 MacBooks, $ 1399.00 each, total of $6995.00
1 iPod, $ 249.00 each, total of $249.00