Current Events

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Language Arts, Oral Language, Speaking, Social Studies

Grade 3- 5

Objective

News reporters make live broadcasts seem easy and effortless. But it takes a great deal of training and practice to become a respected news reporter. Students find out firsthand what reporting the news is like as they practice their summarizing and vocal skills.

Directions

Focus Web Site--Destination URLs:
Yahooligans! search engine home page
http://www.teachercreated.com/books/2404
Click on page 130, site 1
(This site can also be found at http://www.yahooligans.com)
About This Site: Students select a topic (News) from the search engine home page and then link to any one of several news-related links.
Pre-Internet Activity:
Assign students the task of watching the evening news at home. They discuss with their parents the details of one of the stories that interests them and then they write a one-paragraph summary of the story of interest. Allow time for the students to share their reports with the class. Discuss, also, the manner in which the reporter communicated the story: What was her attitude? How was she dressed? Where did she stand? In which direction did she face? Did her face give away any hints as to how she felt about the story? etc. Explain that each student will have a chance to gather the latest "scoop" off the Internet and report the news to the class in a professional manner like a real-life news reporter.
Teaching the Lesson:
Assign students news partners. They will have the same partners throughout the school year. Each week, have the class scan the headlines for interesting news items. Set aside fifteen minutes for the students to share what's going on in the world that interests them and discuss the stories. In addition, allow a different pair each week to go online to obtain a news story to share with
the class.
Each pair needs a copy of page 132. Write one of the following category links on the line entitled "Today's news category."

Current Events Newswires
International Television
Newspapers Weather
News Magazines @


(If possible, assign seven pairs each week to link to each of the categories above.) After clicking the link, students have a list of Web sites from which to choose. They select a site that appeals to them, link to it, and then get the scoop!
Allow the pairs about fifteen minutes of class time to organize their story and write a dialog for the class. They may wish to conduct an interview, do an on-scene report, or simply report the news like an anchor at the station.
Create a television screen for the students to stand behind with paints and a piece of cardboard from the side of a large box. The students give their news report, live and on television, on
Friday mornings.
Another option is to videorecord the students giving their news stories and broadcast it on Friday's morning show if your school conducts one. Record all the students' stories on one tape and show it to the parents at Open House or another parent function toward the end of the school year.

Resources

  • weekly newspapers
  • one copy of page 132 for each pair of students
  • large piece of cardboard and paints (for a "play" television for the classroom)
  • camcorder and videotape

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