Students had to write a “Natural Disaster News Report” for our next inquiry project. Each group picked a natural disaster – Mudslide, Earthquake, Hurricanes, Tornadoes, Tsunami, and Volcanoes. Each group was assigned a breaking story from the news desk. This was their big chance to make it in the world of news reporting, so the story and presentation had to be just right. Their task had many parts including research, organizing information, writing scripts and producing a fantastic newscast, complete with graphics and in-depth commentary. The following is the student activity card that we provided students to guide their learning. As always, our students amazed us with the quality of their work.
Student Activity Card:
- Begin by researching your topic area in detail. Learn how your natural disaster is caused and have a look at similar events in the past. You may want to watch a rival news organization’s telecast to get ideas for your own. Be sure to understand the underlying causes before you begin. Charts, pictures, videos and raps are always helpful.
- 2. Take you graphic organizer and begin organizing your points under topic headings –Who, What, When, Where, Why and How. (Remember, this is a fabricated natural disaster story by your group it must be as real as possible_ Include lots of details about what caused the disaster, who it affects, where it occurred and son on.
- Begin writing your script using the notes gathered on your organizer. Remember that a good news story begins with a LEAD and uses the INVERTED PYRAMID design. Your lead gives all the important information up front and then provides details as the article continues.
- Using your computer, begin searching for a good background for your report. Select a great news desk background using the ‘effects’ in Photo Booth. Next, find some video footage of natural disasters and insert that into the effects. Your ‘reporter’ can be filming live from the event with interview with various scientists who try to explain the causes of the natural disaster and ‘impart statements’ from the victims.
- Get into production! Assign roles to your group members, plan your work and work your plan. Use iMovie to complete the finals newscast. Have fun and learn a ton!
What kind of "News Report" are your students writing? Feedback and comments are welcomed!