Sharp News Take 1

A student news show is always something that I wanted to try with my students, but the project sort of overwhelmed me. With the help of Brad Wilson I decided to give it a whirl this past week with hope that in two weeks when we visit Mackinac Island students will be able to create a show from the island sharing their learning.


One of first thing that I had to do was see how creating news segments fit into the writing process. We use a process map created by Ruth AyersprocessThe map really helped me to focus on the informational writing that the students were going to do during the week.

I’ll try and put together a more detailed idea of what we did this summer, but for now I’ll just share a quick outline.

Day 1: Mentor “Texts”

The first day we watched TONS of student news team videos. We discussed what we liked about their favorite segments.

Day 2: Topics

The second day we generated a list of topics for possible segments.

Students self-selected groups and picked a topic.

Day 3: Outline

Students planned their segment using a storyboard.

Day 4: Notecards

Students wrote out their segment on notecards. TONS or revising done this day.

Once students finished their notecards they: practices. A ton.

Day 5: Action!

Students filmed their segment. I put all the segments togethers using iMovie.

Day 6: Watch the News!

That’s today! I’m so excited for my students to watch their show today. After we watch, we’ll reflect on what went well and what didn’t.

The hardest part of this process for me was to not focus on all the things my students didn’t do well. I kept having to remind myself that they were learning a ton, and this was their first attempt at creating a news segment.

My hope is to divide the time it takes to go through the process in half next week. That will give us one more news show before we begin planning for our show on Mackinac Island.

My hope is to teach this unit to my students early in the year next fall. I want student news teams to be a part of our writing workshop all year long.


3 thoughts on “Sharp News Take 1

  1. New learning for both you and them. Congrats on your initiative when so many others are coasting til the end of the year.


  2. Colby, what an accomplishment. Yet another tool to teach your students (and you) so much! I just LOVE that you’re teaching them the real process of writing well, starting at a young age. I knew NOthing about revision, syntax or anything else ’til I got into writing as an adult, and I even took a creative writing class in high school! It’s invaluable to learn these things 🙂

    I really enjoyed the video, getting to watch kids—still with a measure of innocence—doing something like this. And how cool you live close enough to be able to visit Mackinac Island! I mean, that’s the “Somewhere in Time” island! 😀

    And nice plug for Nerd Camp, Colby 😉 Thanks for sharing!


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