Writing in Stereo

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WiS Lesson 7D

April 22nd, 2010

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The original Writing in Stereo was published online back in the late 1980's.  Its purpose was to apply creative radio dramatics to all aspects of the teaching of high school English.  Each lesson included a lesson plan and notes.  I'm sharing these with you here.

UNIT OBJECTIVE: (VII) The student will improve primary research and writing skills using the discipline of broadcast journalism.

LESSON OBJECTIVE: (D) The student will translate daily school announcements to broadcast style observing these guidelines:

1. Subjective before objective (cases)

2. Objectivity before subjectivity (perspective)

MATERIALS REQUIRED: Copies of daily announcements, paper and pencil, audio tape recorder/player, recording space

INTRODUCTION: We hear our daily announcements over the school's public address system, but they are not written in broadcast style. We can use the daily announcements the way the media use the press release. We can treat them as information provided us to be rewritten and perhaps investigated further for broadcast.

PROCEDURE:

1. Post copies of the announcements over the chalkboards and send students to the boards.

2. Assign them announcements for translation to broadcast style. Let them write the ledes for their stories on the boards.

3. After they finish, have them return to their seats and go from rewrite to rewrite discussing active voice and objectivity.

4. Using copies of the announcements at their desks, have students write and record two- to three-paragraph rewrites of selected daily announcements.

EVALUATION FOCUS: Students should write and active voice. They should lose the rah-rah advertising quality of the typical announcement in favor of some objectivity. Of course, the soft lede and other paragraphs should conform to rules addressed in previous lessons.