Writing in Stereo

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WiS Lesson 7E

April 24th, 2010

writingmini.jpgThe 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: (E) The student will recognize the newsworthy observing these characteristics:

1. Impact - who it affects

2. Immediacy - how soon

3. Imagination - to what extent possible

MATERIALS REQUIRED: Paper and pencil, daily newspaper, audio tape recorder/player, some recording space

INTRODUCTION: Writing and reading the news is only half the job ... the second half. The first half is recognizing the news when you see it. How do we decide what we cover?


1. Introduce the three criterion for local coverage: impact, immediacy, and imagination.

2. Take a look at the front page of the local paper. Brainstorm ways the top national story might affect local people. Make a list on the board or butcher paper.

3. Turn to the local news pages to see if any of the local angles suggested are actually explored.

4. If any of the local stories tie into a national story, decide the factor of immediacy. How soon might local people be affected?

5. Discuss the imagination aspect. To what extent might local people be affected in the future? What are the possibilities, the contingencies? Who would know the answers to these questions?

6. Extend the concept to your school. How might students in your school be affected? How soon? What are the possible effects? Who might know?

7. Students write and record school angle stories on national events.

EVALUATION FOCUS: Use the criteria of impact, immediacy, and imagination to judge these stories. How great is the impact to students? Might they be affected any time soon? Has the student adequately explored the possible effects or contingency plans? Are supposed sources quoted the logical source(s) to know the information?