Writing in Stereo

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WiS Lesson 8B “Special Interest”

May 1st, 2010

The original Writing in Stereo was published online back in the late 1980’s.  Its purpose was to apply creative radio dramatics or broadcast journalism 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: (VIII) The student will practice the confident pursuit of information in the classroom simulation, "Special Interest."

LESSON OBJECTIVE: (B) The student will identify issues or problems of community importance.

MATERIALS REQUIRED: Paper, pencil, maximum chalkboard space or overhead transparency roll

INTRODUCTION: A community must work together to solve its problems. By "community," I mean the area served by our high school. What are the problems, the concerns?


1. Brainstorm.

a. Ask a student to name a community problem or concern he or she thinks is important. Write that problem on the board.

b. As they continue to shout them out, you put them on the board as quickly as possible.

c. Try to fill the chalkboard with suggestions. There should be no excuse for a lack of issues to favor.

2. Ask students to each select his or her personal priority issue preferences and make a list of these.

3. Ask students to find one or two other students who share their priority preferences. These small groups will be the basis for the coalitions to follow. They should begin discussing their respective views and resolving small differences.

EVALUATION FOCUS: The brainstorming results should provide plenty of issues and problems to choose from. The majority of students should need little help or encouragement selecting their favorites and allying themselves with others sharing their views.