Writing in Stereo

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WiS Lesson 11B

May 21st, 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 and concluding the original Writing in Stereo today.

UNIT OBJECTIVE: (XI) The student will improve skills in writing a book report by composing and recording a book review program.

LESSON OBJECTIVE: (B) The student will compose and record the program using the model below:

1. Soft lede introduction

2. Description of book a. Setting b. Characters c. Plot i. Conflict ii. Crises iii. Climax (without final resolution) d. Theme

3. Closing detailing publication specifics a. Title (repeated) b. Author (repeated) c. Publishing company d. Publishing date

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

INTRODUCTION: You've read the book. You know what we'd like to hear about it in your book review program. Let's get to it.


1. Cite the items in part 3 above, the mention of the title and author in the soft lede, and their repetition in closing.

2. Discuss the balance of the review outline and reasons for the structure.

3. Allow students sufficient time to prepare drafts.

4. When satisfied with their scripts, record them.

EVALUATION FOCUS: Listen for coherence and variety. Discourage the book report cliches.

Notes (XI.B)

Our format for the review script saves the details of part 3 for last. As with all broadcast writing, essential information must be delayed. If we mention those details of title, author, and publisher only at the beginning, the listener will discover he wants to read the book and has no idea how to tell the book by its cover.

In part 2 of the Procedure you explain that the soft lede becomes the introduction to the book review. We begin logically with the setting and characters. Characters lead nicely to the conflicts in the plot. Conflict dictates crises. Our mention of the climax must leave listeners eager for more (or reluctant to read, as the case may be).