Cindy Jannett,
BHP Teacher, Washington, USA


This is channel 13.82 billion news and we have breaking news! An incredible event has just occurred!

Unit 3 introduces students to many new concepts such as how stars form, the life cycle of stars, and the formation of elements. As we were nearing the end of unit 3, I couldn’t help but wonder, are my students “getting” the connections and the impact that this has on our world today? As February is a sort of a “slump” of a time in the year, I really wanted an engaging fun activity to get students motivated and involved. What better way for students to “report” what they have learned than by creating a newscast!

The activity consists of 2 news anchors that open up the beginning of the newscast, 1 interviewer and 1 interviewee that bridge the “middle” of the report, an “on the scene” reporter, and finally a special guest to talk about the impact on today. I really wanted all students to be involved and giving them a specific structure really helped to assign roles to every student.

Students chose a topic from a list and were given a day (85-minute class block) to put their research and scripts together. At our high school we are really lucky because we have one-to-one technology so students were able to return to the BHP website, browse the web, and access materials to help them write a script.

It took about a 60 minute period for students to present all their newscasts and they got really into it! They developed characters, accents, props, and of course backgrounds on the smartboard for the news anchors to sit in front of. We had Barbara Walters, Darth Vader, and James Franco as special guests and of course, several reports from the “surface” of the sun.

Students really showed and applied their knowledge by creating analogies and finding creative ways to present their understanding. Students performed their newscasts live in front of the class and some of the “characters” were carried through other presentations for the rest of the year. This activity can be modified, extended or condensed to fit your classrooms specific needs. Good luck on your newscast projects. This 13.82 billion news. Good night!


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