Teacher Tap


engageVideo Projects: Engage

News and current events engage young people in thinking about the world around them. Rather than assigning a report, ask students to create a news program. Rather than a traditional journal, keep a media journal detailing what news they read, music they heard, and programs they watched.

Create News Programs

A popular way to integrate video into the classroom is a regular news program. Keep in mind that news programs can be associated with any content area.

Watch a teacher talk about news reporting in the classroom: It's News to Me. She suggests four aspects of a simple news video:

  1. Introduction: introduce self and topic
  2. B-Roll and Voice Over: narration over footage
  3. Adding Additional Information: bring everything together
  4. Outro: toss back to the studio

Your news program might contain a lead story, weather, sports, lunch menu, guests, and local events.

To learn more about building news stories, watch Nick Monacelli talk about news video production.

Create Topical News Programs

Explore content-area news and events.

Design Travel Programs

Take viewers on a virtual tour of a local or remote location. This could be an "arm chair" tour of a favorite country, a virtual field trip to a local nature park or historical place, or an imagination trip inside a cell or through the center of the earth.

Create Special Event Videos

Create a program focusing on a special current event or anniversary.

Highlight Special Programs

Use special programs to explore people, places, and things of interest. Students enjoy exploring trends such as hair styles or popular bands. Explore ordinary, famous, and infamous people through background information, interviews, and historical footage. Consider a "Day In The Life" series focusing on important people in the school, career shadowing projects, or the lives of animals. Highlight a student who is a recent immigrant or a child with an interesting ethnic custom.

Create Welcome Programs

A popular project involves welcoming others to school, getting to know teachers, or orienting new students. Record important activities during the year. Also record discussions of important class topics such as school rules and expectations, dress code, discipline issues, or class procedures. These can later be integrated into a class or school orientation.

Build a Video Yearbook

In addition to a traditional print yearbook, consider a digital product. Film events throughout the year. This project can serve as a year-end activity involving students in selecting and editing the raw footage. Then, share the program with parents at the end of the year. What a great public relations tape to show at Open House the following year!

Create a Student Portfolio or Showcase

Involve students in creating a video portfolio that reflects their work. Showcase a piece of student work such as the results of a science experiment, a diorama, or model. For instance, each team member could describe a contribution to the Native American Village they created. One might focus on the teepee while another might talk about the fire pit. Or, use video to highlight a piece of personal artwork (i.e., sculpture, collage, mobile, painting) discussing the steps in creating the artwork, particular areas of ease or difficult, or describing the materials or approach.

Take periodic reading samples to check fluency.

Watch Tina Siao Portfolio.

Highlight School and Community Programs and Projects

Look for ways to connect to school and community projects. Tell the history of your school. Go "behind the scenes" at school or in a local business. Interview local people about their role in shaping the community. For instance, focus on local heroes.

Create Teacher Productions

Although you may want to get your students involved with video production, also consider creating videos that reflect your work as a teacher. The following examples are from the SECC Teach 21 program:


Take 1Try It: Create a News Program
Watch a few videos on this page. What are the features of an effective news or event program? Create a project that incorporates a mixture of still images and video. Think about using historical photos, diagrams, maps, and other images to enhance your video project.

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