Lesson 6: Simulation – live news reports
- Present information/points of view clearly and in appropriate language
- Contribute to an up-to-the-minute live news broadcast
Starter (15 minutes)
Emergency simulation – ‘Operation storm’: Outline how pupils will take on roles of town council, emergency services and school staff, and simulate various news reports on a violent storm. Show news clips 1–3 from the Operation storm watch website to set the scene for the preparation of a news report on a storm (or use your own video material showing news reporting). Ask pupils to listen for the kind of language used for news reports. Pairs choose one example and explain why language is more formal for this medium.
Main (30 minutes)
Form small groups. Allocate a role to each group – local councillors, emergency services and school community (headteacher, year heads, teachers, pupils). Ask each group to briefly discuss what they would do in the case of a violent storm.
Groups to revise the areas of the town and school they identified as potentially dangerous during a storm. Teacher to set the scenario: ‘A storm hit suddenly at 10.27am and has now passed (local town and school’s name). The electricity, gas and telephone lines are down throughout the area…’.
Groups discuss in role and agree a short news bulletin to be shown on the evening news following the storm. Each group to identify at least one reporter and two interviewees and then put together a news item of 30 seconds minimum and one minute maximum.
As groups prepare their items, the teacher issues updates that they need to incorporate and react to at five-minute intervals. These can be whatever the teacher feels relevant but some examples are given below.
- 5 min update 1: Electricity supply cut
- 5 min update 2: Phone lines down
- 5 min update 3: Crash blocks main road
Independent: Town council
Prepare news report from council chambers in town hall to reassure townspeople. React to updates.
Guided: Emergency services
Teacher to lead discussion on which service would take the lead in issuing news reports to the public and which incidents they would be dealing with. Teacher to model tone of an interview with a fire chief before group makes its own news item. React to updates.
Individual support: School community
Teaching assistant (TA) supports individual pupils to prepare a news report from the school grounds. React to updates.
Plenary (15 minutes)
Watch each group’s one-minute news report. These could be taped/videoed. Congratulate pupils and recall the appropriate features of language they used for the news reports. Pupils add to their journals identifying ‘two stars and a wish’ – two things they did well and one thing that could be improved on.
internet clip from Operation storm watch; pupils’ journals
Suggested focus words
- flood, reporter, news, disaster, formal
- operation, broadcast, bulletin, simulation, interview.