With all the technology we’ve used this year, I was presented with the opportunity to try something new with my students. Throughout my career as an educator, I have met a number of teachers who have had their students conduct a “news update” during morning meetings for the rest of their class. I thought this was a great idea that could easily be adapted to reporting for the Iditarod and it turned into the inspiration for my student reporters during the race.
During class, we would watch some of the Iditarod Insider clips from the race in order for students to see professionals like Greg Heister, Bruce Lee, and this year, Liz Raines give updates, weather reports and stories from the trail. This was a great chance for them to see what examples for their own reports could look like. I loved the fact that there was a direct, real world correlation that the students could clearly see.
Each day I had one student act as a reporter “from the trail” and another talked about their favorite thing that we did in the classroom based on the Iditarod. Before filming their report, students would do a little research to find the current weather in (or near) that checkpoint, and use Iditarod.com to see the current standings according to the GPS tracker. We would also check the “Press and Media Center” for the status updates on any mushers that may have scratched or any changes to the race. These things would be the basis for each of the daily updates. I used the Smartboard in my classroom or the TV in the school library to display the live feed camera from the race to use as the backdrop, and we would begin the recording. The students had so much fun with it!
Here are some examples of our student reporters.
This activity is great for students to practice some quick research, reading fluency (from cue cards) and speaking!
Check out the full lesson plan here: Student Reporters
Connecting with Classrooms
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