Hello, Iditarod Teacher Friends!
Wow, the kennel is full of action today! There are lights, cameras and TV news reporters hustling around taking pictures of the dogs, talking with our owner, watching as the teams prepare for training runs and following them into the woods. Excitement is mounting as the Iditarod Dog Sled Race nears. These reporters have just a little time at the kennel today to compile their story for tonight’s news broadcast on the local TV channel. Can’t wait to hear their final product!
Teachers, have you thought of having your students present news broadcasts as you follow the Iditarod? Invite a local news reporter from your community to share with your students his/her occupation and how to go about gathering data, writing it into a script and presenting it to others. What a great way to involve your local community and also share career information with the students.
Once your students have an understanding of the necessary components for a broadcast, let them divide the Iditarod race into small time segments. Put together teams of students to act as “co-anchors” and allow them time to research and gather information for a designated time segment of the race. Using the Iditarod.com Home Page and its various links, students should be able to find information and put together a script highlighting news from the trail, mushers scratched or withdrawn, weather conditions, checkpoint data and facts and trivia about the Iditarod Race. Check out my first article on “Navigating the Iditarod Website” which will give you an idea of where students could find information for their script. A great place that might be missed is the Calendar of Events under the Information tab!
Have your students (each set of co-anchors) write out their final script, rehearse it and then present their broadcast. The news broadcasts can be done in your classroom, over the PA system, on school TV, made into an iMovie or even an iMovie Trailer. The possibilities are endless. Get your students involved in creating a news desk and decorating the area for broadcasting. Choosing a network name will be a fun activity for your class and provide them with a sense of cooperative teamwork and bonding. One class that I know who does this activity calls themselves, “RS5W”. The RS is the first two initials of their school, the 5 is their grade level and the W is the first letter of their teacher’s last name. Creative!!!! What can your students come up with?
The teacher for “RS5W” shared with me her News Broadcast Schedule for the various time frames of the Iditarod that her students will be researching this year along with the News Broadcast Script on which students will plan their broadcast. Click on the links to see what she has and perhaps they will give you a direction or an idea on which to build upon and/or modify for your students, class or school.
Have fun with this activity as it seems a wonderful way to encourage students to be involved with the race on a daily basis, using their research skills, working under the pressure of a time element, and using appropriate speaking and listening skills. The Common Core Standards for Language Arts, Writing, Speaking & Listening, and Technology can all be intertwined in the activity.
I wonder what name I would give my network. Hmm…perhaps “EdUC”! Can you figure out why?
~Sled Dog Ed