Student Produced Video Field Trips
Explain the event so students buy in. Allow them to have a part in determining the exact format of the show. Assign student teams to write each portion of the broadcast. Make sure every student has a role in writing and a role on the day of the event (on or off camera).
If needed, prompt students with a list of key curriculum terms they must include. Even better, ask THEM what curriculum concepts would be illustrated at this site. Be sure to allow them to bring some unanswered questions with them to the site.
If team-teaching the event, be sure to tie in concepts from all subjects, even if it is to incorporate a writing skill—such as vivid adjectives or active voice—in the script. Always reinforce audience and purpose as students write.
Know your students talents. You may have some very logical, organized students who would be terrific as stage managers but too shy on camera. You may have natural actors who will love the limelight. Sometimes weaker writers are terrific with a camera or computer. Tailor job assignments to your students. Take a pre-survey to determine team assignments and keep an open mind about some of your less focused students. They may rise to the occasion. All students can learn many social skills when they need the rest of the team to succeed. Underscore the importance of every member of the team.
Packaging the concepts into a logical sequence that an audience can understand challenges student thinking skills as they plan and organize for writing. These same skills transfer to writing assessments. Be sure to spend time organizing the video's overview on a projector or whiteboard so students can suggest a better order, transitions, etc. Ideally, have a student director or producer conduct the discussion as you watch and facilitate.