A scriptwriting activity that sticks with students

Image from story-maker.org

Scriptwriting can be a hard sell to students who like to drop their interviews on a timeline and then begin cutting as soon as they have the interview wrapped up. While that is one way to bang out a video package, it’s not necessarily the best way.

Scriptwriting is important.

To help your students understand the process, consider teaching scriptwriting before you introduce students to editing software. In this lesson from Student Reporting Lab’s Storymaker site, you’ll find sample transcripts, an example script, and a final video. There’s also a slideshow, script template and video lesson. I pair this with instruction about Otter, which makes transcription a lot easier than it used to be and speeds the process along for my students’ first projects.

I’ve found that my students continue to use the highlighting, cutting and pasting process described in this lesson past the first lesson. Plus, their work is tighter. They feel less compelled to keep bites that aren’t contributing to the story focus. Give it a try!

Julie Tiedens

Julie Tiedens is a high school journalism and English teacher at Black River Falls High School, a school of 500 students in rural Wisconsin. She advises the student online newspaper, a daily announcements show, the yearbook and a PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs school site. Over the last two decades, one of her biggest goals has been to make her students better media consumers and creators. Another goal? Raise a son who loves the news just as much as she does.

Julie Tiedens has 13 posts and counting. See all posts by Julie Tiedens

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