This challenge invites students to prepare a very brief news report for a
television, radio or podcast series featuring historical or contemporary persons
or groups who have contributed to the community. In preparation for this activity,
develop a list of suitable persons or groups for students to research (e.g.,
elders, early settlers, key individuals in various cultural groups, famous
local citizens), and assemble print and online references that students might
consult when researching their chosen community member. Introduce each person
or group and invite students to select those they wish to research. If feasible,
arrange for students to interview people who might know of the individual.
Students will prepare a short news feature story using three or four sentences
to describe a person or group of their choosing. As an extension activity,
students may select the most important contribution or write a letter of thanks
to living relatives.
Support student research
Suggest that students organize their research and their report around six questions
that reporters frequently consider:
- Who is the person or group?
- What did the person or group do?
- Where did it take place?
- When did the person or group do it?
- Why did the person or group do it?
- How has this made a difference in the community?
Students can use the Research
Local Heroes (Graphic Organizer) to guide their research.
Remind students to record keywords when recording information from print
or interview sources.
The Research Organizer also serves as a guide for the student to use when
preparing speaking notes for a presentation of the news report.
Prepare for oral presentation
Remind students that since this is a news feature, they should provide visuals
(pictures, constructed artifacts) and not simply read their report. Pictures
may be downloaded from a website.
Present news report
Encourage students to work with a peer to provide feedback on the oral presentation
skills. The checklist in Peer Coaching Feedback: Communicating Effectively
in an Oral Presentation (Assessment) can guide the students in the
feedback process. If possible, record the presentations on video for later
classroom viewing and discussion.
In the debriefing, help students understand how these persons or groups contributed
to the community's vitality and identity. Create a class chart listing the
community contributions made by each of these persons or groups.
Invite students to identify the most significant change caused by a person
or group. Students can use Selecting the Most Important Change (Graphic
Organizer) to record their selection as well as reflect on the reasons for
As an alternative, invite students to write a letter of acknowledgement to those
individuals or groups who are still active (or have relatives who might appreciate
the gesture), thanking them for the contributions made.