Mason Intermediate students in Shawna Bender and Heather Nagel's team don't just get to create news - they also get to learn directly from those in the business! On November 18, several WKRC Local 12 storytellers shared their insights with the fourth grader writers. Morning anchors Sheila Gray and John Lomax and producer Caitlin O'Neil answered students' questions about what it takes to put together a news show, and gave advice to students about exploring passions and tapping into their own curiosity.
Nagel and Benders' students create biweekly newscasts called Live at MI 45, which was a grant funded during the 2014-2015 school year by the Mason Schools Foundation. This year the broadcast partnered with Liz Dooley, an ACT teacher at MI, to help students write the best scripts possible.
"Liz decided it would be cool to bring in actual newscasters to help students make real world connections," shared Nagel. "We had several newscasters and a producer from Channel 12 come to our classroom to speak to the kids. They shared how they write the scripts, engage the audience and decide what is important to include!"
Live at MI 45 is a student-created newscast that documents the fourth grade year. Students write engaging scripts, use visual aids, and speak directly into the camera during the broadcasts.
"Students take ownership of the newscast and the information presented. Our students learn how to operate the technology needed to create the newscast, and practice their public speaking skills often," explained Nagel and Bender."Our students improve in their writing skills because they view writing the scripts as a fun activity. This repetitive practice helps them to write amazing essays and more concise summaries."