Using Multimedia to Teach a Topic Researched on Newsela with Secondary Students

Students use their experience with multimedia tools to create engaging training videos on topics
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Student-Produced Video Example

About This Strategy

Students are large consumers of various types of media. This experience when leveraged in the classroom can be a great way for students to demonstrate their understanding of a topic and teach others. In this strategy, students read a text or a Text Set on Newsela, synthesize and summarize their reading, and then develop a way to teach the topic that they learned about in the reading to their peers. This strategy can play out in various ways (from having students create a multimedia commercial to teaching a lesson to peers using slides) and can be customized to suit the needs of specific classrooms.

Before Reading Implementation Steps

Teacher Preparation and Planning:

  1. Define a topic for students to research or read about on Newsela. This strategy can be used in many different ways, so a general theme is needed to help students narrow their ideas.

  2. Outline the types of multimedia that will be acceptable for submission. In addition, be sure to explore what students have access to and what the school can provide.

  3. Outline the project and expectations. Some examples include:

    • Class, Career or Subject Commercial: Students create a commercial promoting a class or subject area that they read about on Newsela to entice other students to join.

    • Lesson or Tutorial: Students create a short lesson or tutorial showing their peers how to do a specific set of tasks that they learned about from their reading.

    • Awareness campaign: Students create a multimedia project promoting awareness of an event or demonstrating the problem and possible solution to a problem

    • Formal Lesson: Students create a formal lesson using google or Powerpoint sides on the topic that they read about and teach it to their peers

  4. Outline student options for representation. Some options include:

    • Video commercial/skit

    • Video tutorial

    • Radio commercial

    • Mixed video tutorial with voiceover

    • Digital presentation with recorded voice over explaining each step

    • Social media page for awareness campaign

    • Educational app

    • Graphic poster or brochure

    • Animation - This could be a tutorial or awareness campaign

    • Other - Student/Teacher proposed ideas

  5. Develop a rubric for evaluating student work.

  6. Provide resources for various types of multimedia programs students have access to. This could be programs the school has at its disposal or free online resources.

Student Preparation:

  1. Have students reflect on the topic.

  2. Have students identify 2-3 representations they could possibly use for the project.

  3. Have students brainstorm other sources of information for the topic.

During Reading Implementation Steps

  1. Students record information related to their topic that can be used for their project.

    • Newsela PRO Tip: PRO users can use the annotation tool to highlight key information from the article to have easy reference to that information and for the instructor to review in order to offer feedback.

    • Cite the article using prescribed method (MLA, APA etc.)

  2. Record information on the Project Brief in the "Research" section.

    • This information will vary, but encouraging students to record statistics, dates, or quotes can help focus the students on what to look for.

    • The teacher can lead a class discussion about what to look for in the articles and how it should be recorded.

After Reading Implementation Steps

  1. Launch the project to the students outlining the expectations, the possible topics to research, and how you wish for them to complete the project.

    • Note: In addition to Newsela texts, The Bureau of Labor Statistics site (included in the resource section below) is a great resource for students to explore career areas and find statistics about topics related to careers and education. I encourage students to use this resource for our career project or the commercial for a class.

  2. Have students divide into groups of 2-3. This strategy can work with single students, but forming groups of 2-3 can support students to develop teamwork skills and allows for more creative ideas.

  3. Have student groups identify a specific topic within the theme that you proposed.

    • For example you may have a "Careers in STEM" theme. In this case, students should then find a specific career they wish to highlight.

  4. Groups meet with the instructor to review their topic and discuss what multimedia approach best matches their ideas

  5. Groups define a delivery method for their project

  6. Have student groups work together to determine the resources and needs in order to complete the project successfully. Students may need to request help with identifying technology they can use to realize their vision.

  7. Identify additional article(s) or Text Sets on Newsela that students can select from as they research their topics.

  8. Students complete the Quiz activity.

  9. Students respond to a customized Write prompt that asks students to reflect on the value added to the project from the article.

    • Newsela PRO accounts can customize the prompt on the Newsela platform.

    • Newsela standard accounts can write their reflection on the Project Brief provided in the resources along with all their other documentation.

  10. Students integrate information from the article into their multimedia project.

  11. Student Groups present their multimedia project and receive a critique from their peers. Here are some examples of how this could work:

    • Whole class critique discussion

    • Partner groups and have them peer grade the rubric

    • Written critiques that groups review after they present

  12. Student reflection questions

    • How has your view on the topic changed after completing this project?

    • What surprised you the most learning about your topic?

    • What would you change if you did it all over again?

    • How well do you think you and your partners worked together?

Recommended Newsela Texts or Text Sets

STEAM Careers

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Climate Chaos

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"Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee" By Dee Brown

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  • Content Area: ELA & Social Studies