Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Film at 11

Abby Hill


Students, in a two-person team, research, create, and present a TV news report simulation about a hurricane disaster in their hometown.


The student selects and uses appropriate formats for writing, including narrative, persuasive, and expository formats, according to the intended audience, purpose, and occasion.

The student speaks for various occasions, audiences, and purposes, including conversations, discussions, projects, and informational, persuasive, or technical presentations.

The student recognizes patterns in weather.

The student knows that the surface of the Earth is in a continuous state of change as waves, weather, and shifts of the land constantly change and produce many new features.


-Grades 6-8 Science textbook
-Local TV station hurricane guide
-Other resources about hurricanes
-Hurricane Category chart (if not found in the above resources)
-Television station news desk props (optional)
-Presentation Criteria Checklist/Score Sheet (see associated file)


1. Assign 2 students to each team.
2. Assign presentation order (which team goes first, second, etc.).
3. Prepare/photocopy criteria checklist. (see Associated File - -Presentation Criteria Checklist/Score Sheet- - for sample)


1. Remind/review with students the expectations and guidelines for this activity. Share the Presentation Criteria Checklist/Score Sheet with students. Students should already possess some information from prior lessons, informational session (one week ago), and through learning experiences. Guidelines include:
a. Each student is paired with a partner chosen by the teacher.
b. Each team has one week to prepare their presention.
c. Each team is a news anchor team on the local TV station.
d. Tell students there has been a hurricane landfall in their immediate area. They are reporting on what has occurred, the damage incurred, etc..
e. During this one-week assignment, the teams will be given a class period each day to research, prepare, write, and rehearse their performance. Encourage the use of library resources and the Internet for research.

2. Students are also encouraged to be creative with their presentions, however, the following components must be included:
a. Both partners must speak during the presentation, but one may be the primary speaker.
b. Both partners are expected to participate equally in all other aspects of the project.
c. Certain vocabulary terms must be used in the presentation and are located in the associated file. Students must include physical changes that the hurricane brought about on land.

3. Students share their oral -news- reports. Along with the oral -news- report, each team must submit, for assessment, a final draft of the written script. You may want to request a rough draft for editing at some point during this one-week process.


1. Written team script (assess each writing for intended audience, purpose & occasion)
2. Observation of cooperative learning (sharing responsibilities, co-worker rapport, cooperative attitude) while students are working in groups.
3. Critique of oral presentation (reference to Associated File -Presentation Criteria Checklist/Score Sheet-)


Videotape each presentation.
Students create a wall-size map of the city/state to be used as part of the 'weather' report.
(This same activity may be adapted to study earthquakes or tornadoes.)

Web Links

Web supplement for Film at 11
National Hurricane Center

(if adapting this lesson to tornadoes)
National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration

(if adapting this lesson to earthquakes)
United States Geological Survey

Attached Files

Presentation Criteria Checklist/Score Sheet     File Extension: pdf

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