What's Your News Competition Lesson Plan

 

Preparation

You will need:

You can download and print all these documents at the bottom of this page.

Lesson Plan

Please read the Instructions and the Terms and conditions before introducing the competition to your class. The aim of this lesson is to tell students about the competition, so they will be encouraged to enter by making a video at home with their parents. All entrants need their parents' permission in order to enter.

 

  1. Go to http://learnenglishkids.britishcouncil.org/en/kids-news/news and show the page to the class but don't start the video yet.
     
  2. Talk about any other What’s your news? clips that you’ve watched. Can the students remember any of the children’s news? Can students identify the main characters from the show? (Grant is the presenter with a blue tie, Antony is the other anteater presenter, Gi Ant is the interviewer with a microphone.)
     
  3. Watch the video. Ask very young learners to count how many children they see. Ask older learners to remember names and news. Encourage students to sing along with the intro song – ‘What’s your news, news, news?’.
     
  4. Hand out worksheets to the students. Watch the video again and ask students to complete the worksheets.
    Click on 'Print an easy activity to do with this video for younger learners' or click on 'Print an activity to do with this video' for older students.
     
  5. Tell the students that you want to know about their news. You could elicit news from students by playing the role of Gi Ant the interviewer. Use an imaginary microphone or even better – print out the one from the Interview Pack and stick it on card: 

    With younger learners focus on today’s news or familiar topics. Prompt students to give news such as The weather in my city is…., My best friend is called….., My sister/ brother / mum / dad / school / pet.... Write up some of the news on the board. You can draw simple images to represent each piece of news.

    With older students or bilingual students you could show the scrolling news on the What’s your news? website as a prompt: www.whatsyournews.com

    You could display or hand out the What’s your news? Headline Chart:
    Students can complete their real (or invented!) news for each day of the week.

  6. Tell the students that they are going to practise talking about their news. Demonstrate an interview to the class with a stronger student. The teacher takes the role of the interviewer (use an imaginary one or cut out microphone from the interview pack) and the student can talk about news from his/her list or the board. Then swap roles. 

    With younger learners ask the question: “What’s your news?” and feed in language like My name’s…. and my news is that……And that’s all. You could write this language on the board for students to refer to later.

    With older students or bilingual students ask some of the questions from the competition instructions: What happened? When did it happen? Who was there? Where were you? How did you feel?

  7. In pairs, students prepare and practise talking about their news. They should take turns being the interviewer. Let them write dialogues or sentences if they want. Monitor, check they are taking turns and give lots of help and encouragement. Decide in advance if you want your students to make and use the interview props from the Interview Pack.
     
  8. Students take turns to perform their interviews to the class. You could hold a class vote to decide on a winner if appropriate. Encourage a round of applause after viewing.
     
  9. The filming itself and the submission of entries needs to take place in the students' home as they will need their parents' permission to take part and submit a video. If appropriate for your teaching context, you could set the task as homework. As they will have practised in the class the role of the parent is to film their child and help them upload the video to the website in order to enter the film for the competition. If possible, print a leaflet to give to your students with the information about the competition and the website address. Unfortunately we can not accept entries from a whole class or from students with their only their teacher's permission as this would break data protection rules. 

Extension Activities

  • Students can interview their friends and family for homework using the same question prompts.
  • Students can make a What’s your news? film set.
  • There are more games, activities and film clips on the What’s your news? website: www.whatsyournews.com
  • This lesson plan has been written for an EFL (English as a Foreign Language) classroom but you can adapt the ideas and use it with other teaching contexts. We suggest with bilingual, multilingual or English speaking children you could extend the above activities and help students create their own class newspaper with their breaking news articles. 

For Parents

  1. Go to http://learnenglishkids.britishcouncil.org/en/kids-news/news and look at the page with your child but don't start the video yet.
     
  2. Talk about any other What’s your news? clips that your child has watched either at home or at school. Can your child remember any of the children’s news? Can he or she identify the main characters from the show? (Grant is the presenter with a blue tie, Antony is the other anteater presenter, Gi Ant is the interviewer with a microphone.)
     
  3. Watch the video. Ask very young children to count how many children they see in the video. Ask older children to remember names and news. The intro song has a very catchy tune. You could sing along together with the song – ‘What’s your news, news, news?’.
     
  4. Complete a worksheet. There are worksheets for younger and older kids so first decide which worksheet is appropriate for your child. Click on 'Print an easy activity to do with this video for younger learners' or click on 'Print an activity to do with this video' for older kids. Watch the video again and encourage your child to complete the worksheet. The answers are at the bottom of the page. Fold over the page or cut them off to avoid temptation if you like! You can also look at the audioscript to help your child answer the questions.
     
  5. Tell your child that you want to know about their news. You could play the role of Gi Ant the interviewer and ask your child What’s your news?. Use an imaginary microphone or even better – print out the one from the interview pack and stick it on card. If you have more than one child they could play together and take it in turns to be the interviewer.
     
    With a younger child, focus on today’s news or familiar topics. You could demonstrate by asking your child to interview you first. Give news such as 'The weather in my city is…., My best friend is called….., My sister/ brother/pet.' A child who is new to learning English may find it easier to talk about things happening at the moment rather than things that happened yesterday or last week. If your child has a school course book  check what he or she has done in class and revise some of the words  from the book. For example, if they have studied ‘sports’ in class you could talk about favourite sports …'I like Tae Kwando. My mum likes swimming. My dad likes….'

    With older or bilingual children you could watch the scrolling news on the What’s your news? website to provide some ideas. You could print the What’s your news? headline chart. Children can complete their real (or invented!) news for each day of the week.
     
  6. Practise before you film. Remember that your video can only be 2 minutes long or shorter. Practise first to build confidence and to help you and your child to keep it short. 

With younger children help them practise expressions like 'My name’s…. and my news is that…' 'And that’s all'. You could write some notes to help them if you like. Remember that your child doesn’t have to produce ‘perfect’ English. A few mistakes are fine so don’t feel that it’s necessary to correct everything. The emphasis is on having fun using English.

With older students or bilingual students encourage them to include answers to some of the questions from the competition instructions in their news: What happened? When did it happen? Who was there? Where were you? How did you feel? They can make notes to help them remember what they want to say but don't read from a script. Using a few notes as a memory aids makes you sound much more natural.

Look on the competition 'Overview' page to see an example video of a bilingual child talking about her news. Then film your child. The judges want to see fun, imaginative videos where you can hear clearly what the child is saying.

Filming tips

  • Think about background. Will you have a colourful wall display, a bookshelf, posters on the wall or a plain background?
  • Make sure your child is clearly visible and not camouflaged by too much background activity.
  • Think about lighting. Avoid filming in front of a window.
  • Will your child be sitting or standing? It might be easier to keep him or her in one place if they are sitting.
  • Use a tripod if you have one or put the camera on a flat surface to make sure that it doesn’t move.
  • Try to find a quiet place to film.
  • Smile and enjoy yourself!
  • Watch your film!


When you and your child are happy with your video clip you can register and then upload the video clip.

There are lots of extra activities that your child can do alone or with your help. After (or before) filming your child can make a What’s your news? film set. There are also games, activities and film clips on the What’s your news? website.

Have fun!