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Lesson | 4-8 Classes



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Writing a script is intimidating, but actually, breaking the process into small steps makes it MUCH EASIER and will result in a MUCH BETTER story. This lesson shows you how to plan and write a script. It is highly recommended that you use this lesson when students are working on a story. This lesson has several parts. These Scripting Slides can be used throughout the lessons. You might use some or all. Each will take about 50 minutes.

  1. Transcription: 50 minutes or more depending on amount of footage
  2. Finding your best stuff (gold): 50 minutes
  3. Figuring out the beginning, middle, and end: 50 minutes
    1. SRL Story Arc (optional)
  4. Writing voice over: 30 - 50 minutes
  5. Writing a script: 50 minutes
  6. Feedback and revision: 50 minutes

Learning Outcomes

  • Take the fear out of writing
  • Help students organize their story
  • Understand transcription - what it is and why it is important
  • Understand that good stories have a beginning, middle, and end
  • Understand “the hook” and why it’s important
  • Career readiness: develop perseverance by learning to break overwhelming tasks into smaller, doable tasks and resilience by accepting feedback and constructive criticism.

Media Literacy Connection

Students gain a much deeper understanding of media and news when they have to make editorial decisions through writing and editing their scripts

Civics Connection

Understanding how media is constructed is key for critical thinking. Deeper knowledge of the story-telling process helps students recognize the role of stories in our understanding of how government and society work.

When Would You Use This Lesson?

  • Once students have a story pitch to understand what is next
  • After students have recorded interviews for their stories
  • To overcome reluctance to transcribe


If your students do not have a script to work with, use the Mighty Greens materials from a Student Reporting Labs story about a youth-led garden and entrepreneurial cooperative.


A person or other physical being in a narrative. Stories are made up of different characters who provide information and help shape the narrative with their knowledge, experience and perspective.


A document with transcribed (written-out) soundbites and voiceover narration. A VIDEO script is a two-column document with the audio (soundbites and voice over) in the right-hand column and a description of what the audience sees (visuals) in the left-hand column.


Narration done by a broadcast reporter, usually reading from a script. The reporter's voice is recorded over a sequence of video clips that tell a story.

Source: Berkeley Advanced Media Institute


A short extract or clip from a recorded interview, chosen for its relevance to the story, pungency or appropriateness.

Natural sound

Sounds produced in their actual setting. Natural sound, commonly known as NAT sound, puts the viewer in the place the story was told by enhancing the scene(s) with video containing rich audio such as a musician singing at a train station, a storm approaching, or the sound of a tractor plowing the field.


A word-for-word document of what was said in a conversation or interview


A person who gives an account or tells the story of events, experiences, etc. In news, it is the person who adds spoken commentary to the video news story.


The main person or character in a story. There can be multiple subjects in a story. The subject can also be the main theme of your story.


A detailed analysis and assessment of something.

Story Arc

An example of using a little person to tell a big story. For example, you want to tell a story about pollution in your community’s water system. That is a big issue. Your video will use the story of a person (character) to illustrate the effects of bad water quality.


An attempt to grab the reader or viewer’s attention with interesting information that will keep them reading or watching.


The supplemental footage used to visually support your A-ROLL.

Search: broll.

Writing - Research to Build and Present Knowledge

Participation and Deliberation

Civics teaches the principles—such as adherence to the social contract, consent of the governed, limited government, legitimate authority, federalism, and separation of powers—that are meant to guide official institutions such as legislatures, courts, and government agencies. (NCSS D2.Civ.7.9-12 - D2.Civ.10.9-12)

Speaking and Listening - Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas

Knowledge Constructor

Students critically curate a variety of resources using digital tools to construct knowledge, produce creative artifacts and make meaningful learning experiences for themselves and others. (ISTE)

Demonstrate writing processes used in journalism and broadcasting media.

Writing - Text Types and Purposes

Creative Communicator

Students communicate clearly and express themselves creatively for a variety of purposes using the platforms, tools, styles, formats and digital media appropriate to their goals. (ISTE)

Gathering and Evaluating Sources

Whether students are constructing opinions, explanation, or arguments, they will gather information from a variety of sources and evaluate the relevance of that information. (NCSS D3.1.9-12 - D3.2.9-12)

Writing - Production and Distribution of Writing

Speaking and Listening - Comprehension and Collaboration



Video Production

Media Literacy







White board, chalkboard or other visual board


Online Worksheet


Estimated Time

4-8 Classes