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Oh No. It's the Current Events Report Again! Fun Ways to Present Your Report - Part 3 (K-4)
by Hilda and Henrietta, 04/06/2006

Why not have your parents go through this information on current events reports with you? We know they'll want to help you get your current events report just right.

How Should Your Report Be Presented?

Your teacher will probably tell you how your report should be presented. You'll need to know if your report is to be completed in a certain style or whether can you try something different. Usually, you'll do a regular current events report, which means you'll either write it out, or get up in front of the room and tell about your news in an oral report.

If you have an idea for a different way to present your report, talk it over with your teacher.

There are many ways your report could be presented that are different from the usual ways.

Let's look at some neat ideas for current events reports.

Ways a Report Might Be Presented

The Written Current Events Report

Once you've taken your notes and perhaps downloaded photos, you are ready to write a standard (or the usual type) report. We suggest that you make it easy for yourself. Just use your computer skills to move around and reassemble the notes you've gathered. Ask your parents or teacher for help if you need it. Remember to be a good journalist and cover the questions of who, what, where, when and how.

After you have your notes in the order you want, read them over and decide what you need to do to make them into your report. That probably means writing additional sentences and adding some words and ideas to your notes to make your report sound like it goes nicely together. Once you are finished with your writing, insert any pictures you have. And don't forget tell where you got all your information and pictures.

The Oral Current Events Report

For an oral report, your teacher will probably give you guidelines about what to include and how long your talk should be. Work on your oral report just like you would a written report, except that in your oral report, you can tell where you got your information by saying something like this, "According to NASA, the members of the shuttle crew included..."

When you are finished your writing and editing, time yourself while you read or tell the report aloud. You'll want to make it the length your teacher suggested.

Think about dividing your report into note cards you can print and use during your presentation. The easiest way to do this is to select all your text and change it into larger type that you'll be able see well when you are speaking. Then divide the text into sections and put each section on a separate page. If you know your report really well, then you might just put the beginning of each paragraph on the different pages. Usually you can use the "Insert" option on your word processor to create new pages. Print your report. With your parent's help, cut the pages into your note cards and you'll be ready except for any pictures and props you may need, and of course, practice.

If you are going to show pictures in your oral report, make sure the pictures are large enough for the other students to see. If they are tiny, pass them around the room instead of holding them up in front of the room.

Finally, you need to practice for your oral report. Your parents would love to listen to you give your report. Then when you get up in front of the class, you'll be ready to present a great report.

The Digital Presentation

Using a program such as HyperStudio, Keynote or PowerPoint, create slides or pages from your notes and files. If you haven't learned how to use one of these programs, and you have one on your computer, ask your parents if they can help you get started with a presentation. In no time, you'll be able to create one yourself.

You can be very creative when doing a presentation, putting in not only text but also photographs, charts, and maps. Be sure not get so carried away with all these extras that you forget to insert the text you need for your report.

The Digital Video Newscast

If your family has a digital video camera, this is a fun way to do a current events report. We are sure your parents will want to help you with your filming and editing.

To create this type of report you'll turn into a newsperson and a film producer. It's fun to do a report like this with the help of your friends, but be sure to ask your teacher if others can work with you on the project.

For the video newscast, collect information and then take some time to think about the best way to present this information on film. You'll probably want to limit your report to about 3-5 minutes. You'll need to write a script, so watch some newscasts and see how local and national news reporters handle stories. Do they do all the talking themselves?  Do they show maps, photographs, or charts? Do they ask questions of authorities on the subject? Notice how they begin and end their stories. Remember to include answers to the who, where, when, why and how of your news story.

You can make a really nice newscast by using a digital video camera for your filming. You can load your film directly into your computer where the video can be edited. You'll need video-editing software such as Apple's iMovie to get your film into the shape you want.

Postcards from ...

Here's one for all those student artists. Think about your postcards as miniature posters that each tells one part of your story. Skim the notes you've taken and look over your other files such as maps, photographs, and charts to decide what key points you want to cover on each postcard. Make a list of the postcards you will design and what will be on each one of them. Include your sources somewhere on each postcard. You can design your postcards by hand or on the computer. If you make computer postcards, you can easily change them if you make a mistake. In addition, the small lettering might be easier for you to create and easier for others to read. Besides, if you have your postcards on the computer, you can send them via email. You could send your paper postcards, too, with the help of your mailperson.

The Quiz

Make your own quiz that's all about the facts in your current events story. If you make a quiz, be sure you make the questions so that those who take it learn about your story. Use your notes and images to create the questions.  Keep in mind that a big part of learning about your story can be in how you let people know what the correct answers are.

Poster Publishing

You might think that posters couldn't really contain enough information to serve as a report. That depends upon your design of a poster. Experiment with ways to present what you need to tell your story. Can it be done on a poster? Maybe not. Maybe so, if you divide the poster into different sections or design the poster as a map of the story. Software such as Inspiration or KidSpiration might help you with design of the poster as well as organization of your ideas. Some Inspiration printouts look just like posters.

Timelining through ...

You might want to create a timeline for your story. With software such as Tom Snyder Productions' TimeLiner, you can show when the events in your story happened. You can link to places on the Internet from the program and add the graphics or photographs you want.  Check your notes to find out exactly when the events in your story occurred and then add them to your timeline.

Staging the Puppet Show

If you do your story as a puppet show, you can put your computer to work not only for research, notes, and script, but also for creating your puppets and stage. Begin by taking notes, and then change your notes into a short play about the topic. As you write, make sure you cover all the important parts of your story. You won't usually cite your sources in a show, but you should have them handy for your teacher.

With paint software such as Kid Pix or PrintShop , you can create characters for your report, backgrounds for scenes, and even props. Draw and paint your characters on the computer, print, cut out, and glue to a Popsicle stick or a piece of cardboard-something to hold up your characters. For your set, just paint, print and then glue to the inside of a box or whatever you are using for a puppet stage. Make sure your stage has an opening for your puppets, either at the back or in the bottom. If you have a program such as Tom Snyder's Diorama Designer , you can make 3-D sets and puppet characters using this program. You might just use a desk for a stage to save you time.

Once you have your script, puppets and staging ready, it's time to practice your report. Will you become the voice of all the characters or will you get some of your friends to assist? If your friends help, they need practice, too. You'll want to have a finished production when you present your work to your class.

You're almost finished...

You've completed most of your work. Before you do anything else, read over all the text that's in your report, no matter what style you've used. Read it pretending you are a person who never heard of this topic before. It often helps to read aloud on your own. That way you can often catch mistakes you may not notice if you read silently. Then run your spelling checker if this is possible with the style you selected. Have you told where you got your information?

It's handed in, it's presented, it's finished, it's great!

It always feels good to finish a project, especially when you know you did your best. Using the computer helps you to create work that is really nice. It also gives you the opportunity to think beyond what you usually do. You are stretching your mind and it feels good. Sometimes this takes more time and energy, but once you get started, you won't want to stop. -And you'll remember what you learned in this report.

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