Television Sweeps Month:  If It Bleeds, It Leads


London Crime Wave;  Film at 11


Introduction:   After reading sections of the novel Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens, students will demonstrate comprehension of the setting, characters and plot and reinforce writing skills by writing a thirty second long “TV News” script summarizing actions in the novel.  Students will simulate anchoring the local newscast and read their news script from the teacher’s desk


Purpose:  Reinforce Sixth grade Reading and Writing SOLs (6.4 through 6.7).

            TNCC ENG 195 objectives 3, 5, 7, 13, 14, 15, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26


Supplies:  Individual student copies of Oliver Twist (kept on shelf in classroom 103)

            Paper and pencil to write script (student supplied, with back-up from instructor)

            Video Camera (optional, to create news studio setting, or to record presentations for critique)

            Back drop for “studio set” (optional)

            Jacket / scarf & other props for reporters to wear (optional)

            CD player for studio background music (optional)



Read sections of Oliver Twist aloud in class – (students read paragraphs in rotation from chapters 10, 47 and 50).

Choose “feature” stories for each student (picking pockets, murder of Nancy by Bill Sykes, or police chase and death of Bill Sykes).

Review content of news story – Who/ What /Where /When /Why /How with “reporters” List on board

Pair up students writing on different features.

Students write paragraph (about 6 sentences, one for each W & How) about their “news story”.

Exchange with partner to peer edit

Students present their stories while seated at teacher’s desk (anchor desk).


Outcomes / Experiences:

I taught parts of Oliver Twist several times while a 6th grade substitute teacher in 1998-2000 at Brandon MS.  We acted out scenes to reinforce what occurs in the novel.  I did not think of the writing a news report at the time, but doing so allows us to reinforce writing SOLs as well as reading skills.



Pair up students who will cooperate for peer editing.



Online rubrics for written / oral presentations

Return to HOUSSE Institute “What Works” page