In the Good News Project, fourth grade students set out to learn all about the news – from identifying strong news stories, to getting the facts and understanding your perspective, to report it out. Students studied different forms of news media, learned to distinguish facts from opinions, thought about the author’s purpose, and began to produce their own news segments.
When COVID hit, students also learned that the news can be disturbing and overwhelming. Thus, students focused on reporting good news— positive news that is high-quality and reliable.
They started creating draft newscasts on the very first day of the project, refining their research, writing, presenting, and filming skills. As they learned more and more about what makes a news story, they continued to iterate their draft newscasts.
When in-person school ended due to COVID-19 the students kept working, creating Good News reports from home, and ultimately sharing them in an online exhibition! Students created a “Good News Playlist” consisting of all their best good news stories uploaded to YouTube and shared publicly at their virtual exhibition.
This project began because students were showing more and more interest in the news, so we decided to capture this interest and run with it!
When the pandemic hit, we felt a tug towards positive news, or “good news” to help students process the overwhelming world around them. Students dug deep into the good news stories emerging during this stressful time, and even produced their own “good news stories” about their own lives. Students recorded news segments about increased family time, being able to learn in their PJs, and having more time to read at home. While this project involved a lot of pivoting, the end result was just as powerful as what we we had originally envisioned, if not more so!