8th Grade‎ > ‎

Radio Stories

posted Jan 8, 2015, 11:18 AM by mdreyfus@ctkschool.org   [ updated Sep 11, 2016, 3:11 PM by kmcmillan@ctkschool.org ]
Stories told over the radio have a way of being intimate and interesting, without the awkwardness of TV news. That's why I love the radio.  In this project, we're going to create our own radio stories.

Prepping and Brainstorming

To get an idea of the kind of story we're aiming for, let's listen to this story about Texas football coach Charlie Strong.

Log in to Kidblog.org and comment on my prompt.

Next, open this form and complete it

Forming a Question

A good story starts out with a good question. Which of them pose an interesting question? Read this article to help you to start thinking about your story:

Next, look at the ideas you developed during our last class on Kidblog.org. 
  • Look for a partner based on a mutual interest. Try to avoid picking someone you work with often. 
  • Discuss the possibilities for your story, focusing on the questions in the article.
  • Create a Google Doc - Title is your team's numbers and a question that describes your story. Share with your team and me.

Homework: Listen

Here are all the stories from last year. Listen to at least three to get a sense of what is expected, get ideas, and understand the format.

Developing a story

Now you that you have your question and have done some basic research, it's time to start your investigation. Copy the following questions into your Doc and answer them:
  1. What is the essential question of you story?
  2. What do you already know that can help you answer the question?
  3. What do you want to know?
  4. What is unknowable? A good story contains some mystery.
  5. What are the "sides" of your story? These are the varying opinions that make it more than just fact-finding.
  6. Who will you interview that has unique knowledge or a unique perspective on the topic? What makes them a good person to interview?

Writing Interview Questions

Here are some tips for writing good questions:
  • DON'T ask yes or no questions or questions with obvious answers
  • Ask open ended questions that encourage the interviewee to speak for a while
  • Think about what they might say and come up with some follow up questions
  • Ask people to back up their claims. "What makes you say that?" or "Why do you think that is?"
Here are some examples of questions you might as, and how to rewrite them:
 Question   Better Question 
 Do you prefer A or B?  What do you think about A and B?
 Have you heard about the new thing?  How has the new thing affected you personally?

Writing your story

Now that you've completed your interviews, it's time to put your story together and tell us what you've learned. Just like when you write an essay, your story is going to be made mostly of your voice, but it will include quotes. You're going to have to review your interviews and pick out your favorite parts to include. Review your interviews and record your ideas in this spreadsheet:

Once you have reviewed your audio, you can start writing.  Here is how your story should be structured:

  • Hook - Tell the audience a fascinating fact about your topic. 
  • Introduction - Set up the conflict in the story. What is the problem or what is it that people disagree about?
  • Perspective #1 - What does one person think about it?
  • Perspective #2 - What does another person think about it?
  • Perspective #3 - What does someone else think about it?  You must have at least 3 perspectives.
  • Summation - What have you and your partner learned?
  • Sign-off - "For CTK news, this is Michael and Jimmy-Bob."
Here is an exemplary story script. Notice how it includes who says what, direct quotes from the interviews, and description of the quotes.


Since it's hard to find a quiet spot in the lab, we'll be recording your audio on an iPad in class throughout the week.  Be sure to follow the Guidelines for Audio Recording.