Part of Lesson Plan: Writing Non-Fiction for Video: Lesson 1
Activity Overview / Details
Explain the process that will follow:
“We will de-construct the “Taybear” Video”, a professional video made by CBS News called “Heros Among Us”.
Play the full version again if you think your students need to be refreshed.
Part 1: Understand
Most stories begin with an interesting Lead: Capture attention in the first 15 seconds (The Lead) which could be in the form of a “Stand-Up” recorded on location. (More about this in Lesson 2)
Play the Lead Line movie
Part 1 usually contains the Back Story or The 5 Ws and an H.
The end of Part 1: The Most important part of story development is the PROBLEM.
Show video of problem statement in Taybear.
Ask: How does this “problem” drive the rest of the story?
Writing a story around a problem or issue makes the job easy. A controversy can create lots of great things to talk about. You can find the controversy or issue in just about any topic. When you do, you have an angle to talk about. Interesting stories are not just about the facts...they are about people and their situations or problems (the human condition). The facts are peripheral to the real focus...the problem.
Identify the Problem, Issue or Situation before you start writing your story. The worse the problem is, the better the story will be and the easier it will be to write. This is the motivation for your story. Everything else is just (boring) facts. There may be no “problems” but you will usually find “issues” or “situations” to talk about.
A clear and simple solution to framing the thesis or hook of your story is to end part one by saying ”the problem is...” or similar type of statement. This problem statement will drive the rest of the story.
Part 2: Care
When the viewer understands the problem, they will be more likely to care about the details.
List things that explore important details about the problem statement. Ideally, the order of information should go from general to specific or least emotional to most emotional, least conflict to most conflict, etc.
Show “Taybear Part 2 Care”
1. How many people were interviewed in part 2? (Answer: 3)
2. Does the information deal with the problem directly or indirectly?
3. Is there an order of information?
4. How was it ordered?
5. Do you care about the person in the story? Why or why not?
End of Part 2: Feel
“The most important part of the story”. The strongest or lowest point of the story should go at the end of part two.
Play “Taybear end of part 2, Feel”
The emotional impact! This is the strongest emotional statement of the story.
1. How does this make you feel?
2. Does this follow the template?
2. Why not put this information at the beginning of the story?
Answer: You need to create a progression of thought to lead the viewer to the strongest statement about the situation. If you give away the heart of the story right away, where do you go from there? You are left with the boring facts and no story.
(Variation) Occasionally a story will not have an emotional low. As a variation the emotional high point could be placed at the end of part 2.
Part 3: Learn
What can we learn from the experience of the story?
What is in the future?
What is the pay-off?
These statements create closure
Play End of Taybear video
Discuss how the end of the story created conclusion by referring to what she learned from her experience.
The end of the story has a call to action, how to contact Taylor and what you can do.
Materials / Resource
- Heroes Among Us Taybears [ Watch Video ] [ Download Original Video ] Full version
- Lead line [ Watch Video ] [ Download Original Video ] Interesting lead
- Problem [ Watch Video ] [ Download Original Video ] The Problem of the story
- Care, three interviews [ Watch Video ] [ Download Original Video ]
- Feel, end of part 2 [ Watch Video ] [ Download Original Video ]
- Learn [ Watch Video ] [ Download Original Video ]