Roving Reporter

What You Need:

  • An electronic device that allows audio or video recordings
  • Computer or another device to edit the recordings
  • A topic or interview subject

What You Do:

  1. First, ask your child to identify their purpose and audience. What do they want to create? Will they speak to a wide audience, their family, or one person?
  2. Get an idea of what they’ll record. A chimpanzee tour at the San Diego Zoo? The Buddha sculptures at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco? The marine life at Puget Sound? How about a play-by-play of the third inning at Wrigley Field? Tell your child yo jot down questions about the exhibit, location, or players they’ll observe in a small reporter’s notebook. If they’re making something more personal, like a diary or a letter, outline what they’d like to disclose.
  3. Tell them to decide if they want to produce a “live” show with no editing, or if they want to record their findings first and create a polished guide at home.
  4. Have your child take their recording device and notebook on location. Study the exhibit or watch the game for a while before going “on air.” Or, before recording your diary or letter, find a quiet and comfortable place where you can speak freely.
  5. Then, go for it. If your child is at a museum or a zoo, encourage them to take note of the environment, then move from sculpture to sculpture or exhibit to exhibit and talk about what you see, mixing facts on displays with your own opinions. Gather at least 30 minutes of material, and don’t forget to simply record sounds, too.
  6. Out in the field, interview other visitors. What did they enjoy or learn?
  7. Once home, listen to the recording and take note of parts you like and the minute markers where they appear.
  8. If you have GarageBand, Apple’s home recording studio, or a similar program, edit the audio on your computer after downloading it to the computer. Alternatively, playback and transcribe your file, edit it and record the final version.
  9. Play your audio guide for family and friends. Save your diary file on iTunes and create more “entries” as frequently as you’d like. Or, burn your audio letter onto a blank CD, slip it inside an envelope, and send it—just like regular mail!

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