Lessons

How do you do, Timbuktu?

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Image by Brent Stirton/National Geographic. Graphic title by Christina Paschyn

Image by Brent Stirton/National Geographic. Graphic title by Christina Paschyn

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Driving through Bamako on a scooter. Image by Yochi Dreazen. Mali, 2013.

Warm-up:

On Your Own: Play "TB2."

In the game you will be portraying a journalist covering the recovery of manuscripts in Timbuktu, Mali.

As you play, think about what medium you use to convey that story.

Think and Discuss: ​​After finishing the game, talk with your classmates about how you would want to convey your story if you were the journalist in Timbuktu.

Introducing the Lesson:

Today's lesson will be exploring how different journalists convey their stories, and the effectiveness of the different mediums that they use. (i.e. How well do pictures tell a story compared to a written article? Or how well does a speech convey a message compared to a video?) Consider:

  1. Why do some mediums work better than others? 
  2. In which situations would you use certain mediums?

Introducing Resource 1: "Dateline: Timbuktu"

On Nov. 30, National Geographic photographer Brent Stirton presented his photography from his and Peter Gwin's reporting trip to Timbuktu at Dateline: Sahara, an event held at the National Geographic Headquarters and co-sponsored by the Pulitzer Center.

This resource uses Brent's storytelling and images to convey his time in Timbuktu with journalist Peter Gwin.

Watch the video and analyze how Brent communicates his time in Timbuktu to viewers. Work on your own, or with a partner, to answer the accompanying questions.

Introducing Resource 2: “Mali: I hadn’t been expecting sheep”

The attached article was printed in The Washington Post.

As you read the article, use the questions to look at the advantages and disadvantages of using text to tell readers about traffic safety in Mali.

Conclusion:

Pick a story from your life to share with your class and convey that story in a way you have not done before. Use the medium you think is most appropriate for engaging the students in the class. (i.e. You could use a picture, video and/or game instead of just talking about your story.)

Share this with your class.

Educator Notes: 

The following lesson plan and educational resources asks students to analyze the effectiveness of online reporting that covers the ancient city of Timbuktu using a diversity of media. You will be looking at various ways journalists have covered Mali and its most famous city, Timbuktu. You will be evaluating the advantages and disadvantages of using different mediums (e.g., print or digital text, video, multimedia) to present a particular topic or idea.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.8.7

Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of using different mediums (e.g., print or digital text, video, multimedia) to present a particular topic or idea.

Objective:

Students will be able to analyze the advantages and disadvantages of conveying a story using diverse multimedia (text, photos, multimedia, etc.).

Essential Question:

What is the best way to communicate information to various audiences?

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