Using Channel One as a SCIOP/ESL Tool


I love Channel One. I think it’s a great way to get current events into larger discussions in the classroom. I also don’t use Channel One enough. Or like… at all.
*background info*
Our school has a program called PrimeTime, where kids can be requested for a class period’s worth of intervention once a week. Priority goes to the core instructors, followed by a period where elective teachers can request students. I’m still undecided on whether I’m completely in love with the idea or absolutely hate it.
*back to what you came here for*
So, I was tossing and turning way earlier than I needed to be one morning, trying to figure out what I was going to do for PrimeTime that day when I thought about relevancy, and then I thought about our current climate, and then I thought about Channel One all while thinking about my SCIOP kiddos. I struggle with those students trying to get them to just write a simple paragraph. It’s disheartening and frustrating and even harder to imagine than you think it would be. So, what better way to use that time than to get them writing?

Using the Tools I Have Available

  1.  I had the students open a Word document on their tablets. We made sure that the settings for spell and grammar check were on.
  2.  I instructed them that while they watch Channel One, I wanted to them respond, in complete sentences, to what they were watching. It could be narrative in nature, it could be expository, or it could even be persuasive. The only stipulations were they had to write in complete sentences and their sentences had to have cohesion and flow from one to the other (I.e. The teacher turned in the promethan and told us we were going to be watching Channel One. She then gave us a set of instructions to follow.).
  3.  After watching and after writing, the students used spell and grammar check on their paragraphs. I explained to them that Word wasn’t always right, and they had to use their own judgement on whether the word or phrase Word was underlining should be corrected to what it was suggesting.
  4.  They then received feedback from me and further suggestions.


While writing is never their favorite thing to do, the students like to write on their owns terms with a simple prompt. Using Word really helped them recognize grammatical errors and the fact that,whenever they write something, some review needs to happen. Overall, I think I have no problems saying that I will be doing this activity again.