ACTIVITY INFORMATION

Recommended age group: 11–18
Time required: one 45–60 minute session
Equipment: Paralympic plots activity sheets, filming equipment (optional)

ACTIVITY IDEA

Introduction

  1. Recap on the outcomes from the debate and discuss some of the issues raised around perceptions towards disability. Have the students' own views changed as a result of their investigations and discussions so far, and in what way?
  2. Talk about the Paralympic Values: equality, determination, courage and inspiration and tell the students that they must endeavour to include them in their stories.
  3. Look at and discuss the ideas on the BBC School Report site and talk through what it means to be a citizen journalist. You might also like to discuss specific journalist styles for inspiration, such as "How to write a match report", reminding students that whatever style they choose, they need to keep their focus on disability.
  4. Share ideas about how, through investigating and disseminating powerful news stories, the students could become advocates for the Paralympic Movement and the Paralympic Values.
  5. Talk through the activity sheet with the whole class and encourage the students to make notes as they begin planning their 'Paralympic plot'.

Writing

Students could create:

  • newspaper/magazine articles
  • interviews and documentaries
  • blogs and website pages
  • photo stories
  • short films
  • narrative poetry
  • televised debates.

The choice of story genre is up to you and the students, it's the power, energy and inspiration of the stories that may win you a place in one of the film workshops, along with your continued commitment to the Values and healthy active lifestyles. 

Spread the word

The students' stories should aim to have a powerful impact on as many people as possible to help challenge perceptions of disability. Allow students to discuss the best ways of allowing their work to have a broad impact. Can students share their work online via your school website, newsletters, blogs or social media (if appropriate)? Or perhaps give a talk in an assembly or at events that involve parents and members of the wider community? Why not send a copy to the editor of your local paper or radio station - perhaps they might like to interview the writers? Your local MP should also be interested in the work you are doing to shift perceptions of disability through citizen journalism.

Differentiation

  • Younger/less able students may find it easier to focus their stories on an individual athlete, a disabled person they know, perhaps from their community and/or they could take some key facts from their initial research and create a short, factual narrative describing how perceptions around disability have changed. They will find the top tips and ideas on the activity sheet particularly helpful. The BBC News School Report, giving top tips for creating news stories, will also help to structure their thoughts.
  • Older/more able students will be able to work from a broader base of background information and more abstract ideas, building on from the subjects raised during the debates.

Extension

  • Investigate and make a diary of events and opportunities for your citizen journalists to cover stories promoting disability sport, key messages of NPD, the Paralympic Movement and the positive achievements of disabled people in the community both in and outside sport.