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Script writing for broadcast


Students will learn how to structure two-column script writing and the abbreviations for the elements that appear in the average script.  Students will also be exposed to different camera angles while putting script writing to practice. Students will also learn about how to listen and tell a story through narrative storytelling while also putting the method into practice. 


  • Students will identify the different abbreviations associated with two-column script writing.
  • Students will identify two-column script writing formatting.
  • Students will write multiple two-column scripts.
  • Students will identify the features of narrative storytelling.
  • Students will analyze a narrative story.
  • Students will write multiple narrative story outlines.
  • Students will identify interview outline techniques.
  • Students will interview classmates.
  • Students will analyze a live interview.

Common Core Standards

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.11-12.4 Present information, findings, and supporting evidence, conveying a clear and distinct perspective, such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning, alternative or opposing perspectives are addressed, and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and a range of formal and informal tasks.


Five 50-minute classes


Slideshow: Scriptwriting for broadcast

Scriptwriting quiz and key

Rubric: Children’s story narrative outline

Rubric: Script writing reflection

Rubric: Lunch script assignment

Computers with word processing software

Lesson step-by-step

Day 1

1. Building background — 10 minutes

It is very common for beginning multimedia broadcast students to not see the point in writing scripts. Engage in a conversation with your students about the important factors they should consider when making that decision. Some of those factors include: being organized, being prepared, keeping other parties involved in the decision making process, keeping productions within time-limits.

2. Slideshow — 30 minutes

Talk through the slideshow Script Writing for Broadcast. In this slideshow, you will review abbreviations formatting and give examples for a two-column script. Ensure that students are taking notes on the different type of shot types.

3. Follow-up & take-home exercise — 10 minutes

Introduce the concept of conversational script writing to students to make sure they are clear on the difference between writing for print and television.

Assign students Assessment 1: Two column lunch script and ask them to complete the task of creating a short two-column script about what is for lunch at school the following day. Students should be prepared to present the script to start the following day.

Day 2

1. Think-pair-share — 15-30 minutes (depending on class size)

Each student will present their completed script from Assessment 1.  Ask each student to discuss what they were trying to do when they wrote their script the way that they did. Questions they might answer include: Why use certain cameras over others, Was sound used appropriately, etc.

Keep a list of the different camera angles and approaches that students took. Also keep a list of similar elements that multiple students used on their individual scripts.

2. Discussion — 20 minutes

Take the remaining time that you have left in your class session to write as many two-column scripts as you can with the class. Use local and school events as inspiration for your scripts.

Day 3

1. Building background — 10 minutes

Using the slideshow Script Writing for Broadcast, review and discuss the concept of Narrative Storytelling.

Narrative Storytelling is comparable to feature story telling in print journalism.  It generally follows a chronological sequence, and involves one or a combination of a person or people, a place, a period of time or a mission, purpose or point of view.

2. Present — 30 minutes

As producer, students should understand they are to try and make sense of what has happened in their story.

  1. They will try to put things in the correct order.
  2. They will talk to and interview people and understand why they feel the way the do about the story.
  3. Students will learn to investigate and visit sites that stories took place.
  4. Most importantly, students should be instructed to verify the stories that they are being told are true before reporting them.

Then, present the outline model set with the Three Little Pigs

3. Follow-up — take home exercise

Assign students Assessment # 2 where they will create a Narrative Storytelling outline.  Consider asking students to pick different stories before they leave the class to avoid redundancy in the stories that they will later present

Day 4

1. Background review and share — 30 minutes

Students will individually present to the class their findings on the story that they broke down the night before. Students should be given time to comment after each story if they feel important details have been left out or are missing.

2. Building background — 10 minutes

Introduce students to the idea of building an interview outline using the same slideshow. The main concept is that students should try writing down phrases and keywords that are related to the interview topic instead of a list of specific questions. Students can take the scriptwriting quiz as a formative assessment at any point after you have completed the slideshow.

3. Take home follow-up — 10 minutes

During the last 10 minutes of your session, divide class into groups of three. Students will do brief introductory interviews so they are familiar with the person that they will be interviewing the following day. The third person in the group (respectively) will be the outside observer that will take notes on how the interview went.

Day 5

1. Think-pair-share — 20 minutes

Students should start the day by reforming the groups that they made from the day before.  After they are separated, give each rotation of interview 5 minutes to conduct the interview of their classmate. Be sure to remind the third person of the group to take notes about things that went well and things that did not during the interview. They should take extra care to see if they interviewer is listening to the responses of the interviewee to avoid redundant questions.

2. Follow-up — remaining time

Use the remaining time in the session to have students start working on Assessment 3, Script Writing & Reflection. This can be used as a time for students to ask questions to things they might not completely understand.