Viewing, Reading, Listening,
Note Taking and Writing Skills
can be enhanced by using mass media and the resources of Newsday.
The
N.I.E.  Multimedia Program will post a lesson
every Tuesday designed to improve E.L.A. skills.
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Lesson #15In-service Course
Ben Amato | Newfield High School
The MUSARIUM website will be explored in this lesson, for it uses all forms of mass media to present stories that are of high interest, of great
educational value and are uniquely entertaining. Video clips, interviews, photo essays, QuickTime presentations, transcripts and articles are used to
provide readers/viewers with insights and thought provoking experiences. Television and newspapers tell stories that can be used to educate and
entertain. MUSARIUM has taken storytelling to a whole new level, that of the digital documentary. These are uniquely suitable for use in a classroom.
And they are very, very addictive. Once hooked into the storyline by the video, you begin to explore the other resources on each story site. Soon you
are enmeshed in the topic so deep, that you can't wait to tell others about the tale.
One of their lead stories is titled "Brain Surgery," and it follows the medical condition of Ray Farkas, a television producer stricken with Parkinson's
disease. A twenty minutes documentary takes viewers from his terrible days prior to the surgery to recovery and hope. It also takes you into the
operating room; with a picture so clear you get to actually see inside Ray's head, and heart and soul. Links on the site take you to Ray Farka's
website called OFF CENTER PRODUCTIONS. There amid some other great video pieces (especially the one on Catch 22) is a link to the brain
surgery webpage. Newspaper stories about Ray are there, television news clips, magazine articles and even the lyrics and a recording of "Hole in the
Head."

This one Internet documentary (How about call it a docunet?) could be a basis of an incredible lesson on medical science, Parkinson's disease and
the importance of attitude and hope.

Imagine this lesson:
· Begin by showing a CNN news clip about Ray's surgery and his plan to film a documentary about his own fight with Parkinson's disease.
· A multiple choice listening test will follow and lead into a reading comprehension exercise, where kids read the USA Today newspaper article about
Ray's ordeal.
· Then they will watch the video and take notes on how Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) offers a way for people to cope with the horrors of Parkinson's.
· Conclude the lesson with students using the links on Ray's website to explore the world of Parkinson's disease and possibly its cure.
· The results of their Internet research can then be shared in group presentations or individual writing assignments.

Everything needed to make this lesson happen is waiting on the MUSARIUM website. Multimedia lessons are the best way to present topics into our
classrooms. Enjoy the way the webmasters of MUSARIUM tell a story and I hope it sparks your imagination as to their usefulness in schools.

Move on to the assignment page and enjoy the wonders of the Internet.