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Understanding Soap Operas in Year 8

Carl Beck | Tuesday June 02, 2009

Categories: KS3, Year 8, Television, Soaps, Understanding Media, Understanding Key Topics

In Term 1 of Year 8, we introduce the students to Soap Operas and the students are required to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding by creating their own soap.

This unit includes producing their own theme tune for the opening sequence in Garage Band; creating a moving image opening sequence to accompany the theme tune using iMovie (this is done using a still image bank created before the start of the unit by the class teacher).

This image bank is easy to create, it takes one adult to take a series of location shots on a digital camera to allow the opening sequence to show the outlying area and the audience’s entrance to the main set: an estate, for instance. Students are also required to create archetype photos of a new family they will be introducing to an existing soap such as Eastenders.

Students could also script a radio interview between a DJ and new or existing character. They might be asked to write a storyline and initial plot sequence. This could be ‘mocked-up’ as a storyboard before tasking the students. It generally takes 3-4 weeks for students to get the hang of iMovie, with a good level of access to ICT.

During Year 8 students are expected to focus on skills such as learning to analyse and interpret information; write basic essays; develop editing skills they were introduced to in Year 7. Year 8 is also a time for cross-department projects to develop.

As this KS3 Media Studies programme has literacy at its heart, we expect student to work hard on their writing by writing news articles on books they may be reading in English or at home. They may be asked to write a poem in English that is then adapted into a Pop format as a series of lyrics. An example of these overlaps might be if a student was studying Stone Cold by Robert Swindells in English, they could be asked to identify, analyse and interpret the connotation and denotation of tramps in Media Studies.

Every sixth lesson the students sit a formal...

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