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Monday Morning Ready05.27.2016
Jumpstart Your Week!

The latest hot new television creation is a Hungarian talent show for young classical musicians. Now it is on the verge of being replicated around the world. The creators of "Virtuosos" have signed a deal with Dick Clark Productions. It is the company behind the American Music Awards. Dick Clark Productions will license the format of the successful Hungarian program internationally.... < read more >
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
Grade 3-4

Would you watch a talent show featuring young classical musicians? Why or why not?

Grade 5-6

Do you think a talent show featuring classical music would succeed in the U.S.? What about jazz, world music, conducting or film score composition?

Grade 7-8

Why do you think so few young people in the U.S. listen to classical music? Do you think a show like this could increase interest in classical music here as it has done in Hungary? Why or why not?

Grade 9-10

According to the article, "Virtuosos" is more than a television show. The program also has a mission to help participants continue and build their music careers. This includes everything from helping musicians buy instruments to organizing concerts around the world. Do you like this approach? How does it compare to other reality shows you've seen?

LESSON PLAN
Create a Reality Competition

PROCESS:

  1. As a class, brainstorm a list of current reality competitions on television. Select three and outline the format of each. Challenge students to consider aspects including: What is the focus of the show? Who are the competitors? How do they audition? How are participants selected from the larger talent pool? How is the competition organized? and How is a winner selected? Encourage students to identify aspects they like and dislike about each show.
  2. Have students review the article to outline the format of "Virtuosos." How is it like the other shows? Discuss how the show's mission makes it different.
  3. Challenge students to create their own reality show competition for students. Tell them that their show must incorporate a subject area that they are currently studying or are interested in studying in the future. It must also have a higher purpose that helps competitors in some on-going way.
  4. Give students time to craft a detailed outline for their show.

ASSESSMENT: 

Invite students to share their outlines with the class. Instruct classmates to identify what they liked best about each. Encourage them to offer helpful suggestions to improve the format of each show.

CUSTOMIZE THE LESSON:    

Grades 3-4:
Divide the class into small groups. Instruct each group to pick a subject for their reality show and write an outline describing how it would work. Provide boxes and art supplies. Encourage students to create a diorama depicting their program's set. 

Grades 5-6:
As a class, select one subject area that the class is currently studying. Then divide the class into small groups. Instruct each group to come up with a reality show concept based on this subject area. Then have them write an outline describing how their show would work. Provide boxes and art supplies. Encourage students to create a diorama depicting their program's set. Challenge them to explain how the design of the set fits into the overall concept for their show. After all groups have presented, compare and contrast the different formats. Select the best aspects of each and discuss how they could be combined to create an even better reality competition for students.

Grades 7-8:
Divide the class into pairs. Instruct each pair to pick a subject for their reality show and write an outline describing how it would work. Inform them that their outlines must include details ranging from the first auditions to the final episode in which the winner is announced. It must also describe how the show's mission will impact participants' lives long after the final episode has aired. 

Grades 9-10:
Divide the class into pairs. Instruct each pair to pick a subject for their reality show and write an outline describing how it would work. Inform them that their outlines must include details ranging from the first auditions to the final episode in which the winner is announced. It must also describe how the show's mission will impact participants' lives long after the final episode has aired. In addition, pairs should draw a picture showing what the program's set would look like, select a theme song and explain how they would market the show to garner interest from competitors, viewers and potential advertisers.

SMITHSONIAN RESOURCES
How Merv Griffin Came Up With That Weird Question/Answer Format for Jeopardy!
In this Smithsonian article, "Jeopardy" champion Ken Jennings delves into what gives this virtually unchanged game show its lasting power.

Meet Mr. Wizard, Television’s Original Science Guy
In this Smithsonian article, readers journey back to the 1950s and 1960s, where Don Herbert broadcast some of the most mesmerizing, and kooky, science experiments from his garage.

Remembering the “Father of Video Games,” Innovator Ralph Baer
In this Smithsonian article, readers learn about the engineer/game developer who was inspired to create a technology that would allow people to interact directly with their television sets as they played video games in their homes.

Moccasin Madness! Navajo and Apache Moccasin Game Songs
Moccasin Game songs of the Navajo and Mescalero Apache tribes are little known outside these cultures, but they hold intrigue and understanding for those who learn about them. In this lesson, students will listen, sing and play as they learn the cultural significance, key traits and pure joys of playing Moccasin Game songs.

Smithsonian Learning Lab: Classical Music
Explore the Smithsonian Learning Lab's resources related to classical music.

Let the Games Begin
In this teacher-created lesson, students will work collaboratively to design a game with clearly written instructions. The game requires players to round three- and four-digit numbers to the nearest ten, hundred and thousand.
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