Robin Buss's pick of the week

28th October 2005 at 01:00
Media StudiesReading Media Texts BBC2, Thursday, November 3, 4-6am

The first of these programmes for 13 to 16-year-olds is an hour-long documentary on the workings of BBC Radio 1, showing how a news bulletin is put together and how music is selected for transmission; it also looks at the programme in the context of competition from other broadcasters. The second hour, for the same age group, compares various media texts - static, moving and interactive - and the different languages they employ.

School of Hard Knocks C4, Monday-Wednesday, October 31-November 2, 10-10.25am

An East End boxing club is the setting for this new series about boys learning discipline and self-respect in the ring. Designed to teach citizenship to 14 to 19-year-olds, the three films are about adolescent aggression and how to direct it, and give a fascinating insight into the world of gumshields and punchbags.

Making It C4, Tuesdays, November 1-29, 5.30-5.35am

These five five-minute programmes, from an excellent series for primary art, design and technology, go to Brazil to watch as young people build and fly a kite, make grass mats, and masks, and learn to dance the samba. The programme notes (www.channel4.comlearning) give valuable hints on how to use the series.

Three Gorges: the Biggest Dam in the World Discovery Science, Wednesday, November 2, 4-5pm

The dam over the Yangtze River, due to be completed in 2009, is designed to provide electric power and - most importantly - to control floods; but the lake it creates will drown 13 towns and hundreds of villages, destroying agricultural land and sites of great cultural, architectural and archaeological interest. This documentary examines why it has to be built and explains how the flow of water will be controlled to ensure ships can still use the river. It also looks at environmental effects, speculates on potential opposition and talks to an American critic of the project. A useful resource for geography and environmental studies.

Time to Move: The Pied Piper BBC Radio 4, Wednesdays, November 2-30, 3.35-3.55am

Dance for six to eight-year-olds, who can develop the ideas suggested by the programme individually, in pairs, in groups or as a whole class. This unit, inspired by Robert Browning's poem, gets the class to play the characters - rats, Mayor, Pied Piper, children - and use dance and movement to express emotions: anger, sadness, joy... There are links with reading and literacy, too, not only because children should hear Browning's poem beforehand, but because the story gives opportunities for writing (eg seeing the events from the viewpoints of different characters). Full teachers' notes are on the BBC school's radio website, you can download the programme for a week after transmission.

Music Box: Beautiful Rain BBC Radio 4, Tuesdays, November 1-29, 3.15-3.30am

Three to five-year-olds learn about singing and music-making in this radio series about rain in different places: in the desert and in the city, or falling on the river and the snow. These are charming little stories about nature: clouds, water, trees and wind.

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