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Reporting Live from the 20th Century


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Subjects
  • Arts & Humanities
    Language Arts, Visual Arts
  • Educational Technology
  • Science
  • Social Studies
    History (U.S.)

Grades

3-5, 6-8, 9-12

Brief Description

Students create a news story on one of the top 100 news stories of the 20th century. Included: A link to the top 100 news stories 1900-1999.

Objectives

Students will
  • study current news stories,
  • select one of the top 100 news stories of the 20th century,
  • create a news story and/or related features as they might have been reported at the time of the actual event.

Keywords

newspaper, edit, current events, news, writing, 20th century, history, time line

Materials Needed[shopmaterials]

  • current newspapers
  • library or Internet access

Lesson Plan

Have students collect a variety of major news stories from local papers. Share those stories with in class. Talk about how major news stories often begin on page 1 of a newspaper and conclude on an inside page. Discuss features and other elements that expand on the story. Explain that those features might include one or more of the following:
  • a sidebar of facts and figures (statistics)
  • a map
  • callout quotes from people who have opinions about the news story
  • a chart that provides information in an easy-to-digest format
  • a shorter story sharing one person's perspective on the news
  • a shorter story sharing one person's personal experiences related to the news
  • additional resources readers can go to for more information about the news

After the discussion, invite each student to choose one past news event. Have them write a news story about that event, as well as provide a continuation of the story that includes at least two of the related features mentioned above. Students can complete this activity individually or in pairs. Tell students to use online and print resources to research the news event they select. Explain that their news stories should include photographs, illustrations, and other informative graphics in addition to text. A great starting point for this activity is the Stories of the Century Web page that's part of the Newseum Web site. This page shows the results of a poll to determine the top 100 news stories of the 20th century.

Variations: Have students focus on a narrower or wider time frame than the 20th century, or have them focus on news events related to a particular subject area..

Extension activities:

  • This activity offers excellent opportunities for integrating technology. Encourage students to use publishing programs, photo-editing software, or Web page creation software to bring their news reports to life.
  • Display students' newspapers along a time line of the 20th century.

Assessment

Students rate each other's news stories for (1) content accuracy and relevance, (2) design, (3) creativity, (4) effort. Encourage students to rate each element on a scale of 1 to 5, such as:
5 = Pulitzer Prize-winning material!
4 = No Pulitzer but still top-notch reporting.
3 = Solid reporting.
2 = Needs a good editor.
1 = Where's the shredder?

Lesson Plan Source

Education World

Submitted By

Gary Hopkins

National Standards

FINE ARTS: Visual Arts

  • GRADES K - 4
    NA-VA.K-4.1 Understanding and Applying Media, Techniques, and Processes
    NA-VA.K-4.4 Understanding the Visual Arts In Relation to History and Cultures
    NA-VA.K-4.5 Reflecting Upon and Assessing the Characteristics and Merits of Their Work and the Work of Others
    NA-VA.K-4.6 Making Connections Between Visual Arts and Other Disciplines

  • GRADES 5 - 8
    NA-VA.5-8.1 Understanding and Applying Media, Techniques, and Processes
    NA-VA.5-8.4 Understanding the Visual Arts In Relation to History and Cultures
    NA-VA.5-8.5 Reflecting Upon and Assessing the Characteristics and Merits of Their Work and the Work of Others
    NA-VA.5-8.6 Making Connections Between Visual Arts and Other Disciplines

  • GRADES 9 - 12
    NA-VA.9-12.1 Understanding and Applying Media, Techniques, and Processes
    NA-VA.9-12.4 Understanding the Visual Arts In Relation to History and Cultures
    NA-VA.9-12.5 Reflecting Upon and Assessing the Characteristics and Merits of Their Work and the Work of Others
    NA-VA.9-12.6 Making Connections Between Visual Arts and Other Disciplines
LANGUAGE ARTS: English SCIENCE
  • GRADES K - 4
    NS.K-4.7 History and Nature of Science

  • GRADES 5 - 8
    NS.5-8.7 History and Nature of Science

  • GRADES 9 - 12
    NS.9-12.7 History and Nature of Science
SOCIAL SCIENCES: Civics SOCIAL SCIENCES: U.S. History
  • GRADES K - 4
    NSS-USH.K-4.4 The History of Peoples of Many Cultures Around the World

  • GRADES 5 - 12
    NSS-USH.5-12.7 Era 7: The Emergence of Modern America (1890-1930)
    NSS-USH.5-12.8 Era 8: The Great Depression and World War II (1929-1945)
    NSS-USH.5-12.9 Era 9: Postwar United States (1945 to early 1970s)
    NSS-USH.5-12.10 Era 10: Contemporary United States (1968 to the Present)
SOCIAL SCIENCES: World History TECHNOLOGY Return to the Newspapers lesson plan page.

Originally published 03/22/2002
Last updated 06/15/2008

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