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"And That's The Way It Is..." Today in History


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Subjects

  • Arts & Humanities
    --Language Arts
    --Visual Arts
  • Educational Technology
  • Social Studies
    --Civics
    --History
    ----U.S. History
    ----State History
    ----World History

Grade

  • 3-5
  • 6-8
  • 9-12

Brief Description

Students create a nightly-news broadcast for a special time/date in history.

Objectives

Students

  • learn about a period/event in history by researching it from different perspectives.
  • analyze the elements of nightly-news broadcasts seen on local TV stations.
  • write and produce a news broadcast for a date/period in history.
  • work cooperatively as a member of a group or broadcast team.

Keywords

news, broadcast, video, TV news, TV, Civil War, American Revolution, Roaring Twenties

Materials Needed

  • research materials (from the library and/or Internet)
  • video recorder
  • a list of significant periods or dates in history (if you choose to focus more broadly than on a single event/period)
  • art supplies
  • technology tools for creating graphics (optional)

Lesson Plan

What period or events in history are you studying this year? The format of a nightly-news broadcast could be a fun way to get students excited about learning about a period in history. In addition, the news broadcast is an excellent format for

  • reviewing content taught;
  • creating a culminating activity to a unit of study; or
  • building the "core teaching" unit
    for any period in history.

The project might be approached in any number of ways. For example

Small groups of students might work together to create a nightly-news broadcast for an "average" day during the Civil War or some other period in history. The broadcast will include both hard news and feature reports that present facts and interesting information about the period. All groups might work to create a news broadcasts from the same historic period, or each group might work on a broadcast from a different period such as

  • Colonial Times,
  • the Revolutionary War,
  • Westward Migration,
  • the Civil War,
  • the Industrial Revolution,
  • Immigration of the Late Nineteenth Century,
  • World War I,
  • the Roaring Twenties,
  • the Great Depression,
  • World War II, or
  • the Korean and Vietnam Wars

Alternatively, you might assign to individual students or small teams an important date or a specific decade in history. The students will create the nightly-news show that conveys the true significance of that date or decade in history.

Before setting students loose to create a news broadcast, you might first assign viewing the nightly TV news as homework. You might ask students to watch a different nightly-news broadcast at least three nights over a weeklong period. Challenge them to create a list of the kinds of news features (for example, hard news, opinion, consumer/economy features, up-close-and-personal features that focus on a single person, "style" features that examine a hot trend) that they saw on the different news shows they viewed. At the end of the week, you might create a class list possible features that students can refer to as they "build" their broadcasts.

Of course this news-broadcast activity includes research. Strong research will be key to creating a broadcast that is accurate. Every student might be responsible for being a news editor; each will write one of the stories/features that comprise their broadcast.

Students might observe the credits at the end of a news broadcast to draw up a list of potential "jobs." They might assign roles to the members in their groups. Some of those roles might include

  • researcher,
  • on-air anchor,
  • on-camera feature reporters,
  • videographer,
  • graphics producer, and
  • director.
Beyond that, students will want to draw on the talents of the peers in their group as they create their broadcast. For example, the artist in the group might create the graphics, a person with strong geography skills might create a map, a person who plays a musical instrument might select (or compose) the broadcast's theme music

When completed, students will share their news broadcasts with their classmates and lead a discussion afterward. The broadcasts can also be used at a parents' night event where parents are able to view all the broadcasts and maybe even talk with the reporters about what they learned from the activity.

Assessment

You will want to create a rubric that details your expectations for the project. You might use a cooperative group rubric too; you might use some elements of these cooperative-group rubrics as part of the one you create:

Lesson Plan Source

EducationWorld.com

Submitted By

Gary Hopkins

National Standards

FINE ARTS: Theatre
GRADES 5 - 8
NA-T.5-8.1 Script Writing by Planning and Recording Improvisations Based on Personal Experience and Heritage, Imagination, Literature, and History
NA-T.5-8.3 Designing by Visualizing and Arranging Environments for Classroom Dramatizations
NA-T.5-8.4 Directing By Planning Classroom Dramatizations
NA-T.5-8.5 Researching By Finding Information to Support Classroom Dramatizations
GRADES 9 - 12
NA-T.9-12.1 Script Writing by Planning and Recording Improvisations Based on Personal Experience and Heritage, Imagination, Literature, and History
NA-T.9-12.3 Designing by Visualizing and Arranging Environments for Classroom Dramatizations
NA-T.9-12.4 Directing By Planning Classroom Dramatizations
NA-T.9-12.5 Researching By Finding Information to Support Classroom Dramatizations

FINE ARTS: Visual Arts
GRADES 5 - 8
NA-VA.5-8.1 Understanding and Applying Media, Techniques, and Processes
NA-VA.5-8.3 Choosing and Evaluating A Range of Subject Matter, Symbols, and Ideas
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.9-12.3 Choosing and Evaluating A Range of Subject Matter, Symbols, and Ideas
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
GRADES K - 12
NL-ENG.K-12.1 Reading for Perspective
NL-ENG.K-12.2 Reading for Understanding
NL-ENG.K-12.3 Evaluation Strategies
NL-ENG.K-12.4 Communication Skills
NL-ENG.K-12.8 Developing Research Skills
NL-ENG.K-12.9 Multicultural Understanding
NL-ENG.K-12.12 Applying Language Skills

SOCIAL SCIENCES: U.S. History
GRADES 5 - 12
NSS-USH.5-12.1-10 All Eras

SOCIAL SCIENCES: World History
GRADES 5 - 12
NSS-WH.5-12.1-8 All Eras

TECHNOLOGY
GRADES K - 12
NT.K-12.1 Basic Operations and Concepts
NT.K-12.3 Technology Productivity Tools
NT.K-12.4 Technology Communications Tools
NT.K-12.5 Technology Research Tools

See more Lesson Plans of the Day in our Lesson Plan of the Day Archive. (There you can search for lessons by subject too.)

For additional history lesson plans, see these Education World resources:

For additional language arts/reading lesson plans, see these Education World resources:

For additional technology lesson plans, see these Education World resources:

Education World®
Copyright© 2006 Education World

09/21/2006



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