Friday, January 3, 2014

Extra Extra.....Using Newspapers In the Classroom

Extra Extra..Read All About It!!!

"Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted in their own government" -Thomas Jefferson.

Using current events in the classroom is a cornerstone of teaching Social Studies. Whenever I am able I always try to incorporate local,  national, and international news into my class discussions. Below are some of my favorite resources I use with looking for current events, using archived newspapers as a primary source, and project resources for students to create their very own newspapers.

Current Events
Here are some of my favorite websites for Current Events I use to help enhance classroom discussions with my students.

Newsuem Front Pages
I had an opportunity last April to visit this Museum in Washington DC and it didn't disappoint. Their website is also a great treasure trove for news and lesson resources for teachers. Check out today's Front Pages from Newspapers from around the World. A great way to look at how different regions or countries report on the same event as a way of discussing "Point of View".

Newspaper Map
This neat little website lets you explore various online websites for various papers from around the world. Using a map of the World, you can find many different news websites for various countries.

CNN Student News
If you are looking for a video recap of some of the major news of the day, CNN Student News is a great way to introduce students to news topics and current events.

Flocabulary: The Week In Rap
This subscription service (Currently $63 a year) is a very fun and informative news video recap of the week's major story. If you spend your Friday's in class looking at Current Events, this is definitely a subscription worth looking into.

10X 10 - 100 Words and Pictures that Define the Time
This website gathers news from ABC, BBC, CNN, The Guardian, MSNBC, and Reuters and creates a 10 X 10 Picture Block of some of the major news happening right now. Click on the image or the side words to view the headlines and links to the articles.

Newspaper Archives

Sinking of the Titanic
If your state has adopted the Common Core Standards, or you just enjoy using Primary Source Material in your classroom you know that finding and using Primary Source Material is an important part of curriculum planning (See my earlier post Getting Started with Primary Sources). Luckily, there are lots of newspapers that have been archived and made available online. Using archived newspapers can be a great way for students to see how people of the time period reacted to these historic events.

For some of these databases it might be good for you as a teacher to pull a selection of samples to use, but showing students some of the basics of how the search works can help them find some valuable resources as well.

Library of Congress Chronicling America
A searchable database of many national Newspapers from 1836-1922, or check out the US Newspaper Directory that is also a searchable database for newspapers from 1690 to present.

TimesMachine-The NewYork Times
The New York Times has been referred to as the "Nation's Paper of Record." You can search through their extensive database of archived papers from the 1850s' to the 1920's.

Google News Archives
Google also has a very extensive search engine of archived newspapers from around the world. This is a great tool to find archived local newspapers to get some local history or local reaction to a historical event or having students examine advertisements from different time periods.

Newseum Digital Classroom (Create a Free Account)
As I mentioned earlier, the Newseum Website also has several online primary source materials you can use. You will have to create a free account, but once you do you will be able to explore these three Newspaper Lessons:  (1) Blood and Ink: Front Pages of the Civil War, (2) Emancipation Proclamation Front Pages Lincoln and Horace Greeley, & (3) Marching for Women's Rights

Create a Paper

Not only is it great to use Newspapers in the classroom, but by having students create their own newspapers can help you create Formative or Summative Assessment opportunities to gage student understanding of historical events. Having students summarize the Who, What, When, Where, & What of an event is great writing practice and an authentic way to measure student understanding of an event. Here are three resources to help students create that perfect Newspaper feel.

Newspaper Clip Generator:
This online web generator is a nifty little way for students to create a short newspaper article. Perfect for a formative assessment of student understanding of an era/event you have been discussing in class.

Printing Press: From Read Write Think
Stop the Presses!!! Here is a nice little Online Printing Press tool from ReadWriteThink that lets students create Newspapers, Brochures, Flyer/Sign, or Posters. They give you some nice templates that you can use and there is also a save option that allows you to save your work to your computer so you can come back to the website to continue your work.

Newspaper PowerPoint Templates
I wish I could say I came up with this, but PresentationMagazine has put together some nice PowerPoint Templates of different Newspaper layouts and have also recently added a Magazine Cover. These templates are very well put together and easy for students to use. It makes for a nice looking final Newspaper layout where students can write several articles summarizing what they have learned from their research on a particular event or topic.

How to Choose Your News- TED-ED Video

What do you use?

I'm always looking for additional resources to try with my students and would love to hear from you in my comments section of resources that you use that work great with students when it comes to using newspapers in your classroom.

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