Classroom Activities

Activity # 7
Reporting on the past  Pocket Watch

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If history doesn't seem relevant to your students and their lives, they can look at it this way — history is simply the current events of yesterday.

And today's news will be in the history books of the future.

Talking about media and journalism in the classroom is a great way for your students to learn about history! Students can explore the past and the present through newspapers, television, radio, film and photos. And they can look at the ways that today's current events are being recorded for future generations.

In order to understand the past, sometimes it's good to have students put themselves there.

Reporting Activity:
Send your students back in time.

  • Write about a historical event as if they were reporting on it for the local newspaper of the day. Get your students to tell their readers who was involved, what happened, when it took place, where the action was set and why it happened that way. To get an idea of how this works, check out the stories in a special newspaper produced by Grade Six students at St. Mary's School in St. John's, Newfoundland in 1997 to mark the 500th anniversary of John Cabot's arrival in Newfoundland.

For example, assign your students to cover the sinking of the Titanic in 1912. Have one student report from Halifax where the survivors of the wreck were brought. Assign another to talk to the people who received wireless messages from the Titanic in her last moments. The students can write a series of stories to go on the front page of the newspaper on the morning after the ship sank.


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