Lesson Plan #23
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Learning History Through Media:
Reporting on the Past
Grades 7 to 12
Language Arts, Journalism, History, Technology
OVERVIEW OF LESSON PLAN
This lesson plan will assist the teacher bring historic events
alive for their students. Using about media and journalism in
the classroom is a great way 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.
MATERIALS AND PREPARATION
1. Brainstorm with students about historic events,
people and activities they would like to write about out of the
current class curriculum. Ideas such as The Sinking of
the Titanic', The Great Fire in St. John's, Fathers of Confederation,
historic people in their province, etc.
Write the story ideas on the board and assign to students.
Take 15 minutes to discuss story ideas with students. Ask them
to write down information they already knew on the subject selected.
This project can be done on an individual basis or a group
(3-4 students) basis.
2. Tell the students they will be writing this story as if
they were reporting on it for the local newspaper of the day.
Review with students the 5W's Who, What, When, Where, Why (and
sometimes How). Students will need to tell their readers who
was involved, what happened, when it took place, where the action
was set and why it happened that way.
Use the inverted pyramid style which means that articles should
be written with the most important information first and the
least important last. Review with students SNN's Writing Guide and check out Lesson #1 on Writing a Newspaper Article.
3. Students to do research on the internet, books, library
and museums on their subjects. (Remember to cite all web addresses
when taking material directly from a site).
4. This project is to be done as if the student
reporter was there, talking with people involved in the event.
Students will gather information from the internet, books, libraries,
museums especially personal accounts by people in the community
that were present during the event. They will write their article
as if they were interviewing them. Students can do interviews
as well with people still living who have knowledge of the event
using video/audio which can be used in an SNN article.
5. HOMEWORK: Students to write a profile
article on their historic subject citing source material and
using vivid words and phrases to bring their stories alive! These
articles will then be presented in class.
Students will be evaluated on in class participation, research
and well-written profile article.
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. Students
would gather information on the Titanic from internet sites,
books, etc. about the people that were involved in the event
- especially their account of the event.
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