AN APPROACH TO CURRENT EVENTS
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Appropriate for grades 5-12.
This is an activity that can be used in Civics (Government), History (11th) and World/Global History (12th). The activity is designed to encourage students to read newspapers and to watch network and local news reports. This increases critical thinking skills, encouraging analysis and criticism. Students are encouraged to express opinions with support.
Students will be able to:
1. Analyze and critique newspaper articles and media news reports by comparison and contrast of content and presentation.
2. Identify key words and concepts in a given news article.
3. Identify words to add to a class vocabulary list.
This is a year-long weekly activity. Start with having students clip complete articles from current newspapers. At first, answer the who?, what?, why?, when? and implications? questions. As time goes on, branch from this and have students do the following:
1. Students take question answers and rewrite the article from another viewpoint.
2. Students compare newspaper coverage to radio/television coverage of a story. (Record television and radio broadcasts for classroom use).
3. Students create a cartoon on a current news topic.
4. Students can write editorials and letters to the editor.
ALSO, ENCOURAGE STUDENTS TO WRITE LETTERS TO ELECTED OFFICIALS.
Use newspapers from a variety of towns if possible. A variety from different towns allows students to experience subjects from different viewpoints. Parents are a great source.
TYING IT ALL TOGETHER:
This is an activity that can be varied and naturally evolves into many activities, some student suggested. This is a great homework activity. Evaluation criteria can be varied according to assignment difficulty.