Grade 8

This Just In!

How should we react to breaking news?

With mobile phone alerts, social media updates, and 24/7 news cycles, it's hard to escape the daily flood of breaking news. But do kids really understand what they're seeing when stories first break? Help students analyze breaking news with a critical eye for false or incomplete information, and discuss the downsides of our "always-on" news media culture.

See the U.K. version of this lesson plan

Learning Objectives:
  • Define breaking news, and understand why individuals and news outlets want to be first to report a story.
  • Analyze breaking news alerts to identify clues of false or incomplete information.
  • Reflect on the consequences of reacting right away to breaking news alerts.
Key Vocabulary: 24/7 news cycle  ·  bias  ·  breaking news
24/7 news cycle:
24-hour, seven-day-a-week investigating and reporting of news via television, radio, print, online, and mobile app devices
showing a strong opinion or preference for or against something or someone
breaking news:
information being reported about an event that has just happened or is currently occurring
News & Media Literacy
This lesson meets standards for Common Core ELACASELAASLand ISTESee standards

Lesson Plan

45 mins.

What You'll Need

Select resources below, then open in English or Spanish. Unlock free resources

Classroom resources

  • Lesson Slides
  • Breaking News! Handout Teacher Version
  • Canceled Concert? Handout Teacher Version
  • Lesson Quiz

Take-home resources