Review by Jenny Bristol, Common Sense Education | Updated December 2018

Newseum

Media museum's site offers timely resources mixing history and civics

Subjects & skills
Subjects
  • English Language Arts
  • Social Studies

Skills
  • Communication & Collaboration
  • Critical Thinking
Grades This grade range is based on learning appropriateness and doesn't take into account privacy. It's determined by Common Sense Education, not the product's publisher.
6–12
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Pros: Does a great job explaining the importance of trustworthy media; Today's Front Pages section offers daily content.

Cons: Missing ways for teachers to assign resources and track completion.

Bottom Line: Filled with primary sources, daily content, and lesson plans, this is a valuable site teaching news and media literacy, especially the value of a free and independent press.

The main part of the Newseum site includes fascinating resources from the museum's exhibits -- along with some online exhibits -- that can be worked into any applicable lesson. Teachers can also make use of the collection of front pages of 750 different newspapers from around the country and the world. This section offers a daily window into current events and news coverage. Students can use this section to investigate what's considered newsworthy and to compare coverage of similar stories across publications.

Teachers can access 150 Common Core standards-based lesson plans with preparatory and post-lesson activities for journalism, the First Amendment, and historical headline-based units. These can generate classroom discussion, guide group or individual projects, inspire writing assignments, and more. Since the materials focus on First Amendment media literacy and include extensive historical resources and context, the Newseum site can be used for civics, media studies, or history classes. Special collections and themes can focus your search, and the site's organization makes it easy to tie resources to current events. These collections might be the best starting place for teachers since they show the breadth of what the site offers.

For D.C.-area educators, the Newseum offers professional development courses as well as a variety of classes for students from third grade through college. Titles include Fighting Fake News, On the Campaign Trail, and Media Ethics for Students, among others.

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Newseum is a museum in Washington, D.C., with exhibits examining five centuries of news coverage. The museum's website offers a supplement to the Newseum's exhibits as well as a variety of digital extension activities and resources providing ample background on journalism, civics, and historical events. The main part of the website complements the physical museum's exhibitions. It gives students access to videos, images, and written content on topics like the civil rights movement, 9/11, and journalists' experiences. There are also sections with museum visit guides for those planning a field trip, and a fascinating daily look at the front pages of newspapers from all over the world.

The NewseumED section offers extension resources for news and media literacy. Students and teachers can explore primary sources, artifacts from the museum's collection, and interactive learning tools. These resources are grouped into Collections including Fact Finder: Your Foolproof Guide to Media Literacy, Free Speech Essentials for Students, and Women: Their Rights and Nothing Less. Materials are also grouped into themes, such as Exercising My Rights, Understanding the First Amendment, Making Historical Connections, and Finding Reliable Facts. All told, there are 1,000 artifacts, 150 lesson plans, and almost 100 videos, as well as debates, historical events, maps, quizzes, timelines, news stories, and more.

For students, the Newseum site does a great job of providing quality, timely resources. Students can check out current exhibits at the museum, as well as upcoming and online exhibits. There's also a daily-updated collection of front pages from hundreds of newspapers around the world, offering a wonderful platform to investigate current events and news coverage.

For teachers, the NewseumED section is filled with over 1,000 primary sources, including artifacts, debates, videos, maps, timelines, news stories, and information on historical events. Whether teachers allow students to explore this area on their own or they use the freely available lesson plans, the resources on this site can be used to teach media and news literacy skills as well as help students understand the role and importance of media in our society.

It'd be nice if the site offered ways for teachers to assign or tag content for students to study, but it's well designed for teachers to plan lessons and point students to specific materials. The site can serve as a stellar introduction to the mechanics behind the media -- namely, how opinions and reportage differ. It's also a great place to spark discussion about current events and the ways they are represented in the news.

Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

Eye-catching visuals and a great design make navigation easy. The connections between the media and U.S. history offer students compelling opportunities for exploration, research, and synthesis.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

Videos, images, and text blend history and journalism, explaining the importance of news media and emphasizing core tenets like accuracy and ethics. Extensive lesson plans help classrooms spark reading, writing, and discussion.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

The NewseumED section includes complete lesson plans and themed collections. On-site student classes and teacher training are available. Site is accessibly designed.


Teacher Reviews

(See all 3 reviews) (3 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Chris C. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Concordia International School Shanghai
Pudong, China
Newseum Combines The News Of History And The History Of The News
Audio Review: http://21clradio.com/newseum-combines-news-histroy-history-news-tech-tools-daily-149/ ...
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