Teachers can access nearly two dozen lesson plans with preparatory and post-lesson activities for journalism, First Amendment, and historical headline-based units. A few lesson plans also provide a modern-day context on issues like civil rights challenges in other countries. While some activities are designed for use during actual Newseum visits, others don't require a D.C. trip; with some creativity, you should still be able to use some of the visit-oriented materials for classroom work.
Teachers can also share exhibit-based visuals in class to help enrich content in any number of classes; the vintage newspapers and Pulitzer Prize-winning photographs are two standout selections. Also, for D.C.-area educators, the Newseum offers professional development courses; additional information is available on the site.Continue reading Show less
Exhibits in the 250,000-square-foot Newseum in Washington, D.C., span five centuries of news coverage; the museum's website also provides ample background on journalism, civics, and historical events. Primarily an informational resource to complement the physical museum, it gives students access to the site's videos, images, and written content on topics like the Civil Rights Movement, 9/11, and journalists' experiences. There are also sections with teacher-oriented lesson plans as well as museum visit guides for those planning a field trip.
The Newseum site does a great job of providing students with a fun multimedia experience. One section features news photos accompanied by audio of photojournalists discussing how they captured each image; another has an interactive map that lists different countries' press freedom rating, key media moments, and prominent journalists. There's also a collection of newspaper front pages from around the world, updated daily. The Digital Classroom section includes in-depth learning modules on elections and the Civil Rights Movement, each with dynamic components like interactive timelines and maps. Kids can also watch about a dozen videos on topics like media bias and online journalism.
It would be nice if the site itself offered more in the way of personalized learning content and feedback, like specific instruction on journalistic writing; teachers will need to provide additional instruction to help bolster kids' learning. However, the site can serve as a stellar introduction to the mechanics behind the media, namely how opinions and objectivity differ. It's also a great place to spark discussion about current events.
Key Standards Supported
Reading History/Social Studies
Analyze how a text uses structure to emphasize key points or advance an explanation or analysis.
Compare the point of view of two or more authors for how they treat the same or similar topics, including which details they include and emphasize in their respective accounts.
Integrate quantitative or technical analysis (e.g., charts, research data) with qualitative analysis in print or digital text.
Compare and contrast treatments of the same topic in several primary and secondary sources.
Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, attending to such features as the date and origin of the information.
Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of how key events or ideas develop over the course of the text.
Analyze in detail a series of events described in a text; determine whether earlier events caused later ones or simply preceded them.
By the end of grade 10, read and comprehend history/social studies texts in the grades 9–10 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
Analyze in detail how a complex primary source is structured, including how key sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text contribute to the whole.
Evaluate authors’ differing points of view on the same historical event or issue by assessing the authors’ claims, reasoning, and evidence.
Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, as well as in words) in order to address a question or solve a problem.
Evaluate an author’s premises, claims, and evidence by corroborating or challenging them with other information.
Integrate information from diverse sources, both primary and secondary, into a coherent understanding of an idea or event, noting discrepancies among sources.
Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, connecting insights gained from specific details to an understanding of the text as a whole.
Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary that makes clear the relationships among the key details and ideas.
Evaluate various explanations for actions or events and determine which explanation best accords with textual evidence, acknowledging where the text leaves matters uncertain.
By the end of grade 12, read and comprehend history/social studies texts in the grades 11–CCR text complexity band independently and proficiently.
Reading Informational Text
Analyze various accounts of a subject told in different mediums (e.g., a person’s life story in both print and multimedia), determining which details are emphasized in each account.
Analyze seminal U.S. documents of historical and literary significance (e.g., Washington’s Farewell Address, the Gettysburg Address, Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms speech, King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail”), including how they address related themes and concepts.
Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.
Analyze how the author unfolds an analysis or series of ideas or events, including the order in which the points are made, how they are introduced and developed, and the connections that are drawn between them.
Analyze and evaluate the effectiveness of the structure an author uses in his or her exposition or argument, including whether the structure makes points clear, convincing, and engaging.
Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text in which the rhetoric is particularly effective, analyzing how style and content contribute to the power, persuasiveness or beauty of the text.
Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words in order to address a question or solve a problem.
Delineate and evaluate the reasoning in seminal U.S. texts, including the application of constitutional principles and use of legal reasoning (e.g., in U.S. Supreme Court majority opinions and dissents) and the premises, purposes, and arguments in works of public advocacy (e.g., The Federalist, presidential addresses).
Analyze seventeenth-, eighteenth-, and nineteenth-century foundational U.S. documents of historical and literary significance (including The Declaration of Independence, the Preamble to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address) for their themes, purposes, and rhetorical features.
Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.
Determine two or more central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to provide a complex analysis; provide an objective summary of the text.
Analyze a complex set of ideas or sequence of events and explain how specific individuals, ideas, or events interact and develop over the course of the text.