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Histories Mysteries is designed to use the news as a launching pad for in-depth student learning. Students dive into topics or that are happening around the world. This project focuses on current events and how events and issues from the past often repeat themselves and are relevant today.
In this project, students engage in investigations on a topic of their choice, and research historical and current events on what is happening in our community, nation and around the world. They work to complete individual tasks as well as work together as a group to collect data and research current and past events.
This project may be completed in a few weeks with a focus on a specific current event, or may be spread out across a semester or entire school year to capture events of the past and present.
Students use what they learn about how current events from our community, state, nation and around the world are connected to events in our history to create a print, digital or video to share with their class, school, community or the world. Each student completes a job that will become a section of the final presentation. Their jobs include a visual, written and spoken description related to current events. Students are required to use 2 sources, report facts, cite sources and will get their stories approved by the teacher before reporting.
•Students MUST keep their audience in mind in choosing stories to report on. If it doesn’t interest them, it won’t interest their audience.
•This project focuses on answering the the following questions.
•Why is this story important?
•How does it connect to a past event? (If applicable)
•Who can you interview that might add to or connect to your story?
•How is this story relevant to student’s lives?
Type of Project: Simulation/ real student run
Driving Question: How does a newscast help us communicate with one another? How does what happens in our world affect us?
Tangible Outcomes: Student Newscast Segment: History and Current Events
Timeframe: This project is designed to take 2 weeks but may be extended over a longer time period) We produce a new broadcast every 2 weeks for the entire school year.
Materials Needed: Video camera, laptops, PowerPoint, projector, tripod, iPad, lanyards, video creation tool such as iMovie, segment props. This can be adapted as individual or group presentation.
Context: Students will create a student histories mysteries segment to share with the world. Students will complete literature circle type jobs with the end product of a news segment that can be a part of a student news program or presented individually. The news segments includes current events, school news, local news, national news, world news and connections between events in history and today.
Student voice and choice: Students will be assigned a role for the newscast or can choose their own. They will get to choose the story, topic or issue they decide to report out on and will write their own news report. Students are required to use 2 sources in their research.
Adult World Connection: Meet with community members including school staff and students as the “experts” for their segments. Connect with business leaders in the community. Visit a newsroom and take a tour. Interview a news anchor.
Content Standards: These can be adapted for any grade.
ELA: RI.3.1, RI.3.5, RL.3.10, RF.3.3, RF.3.4, W.3.2, W.3.7, L.3.2
Social Studies: SS.3.19-21, SS.3.22-24, SS.3.25-26
Universal Constructs: 21.3-5.ES.1 , 21.3-5.ES.2, 21.3-5.ES.5
Lesson 1: Real Or Hoax
•Lesson 2: Narrow A Web Search
•Lesson 3: Is It Newsworthy?
•Lesson 4: Newscast Look Fors
•Lesson 5: Name Your News
•Lesson 6: Design A Lo
•Lesson 7: Design A Slogan
During: Reading A Non-Fiction Text
Asking and Answering Questions Using Textual Evidence
Using Graphic Organizers To Collect Notes During Research
Using Notes To Write A Summary
Informative writing/ research lessons included:
•Lesson 8: Select A Topic
•Lesson 9: Research Question
•Lesson 10: Subtopics
•Lesson 11: Sources
•Lesson 12: Jot Notes
•Lesson 13: Note taking
•Lesson 14: News Headline
•Lesson 15: Hook Your Audience
•Lesson 16: Introduce Your Topic: Introduction Paragraph
•Lesson 17: Subtopic Paragraphs
•Lesson 18: Conclusion Paragraph
•Lesson 19: 1st Draft
•Lesson 20: Editing Checklist
•Lesson 21: Final Draft
•Lesson 22: Newscast Storyboard
•Lesson 23: Group checklist
•Lesson 24: Individual Checklist
•Lesson 25: Exit Tickets
Individual Newscast Checklist, Editing Checklist/Peer Editing
Group Newscast Checklist, Newscast Storyboard
Exit Tickets: Newscast Notes
Suggested Timeline: 2 weeks
1.Digital Citizenship: I can identify a credible source, cite sources and narrow a web search.
2.Research Strategies: I can safely search the web. I can use multiple sources in my research.
3.Collaboration: I can collaborate with my peers to create a student new program.
4.Reading Informational Text: I can read an informational text.
5.Fact & Opinion: I can understand the difference between fact and opinion. I can report using facts.
6.Speaking & Listening: I can communicate respectfully with my group members.
7.Technology: I can use technology to research and present my findings. I can produce a digital product to communicate my news story.
8.Writing: I can write an informational, persuasive or opinion piece to share my news story. I can summarize my research.
9.Grammar: I can use proper grammar and spelling in my writing.
Suggested Helpful Resources:
New-O-Matic (available as an iPad app and online). This is a great student current event, daily digital newspaper resource with stories that are happening in our world today and written for students. Each daily edition includes 5 news articles with a wide range of topics including animals, sports, politics, and current events.
Newsela: This is a great resource with multiple topics and news stories that can be filtered by lexile, grade level and topic. Students just need to pay attention to the dates on the news stories because some stories are not currently happening.
Both resources offer comprehension type quizzes, the option to save articles and highlight options within each resource. As a teacher, you can create student accounts and link them to a Google Classroom or Seesaw account for quick access. Credits:
Graphics- Educlips and Thistle Girl Designs
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