In this group project, students create a newspaper of numerous different articles, based on U.S. History in the North and South prior to the Civil War. For example, students might advertise the cotton gin in a Southern newspaper or write a national news article about factory workers on strike in a Northern newspaper.
Teacher introduces the project by dividing up the class into groups, assigning the "North" to half of the teams and "South" to the other half.
Students begin by choosing article types (page one) and topics (ideas for North and South are provided on page 2). Students then create their articles on paper or on computer (PowerPoint slides or Publisher newsletter, advertisements, etc.), including headlines, informative text, and a picture(s).
Once students have assembled their team newspaper (on large butcher paper or on a PowerPoint presentation, for example), they present their magazine to the class, as their classmates take notes (on page 3 of PDF or separate sheet for more detail).
I have used this in my 8th grade classes and it has been highly engaging. It's a great way to combine Language Arts and U.S. History. Enjoy!
History Social-Science Standards for California addressed:
8.9 Students analyze the early and steady attempts to abolish slavery and to realize the ideals of the Declaration of Independence.
8.10 Students analyze the multiple causes, key events, and complex consequences of the Civil War.