SOS: Yesterday’s News

Creative, research-based instructional strategies – presented by teachers, for teachers.


The Spotlight on Strategies series provides help, tips, and tricks for integrating Discovery Education digital media into your curriculum in meaningful, effective, and practical ways.

The SOS series includes more than one hundred different ideas for strategies you can use to engage students in active learning with digital media.

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Yesterday’s News

PDF  and Video Versions

Today’s students will be tomorrow’s reporters. Allowing them the opportunity to explore a period from the past and piece together key people and events from the time helps students build essential research skills.

Materials: digital media files (video, audio, images, etc), examples of current newspapers, and a document publisher such as Board Builder, Microsoft Office Word, or Google Docs.
  1. To prepare for this lesson, explore Discovery Education and create a My Content folder with digital media files about your historic event. This will allow you to carefully evaluate and select the most appropriate content for your students.
  2. Explain to students that they will become journalists for a historic newspaper.
  3. Place students in small groups or pairs and distribute examples of current newspapers. Have students identify two to three core components of the front page of a newspaper (headline, image, text, etc.).
  4. Assign students the content folder of resources.
  5. In small groups or individually, have students explore the digital resources and write articles that feature their two to three identified core components.
  6. Inform students of the minimum number of articles you expect for the newspaper and the nature of the content of each article. (i.e.: three articles about key figures of the time, something happening in the government, etc.)
  7. Students should curate their work using a document publisher such as Board Builder, Word, or Google Docs.
    • Encourage students to embed the digital files as supporting resources to their stories.
    • Ask students to include headlines and captions for each photograph.
    • Remind students to cite all photographs and sources of information either directly under the article or photograph or on a list of citations on the last page.

Through researching historic events, students gain a better understanding of the time period. The process of summarizing information into engaging headline news stories scaffolds research skills. Using digital tools to publish student work to a global audience heightens the experience and allows students something they can proudly share with family and friends.

  • To see this example of a student-created newspaper using Board Builder, view “Paul Revere’s Ride: Final Project” in Discovery Education.
  • Instead of entire articles, have the students create headlines using the headline generator at a site like Fodey.com. Then, make a collage of headlines and photographs by pasting them on the template.
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7 Comments

  1. Jaime said:

    During the Cold War, people utilized newspapers to get their news along with the television. The Cold War is a large unit that our 8th-grade students tackle at the beginning of the year. Using this strategy, Yesterday’s News would enable them to demonstrate their understanding of domestic and international challenges that the United States faced during this period of time. Possible newspapers could be related to the Red Scare, the crisis in Berlin, or the changes that took place with so many facets of American life in the 1950’s. Students would then be able to read each other’s projects to learn more in-depth information about each of the topics that were covered.

  2. iptv links said:

    international challenges that the United States faced during this period of time. Possible newspapers could be related to the Red Scare, the crisis in Berlin, or the changes that took place with so many facets of American life in the 1950’s. Students would then be able to read each other’s projects to learn more in-depth information about each of the topics that were covered.

  3. DEMO said:

    international challenges that the United States faced during this period of time. Possible newspapers could be related to the Red Scare, the crisis in Berlin, or the changes that took place with so many facets of American life in the 1950’s. Students would then be able to read each other’s projects to learn more in-depth information about each of the topics that were covered.

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