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The Fundamentals of News

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Students learn why news matters and how to distinguish between the different media-related terms they might hear being thrown around.

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GRADE LEVEL: Middle school

TIME: Less than 30 minutes

MATERIALS: The Fundamentals of News worksheet (download), “The Fundamentals of News” video on


  1. Make copies of “The Fundamentals of News” worksheet, one per student.
  2. Cue up “The Fundamentals of News” video to share to the class or share the link with students to watch on their own devices.

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Overview PDF DOC
Worksheets PDF DOC
Extensions PDF DOC
Full Packet PDF DOC

To request a large print or Braille version, call 202.292.6650.


  1. Show students “The Fundamentals of News” video and have them complete the worksheet.
  2. Review the worksheet as a class and discuss the questions below.
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  1. On a daily basis, what type of news stories do you look for, and why?
  2. Share examples of news and journalism that you’ve read/watched/listened to in recent weeks. What were the qualities of the stories that drew you in or were more interesting?
  3. How can you tell opinions apart from facts? Is it easy to spot the difference?
  4. What are the challenges to reading news on social media instead of directly on news sites? What are the benefits?
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