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Duration
Less than 30 minutes
Topic(s)
  • War
Grade(s)
  • 6-8

All of the images and clips are from actual news stories from the past.

  1. Tell students that they will learn how the Newseum categorizes news stories and explore their own ideas of ways to sort and process information.
  2. Check for background knowledge by asking:
    • What is news?
    • What stories are in the news today?
  3. Explain that as they watch the video, students will learn about all the different ways to report and access news today and about the news stories that shaped our history, our nation and our world.
  4. Hand out copies of the viewing guide worksheet. Students should read the questions before watching the video and take notes during it.
  5. Watch the video.
  6. Ask students to complete the comprehension questions (in class or for homework).

  • “What’s News?” Video Lesson worksheet (download),one per student
  • Internet access to watch “What’s News?” video
  • “What’s News?” handout (download, optional)

You may also wish to assign one or more of these questions as short essays for homework.

  • Why is news sometimes called “the first rough draft of history?”
  • Are there events from this video that you recognize? Are there events in this video that you lived through? How does the fact that they occurred during your lifetime change the way you remember or feel about these stories versus the historical events depicted?
  • Many of the major events in this video were represented by images. Discuss how photographs and other images are used in reporting the news. How do they make a different impression than the written word?
  • Think about all the different ways the major events were presented in this video — news headlines, photographs, video clips, sound bytes from speeches and news broadcasts.  How has news changed over time?  Has the way we report the news affected what news is covered?
  • What is your favorite way to get the news, and why?  What do you think this says about you as a news consumer?
  • There were many types of news media that were seen in this video. In recent years, we have seen new types of media emerge that were not featured in this video.  What are those types of media?  How have they changed the face of the news and how it is reported?
  • What are recent stories in the news? What categories from the video do these stories fall under?

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