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The Newseum offers lesson plans for teachers in three main areas: Headlines of History, Journalism and the First Amendment.

Click the links below to download the corresponding lesson plan.

Elementary & Middle School Lesson Plans
Journalism
News Confusion: What is News?
Students play a sorting game to figure out what types of stories and events are "news." They learn about the Newseum's 10 "what is news?" categories and begin to explore how news is different in different places.

Are You A Publisher?: Free Press and You
Your students polish their reporting abilities by conducting interviews to find out how different people consume news and how they share information. This activity will also introduce them to the First Amendment and the idea of a free press.

Today's Front Pages (Teacher Note: This lesson is for grades 6–12.)
Using the Newseum’s online Today's Front Pages collection, students can compare and analyze coverage of and attitudes toward national news, local news, weather, politics and culture. Students can compare and contrast styles of layout, graphics and photography, as well as news judgment employed by different newspapers.

Related online resources:

Headlines of History
The Berlin Wall on the Web: Newseum Online Exhibit
Students explore the Newseum's online exhibit about the rise and fall of the Berlin Wall and construct a timeline of events leading to the construction and eventual destruction of the Berlin Wall.

The First Amendment
Blogging the Bill of Rights
This activity asks students to consider how the framers of the First Amendment might have used the Internet and modern communication to spread their ideas and messages. Students create a mock blog for one of the framers.

Exercising MY First Amendment Freedoms
Students learn about the five freedoms of the First Amendment and write two or three sentences explaining how they exercise this right, or create a drawing with a one-sentence caption.

High School Lesson Plans
Journalism
What News is Where?/The Medium Shapes the Message
In this activity, your class gathers an array of news media from a single day. Then the students analyze the collection to discover how and why the choice of medium can shape the information presented.

Today's Front Pages (Teacher Note: This lesson is for grades 6–12.)
Using the Newseum’s online Today's Front Pages collection, students can compare and analyze coverage of and attitudes toward national news, local news, weather, politics and culture. Students can compare and contrast styles of layout, graphics and photography, as well as news judgment employed by different newspapers.

Related online resources:
- Today's Front Pages exhibit
- The Front Page poster
- Stories of the Century exhibit

Headlines of History
From the Headlines to the History Books: News as the "First Rough Draft of History"
Students compare and contrast front page news coverage of a major event. By looking at sources, students gain a hands-on understanding of how news becomes history, then they project what changes in information and coverage might occur over time for a current issue.

The First Amendment and Social Change: MLK's Letter from Birmingham Jail
Students read Martin Luther King's famous Letter from Birmingham Jail and examine his argument in light of the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment.

The First Amendment
Would You Fight for All Five?: Weighing Our First Amendment Freedoms
Students explore the interplay between the five First Amendment freedoms, then play an elimination game as a class to determine which freedom their group believes is the most important.

Taking Exception: Modern First Amendment Rights Issues
Students read about modern First Amendment court cases. They then take a position and argue the case.

 

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