Thursday, April 21, 2011

Historical News

Quick Lesson Plan Idea:
I was watching the news this evening while eating dinner and wondering what the news would have been like hundreds or thousands of years ago. Then, I thought that would be an awesome project for students to do and it could apply to a wide range of ages. It could be an entire class project, smaller group projects, and/or an option on a list of projects students can pick from. Students could pick a time period or just do it on the time period you're currently studying. Then, they would research the daily lives of those living during that time as well as major events of the area. Students could make a video of their 'broadcast.' They could even cover sports of that time! They could try to dress up similar to the way they would at that time or even just create a comic strip of the news instead of doing it live.

Another idea is integrating this into the morning announcements for the entire school especially if they are done by video.

OR, instead of assigning this as a project to students, the teacher could prepare this type of thing as a creative way of presenting history. Yeah, I know it would be a lot of work, but a possibility would be to assign it to students one year and then use their base work to expand upon it and show it to future grades. I had a high school history teacher who presented time periods in a similar way. He created slide shows of scenes from that time and place as well as inserting figures with student faces pasted on the heads. The figures had speech bubbles commenting on events happening at that time.

They could also do it in written form such as a newspaper which could be another option on a list of possible projects to pick from.

Thinking from the students' perspective, I think the key to making this worthwhile and fun is to provide valuable and engaging resources for the students to use for research. And they could try dressing up for it.

You could have them start out with questions. Questions are good to drive the motivation for research and to guide the research as opposed to students feeling like they're looking stuff up but aren't sure what they're looking up.

Question: Do you have the students cover world events in their news as if it's similar to the way we do news now? OR do you have them do it more authentically which means they would only do regional news since various cultures of the world were not in communication especially in any efficient or speedy sort of way.

Now that I think about it, this is probably not that original of an idea but why haven't I seen it done more often?

Something else that could go on the list of optional projects is a digital storyboard about the a time period similar to this lesson plan which involves researching the history surrounding a particular piece of art. 

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