I assign students into groups of two to four and give them a time period of between fifty and 100 years in American history from 1600 to 2000 A.D. I explain that they will be researching to find important news events, sports, entertainment, music, games, movies/plays/books, famous firsts or quotes, science/technology, and trivia. I tell them they should organize their team so they don't overlap their research. We have time in our library for research. They may use library resources and I encourage the Internet research. After one week, they organize their research to present.
Teams must decide which product they will use for their presentation. If they like to write, teams usually choose the newspaper, and if they like to act or role play, they choose the newscast.
If they choose the newspaper, I tell them they should look at our local paper to be sure their newspaper follows that format. I go over each section with them, so they know what is expected. A headline page, sports/games section, entertainment section, an optional comics page or obituary section, and advertisements should be included. Of course, correct usage and mechanics is important in all writing. (See scoring guide.)
If they choose the newcast, teams should view our local or national newscast to simulate the correct format. They should have an introduction, news stories, a sports/games segment, an optional weather segment (if there are noteworthy weather events in their time period), a commercial (advertising a product of that time period in persona), and a closing. The commercial is their favorite, because it can be humorous. Remember, practice makes perfect. When they're prepared, I videotape each team, or they may bring a videotape of their presentation from home. (See scoring guide.)
BUILDING OF AMERICA NEWSEUM
After researching their assigned time period, students organize their findings into a museum display. (See scoring guide.) Using a display board for their backdrop, students find news articles and/or pictures to place neatly on the display board. They are, also, required to find ten or more objects from their time period to place in front of their board on a table, such as tools, games, dishes, clocks, clothing, old telephones, toys, 45 rpm records, and any other object from their time period. If they have the 1600-1700s, students sometimes make tools or toys from that period, and I would allow them to improvise other objects.
Students dress in persona using time period clothing. A woman in our community who has a small costume shop in her home gave us ideas and clothing for costumes. Parents, also, made costumes. They must take on the role of docent, becoming an expert in their time period.
We transform our library into a "Newseum" and invite our school, parents, and community to visit our display. We take one day to set up and one day for the Newseum visits. Students must be prepared to explain their display and answer any questions from their visitors. I usually create a Building of America Scavenger Hunt for classes to use when they visit. This keeps them focused on the displays and the history of our nation. Everyone has a good time and is surprised at the expertise of our students and the eye-appealing displays.
We are beginning an adventure into the realms of the past in St. Louis, the U.S., and the World. Each team or individual will research to uncover news during an assigned time period. You should maintain complete records, including bibliography. Ultimately, we will create a Newseum, where each team will display their findings and become docents in period clothing. You will, also, choose between presenting your findings as a news anchor in WMS Evening News or a journalist for the WMS Post-Dispatch Newspaper.
News events should include world/national/city news, music, entertainment, books/authors, science/technology, industry, inventors/inventions, births/deaths, sports, famous quotes, famous firsts, and other interesting or significant events. Adding trivia and unfamiliar happenings will help engage the curiosity of your audience.
Information can be found in almanacs, newspaper, magazines, and other library resources. You will, also, use resources from the Internet.
I welcome your input! If you happen to know anyone who can share information with us about past events in St. Louis, the U.S. or the world, please let me know. Thank you.
Have fun in your research and "happy trails to you!"
NEWSCAPADE SCORING GUIDES
Research information 100 points Due:
Dateline WMS 100 points Due:
Newseum exhibit 100 points Due:
RESEARCH: You must use standard English, correct grammar, punctuation, and spelling in any written work. You must complete a bibliography with at least three resources, using the correct format. Complete information is presented, including important news events, music of the times, entertainment, book/authors, science, sports/games, famous people, famous firsts, and at least one important unfamiliar occurrence during this time period. You may choose your presentation product from the following: Power Point, Newspaper, Visual Aids with oral presentation, Role Play, Journalist in a time machine going to your time period to interview someone about events at that time, Magazine, "Barbara Walters" interview with an expert, or an approved original presentation.
DATELINE WMS: Your presentation is complete, creative clear and entertaining.. It includes neat and colorful visual aids with graphics. You use good eye contact, clear voice, and good pronunciation. There is an introduction and a closing following a newscast format.
NEWSEUM: Includes research information in a visually-appealing display, which is colorful, neat, original, clear, complete, creative, computer --printed labels, entertaining, all questions are clearly and correctly answered when presented. You are in period clothing and have included at least ten objects relating to your time period with ten or more pieces of important information. You should have a display board as your backdrop, and your time period information and articles should be displayed on or in front of it.
NEWSEUM SCORING GUIDE
VISUALLY APPEALING DISPLAY (20)
COMPUTER PRINTED/LABELED (10)
NEWS ARTICLES ( ten or more) (20)
OBJECTS FOR DISPLAY (ten or more) (20)
PICTURES (5 or more; labeled) (10)
TIME-PERIOD CLOTHING WORN (10)
EXPERTISE AS A DOCENT (10)
WMS EVENING NEWS SCORING GUIDE
EXPERTISE AS NEWS ANCHOR (5)
VISUAL AIDS (neat, colorful) (10)
EYE CONTACT (5)
CLEAR VOICE/DICTION (10)
SPORTS SEGMENT (10)
NEWS SEGMENT (3+min.) (25)
COMMERCIAL (30 sec to 1 min.) (10)
WMS POST-DISPATCH NEWSPAPER SCORING GUIDE
NEWSPAPER FORMAT (10)
SPORTS SECTION (10)
ENTERTAINMENT SECTION (10)
COMICS or SCIENCE SECTION (10)
Assigned time period must include the following:
Important news events
Sports or games
Music or books
Popular movies or plays
Famous first or quotes
World of science (inventions, etc.)
An unfamiliar occurrence
Births/deaths of important people
Clear and Neat
Show expertise as docent
Computer printed labels/information
DATELINE WMS CHECKLIST
Visual Aids (Neat, colorful, graphics)
Eye contact to "camera"
Clear voice and pronunciation
Use same tense during presentation
Weather segment (optional)`
Commercial of the times