Watching History Unfold in the Classroom

So, I have mentioned before that my boyfriend, affectionately referred to as Admiral Bodee, is a 5th grade Language Arts and Social Studies teacher. He recently shared a really great idea with me as we were discussing non-fiction books and pirates…

(I know, totally random. More on that later.)

Anyway, CNN has an online segment called CNN Student News. Each day CNN produces a short 8-10 minute newscast on current events. Each day he starts class with this newscast and students have to complete a daily summary. Here is his email with directions to his co-workers.

I decided to make a weekly sheet for them to fill in to learn more literary terms along with current events.

The “A” story is to be for Monday viewing, the “B” for Tuesday, and so forth. When you turn the page over, C and D are for Wed/Thurs. Then, they do a summary on Friday for the whole week of news casts.

I attached both pages to be copied back to back; having holes punched in them is helpful, too.

Check out his templates here: CNN TEMPLATE page 1  CNN TEMPLATE page 2

So, how exactly did this work in the classroom? I tried it today.  We watched the news cast  this morning for the first time and of course, it was all about the election. It featured a clip of President Obama’s acceptance speech. If you watched his speech last night  then you will recognize where he said,

I believe we can keep the promise of our founders, the idea that if you’re willing to work hard, it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from or what you look like or where you love. It doesn’t matter whether you’re black or white or Hispanic or Asian or Native American or young or old or rich or poor, able, disabled, gay or straight, you can make it here in America if you’re willing to try.

I looked over and one of my girls was quickly wiping the tears out of the corner of her eyes. It was then that I knew this was a very good thing. You see, right before we started this activity, she said, “We’re watching the news?? I don’t ever watch the news. We don’t got cable.”

And here she was, obviously deeply moved by a current event, a moment in history, that she otherwise wouldn’t have seen.

So my thanks go out to Admiral Bodee for a great classroom activity and to all of the voters who gave President Obama a second term. I was thinking about it this morning….His re-election kind of goes with my philosophy: Everyone deserves a second chance. 

11 responses

  1. […] Watching History Unfold in the Classroom ( […]

  2. Love, love, love this!!!! My kids watch Flocabulary News in Rap each Friday, and the LOVE it! I think adding a day or two per week of the CNN student news would go far in creating background knowledge or building upon existing knowledge! Thank you for sharing!! I’ve already passed along the site (and this post) to my fellow reading teachers!

    1. I will be curious to hear how it works with high school students. Let me know!

  3. I think my kiddos would love this! Thanks for sharing! What a quick and easy way to get social studies and current events in the classroom.

  4. What a sweet story! Thanks for sharing!

    1. I think, overall, this is going to be a neat experience in a lot of ways. Thanks for reading!

  5. Will have to check that out for my students, great idea and touching story!

    1. Let me know how it goes!! I think I will really enjoy it because I don’t have much time to watch the news myself!

      1. That’s totally what I was just thinking– sounds fun for me too! 😀

      2. My kids love watching it! (AND, so do I!) So grateful for this idea, thank you!

      3. So glad it’s going well!

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