CLASSROOM ACTIVITY #5
FOCUS ON: HISTORIC NEWS

Students work as a group to create a "Yesteryear Newspaper". Focusing on one of the historical periods of the "Discover Presidential Log Cabins" program, each group will produce one-page of a newspaper from that era. The team will research, write, design, and present their yesteryear newspaper to the class.

Procedure:

1. Select one of the three historic log cabin restoration sites: Valley Forge, PA, City Point, VA, or Medora, ND.

2. Prepare a one-page fact sheet (from the information and additional resources listed in this guide) about that site and its historic time period.

3. Gather samples of newspapers, graphics and images on that time period (i.e., the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, late 19th century). Use these as examples to share with your class.

4. Divide your class into groups of four or five.

5. Distribute a copy of a current newspaper. Have them review the layout of the newspaper. Discuss with them the name of the paper. Ask them why they think that name was chosen for the paper. Explain the purpose of the headline and how more important stories generally get larger headlines. Then distribute to each group member a copy of the fact sheet for the historic site you have selected.

6. Have each member of the group select one topic from the fact sheet to focus their article on (i.e., the food shortages at Valley Forge; the weather during the winter of 1777; and the log huts the Continental Army built).

7. Have each group name their yesteryear newspaper.

8. Have each group member research and write a brief article on their selected topic for their group's newspaper. Each article should contain a headline and should be written as though the writer was a reporter during the time period of the topic. Articles should be no more than one page long. Provide each group with copies of graphic images from that time period. You may also assign each "reporter" the task of finding additional graphic images that they wish to use with their article (i.e., via Internet research, photocopies of photos and images from books or articles, etc.).

9. During a subsequent class period, have each group complete the layout for their newspaper. If you have access to a computer program such as "The Newsroom" you can utilize the student created articles in that format. If not, provide each group with scissors, tape, rubber cement, and large sheets of newsprint to layout their newspaper page.

Display each of the yesteryear newspapers in your classroom. Have each group read the articles they feel are their group's best or most creative to the class.

SEE THE ATTACHED SAMPLE.