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Lesson 16
Hear Ye, Hear Ye: Read all About It!

Learning Objectives

Students will:
  • Develop an online newspaper depicting events from the Lewis and Clark expedition and publish it on the school Web site;
  • Practice recording notes from primary and secondary sources.


This lesson correlates to the national McREL standards located online at

Language Arts
Standard 1: Uses the general skills and strategies of the writing process
Standard 2: Uses the stylistic and rhetorical aspects of writing
Standard 3: Uses grammatical and mechanical conventions in written compositions
Standard 4: Gathers and uses information for research purposes

Standard 2: Knows the characteristics and uses of computer software programs. Standard 3: Understands the relationships among science, technology, society, and the individual.


  • A copy of the program Lewis and Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery (To order, visit ShopPBS)
  • A television, and a VCR or DVD player
  • Computers with Internet access
  • Selected journal entries from the Archive section of this Web site
  • Lesson 16 Student Activity Sheet

Time Needed

Five or six 45-minute class periods or three 90-minute class periods.

Teaching Strategy

  1. Prepare a handout or list on the board the guidelines for completing the newspaper project. Things you will want to include in this handout/list are:
    • Number of people working on each newspaper (individual, pair, or small group project)

    • How many stories will each student be responsible for writing?

    • What type(s) of stories will each student be responsible for writing?

    • What are the guidelines for using publication software?

    • What are the expectations for spelling, capitalization, punctuation, grammar, and usage?

    • What is the timeline for completion of the project?

    • Who is the audience for the project and how will it be shared?

    • Create a peer editing evaluation form or set of guidelines for students to use when editing on another’s work.

  2. Create a handout that describes the scoring guide to be used on the project.

  3. Before viewing the film, instruct students to create a note taking sheet that contains the following sections:
    • Facts/Interesting details about Lewis, Clark, and other Corps Members

    • Challenges encountered by the Corps of Discovery

    • Exciting Discoveries

    • Unusual Encounters and Happenings

    • Other Newsworthy Information

  4. Explain to students that as they view the film, they should be looking for details to place under each of the five categories they have written on their note taking sheets. Instruct students to take accurate notes that will help them remember key events and ideas so they can include them as stories in their newspaper projects. Remind students that good news stories incorporate who, what, when, where, why, and how. In addition, they need to have a catchy headline, a byline, a strong lead, objective copy (no editorializing), and quoted comments or reactions from "newsmakers" (either pulled from journal entries or inferred).

  5. Distribute copies of the peer editing evaluation forms/guidelines and review with students so they know how their work will be evaluated and what they should look for when editing other students’ work. This is also a good time to distribute and discuss the scoring guide that will be used to evaluate student work.

  6. Have students view the film. Stop periodically to have students discuss key people, events, and ideas from the film. Encourage students to add information to their note taking sheets during discussion.

  7. Once viewing is complete, direct students to this Lewis and Clark Web site, specifically the “Inside the Corps” and “Archive” sections. Here they can find specific details about Corps members and their journal entries. Encourage students to add to their note taking sheets by reviewing the journal entries below.

    Selected journal entries to review:
    Lewis: May 26, 1804
    Clark: June 28, 1804
    Clark: July 14, 1804
    Floyd: August 14, 1804
    Ordway: September 25, 1804
    Lewis: May 14, 1805
    Ordway: September 3, 1805
    Clark: October 23, 1805
    Whitehouse: December 25, 1805
    Lewis: March 16, 1806
    Gass: April 21, 1806
    Ordway: May 23, 1806

  8. When research is completed, students should write news articles on what they believe to be the most important discoveries and events of the expedition. Students may find it helpful to organize using the graphic organizer found on the Lesson 16 Student Activity Sheet. This will also provide them with an example of an appropriate mast head and its content.

  9. When students are finished writing their articles, they should have them proofread by a peer. Peer editors should provide feedback about the content and construction of the articles. Students should edit their articles as needed.

  10. Students should then incorporate the articles and related artwork (optional) into an online newspaper. If possible, see if your students can have their work posted on your school's Web site. As a safety precaution, it is recommended that students' last names not be posted on the school's Web site. Provide an opportunity for each individual/pair/group to present their newspaper to the rest of the class.

Assessment Recommendations

  1. Develop a scoring guide to evaluate each student newspaper or stories written by individual students.

  2. Assign participation or completion grades to students for completing peer editing activities and for presenting their newspaper to their classmates.


  1. Students might wish to present their Web site "off line" to younger students. This is a good way to have students articulate what they have learned by sharing and teaching younger students about the Lewis and Clark expedition.

  2. Instead of just a basic online newspaper, look for opportunities to interact with others online. Your students could ask for feedback, build surveys (a great integration with math), and offer collaborative answers (via e-mail) to other people searching for more information regarding Lewis and Clark.