Using NewsHour Extra Feature Stories
Overview: NewsHour Extra features stories can help students identify and interpret key issues in current events. This activity anticipates one class period, but the follow-up essay might be assigned as homework, or in another period.
Warm Up: Use initiating questions to introduce the topic and find out how much your students know.
Main Activity: Have students read NewsHour Extra's feature story and answer the questions on the reading comprehension handout.
Discussion: Use discussion questions to encourage students to think about how the issues outlined in the story affect their lives and express and debate different opinions.
Follow-up: Students can write an 500-word editorial on the topic expressing their views and send it to NewsHour Extra [email@example.com] for possible publication.
Evaluation: Students are graded on their answers to reading comprehension questions and/or their editorial.
September 11, 9/4/02
1) Have you heard about the controversy surrounding how the first anniversary of September 11 should be recognized in schools?
2) If you were a teacher, how would you recognize the September 11 anniversary in your class?
Reading comprehension questions: (click here for printout)
1) What is the National Education Association (NEA)?
The largest teachers
2) Why have they been in the news lately?
The National Education Association prepared a special site that includes lesson plans. Critics, mostly conservatives, say the plans spend too much time talking about feelings and not enough time teaching history.
3) Why will Texas play a large role in how September 11 will be remembered in history books?
Texas purchases the largest number of textbooks, and publishers will aim their newer editions to meet the state school standards.
4) Give two examples of how textbook publishers handled the September 11 events.
McGraw Hill was all ready to print but added the events to the Books, noting that the story is still unfolding. While Prentice Hall, expanded its coverage on terrorism from one paragraph to several pages.
1) Do you think that the anniversary of September 11 should be an entire day of reflection, or do you think the day should be spent solely teaching its historical significance?
2) Take a stand: In one paragraph, respond to and support either the NEA argument or the conservative critics' argument.
3) Do you think textbooks twenty years from now will expand or condense the September 11 events? Why?