Using our Lessons of the Week in your classroom

CNL News Lesson

Lesson Outline

January 3, 2014

What is a Lesson of the Week? ChalkboardImage
At the Center for News Literacy, we regularly scan the news for relevant stories to use in our lectures each semester. We comb through print, digital, audio and video sources to find those that work best in teaching core News Literacy concepts. Many of our partners at other schools and universities have expressed the need for fresh examples in their courses to keep students engaged and content from becoming stale. But teachers don’t always have access to the tools needed to capture stories and make them available to students. Web links to stories can lead to dead pages, videos hosted on Youtube are sometimes blocked, and text pieces are sometimes pulled offline with little notice. That’s where the Lessons of the Week come in. Each week, we present a fresh example from the news that is specifically linked to one or more News Literacy concepts. We provide current media such as video, audio, and PDFs of text stories, as well as short synopses and lesson-guiding questions that can get you started using the lessons right in your classroom.

How to Use the Lessons of the Week?
Our Lessons of the Week are designed to be flexible, so that teachers at all grade levels can use them immediately. If you looking for a way to introduce current events into your class, just use one of our general lessons to get students thinking about the news and why it’s important to follow it. And use our lesson-guiding questions to outline a unit on concepts such as truth-and-verification or evaluating sources. Then use the media to help frame discussions or student assignments.

Sample Lessons:

Security conceptFinding News Literacy Concepts in the New York Times Reporting of CIA/ ATT Intelligence Sharing

This lesson discusses how the CIA and AT&T have been sharing information about telecommunications in and out of the US. It shines a light on the continuing battle for privacy, highlights the News Literacy concepts of verification and source evaluation, and also gives guiding questions on evaluating the reliability of the information in the story.

BostonExplosionPicsAn Interactive Timeline of Reporting Events of the Boston Bombing

This lesson, presented in an interactive “prezi”, gives teachers and students the ability to walk through an entire week of reporting on the Boston Bombing.


To see more of our past Lessons of the Week, check out our “Fresh Examples” repository at: