- Grade level: Middle School, High School
- Subject Area: Social Studies
As part of their studies of modern American history, students will use various news sites to gather information on current events.
- Identify important issues that persist in modern American history.
- See the connection between historical issues and current events.
Materials and Resources
In developing our lessons and activities, we made some assumptions about the hardware and software that would be available in the classroom for teachers who visit the LETSNet Website. We assume that teachers using our Internet-based lessons or activities have a computer with the necessary hardware components (mouse, keyboard, and monitor) as well as a World Wide Web browser. In the section below, we specify any "special" hardware or software requirements for a lesson or activity (in addition to those described above) and the level of Internet access required to do the activity.
- Special hardware requirements: None.
- Special software requirements: None.
- Internet access: High-speed (greater than 1 MBPS via network).
Unit Lesson Plans
- Lesson One: Historical Context. As part of their standard course of study in American history, students discuss general trends in modern American history.
- Lesson Two: Current Events Research. Students look for news stories on the Web that highlight some of the trends in modern American history.
Relation to Standards
The National Council for the Social Studies has created standards which provide excellent guidelines for teachers on how to focus social sciences work in their classrooms.
One Computer versus Many
The plans for this unit are tailored to fit teaching situations where students have access to several computers with an Internet connection. To accommodate classrooms that do not have access to a computer lab with full Internet connections, students can work in research groups to explore Internet sites and conduct their research.
If you have only one computer with Internet access, you may choose to do one of the following:
- If you have the technology, you may hook up the computer to a TV monitor or LCD projector. This will allow the whole class to see sites in the preliminary stages when students are exploring sites created by other children.
- You may choose to have students take turns working in groups using the computer with Internet access.
- You may also download files from the Internet and save them on a disk. Now you can transfer the files you saved on a disk to the other non-Internet computers. Installing copies of your Web browser on all non-Internet computers will allow you to view the pages you saved to a disk. This will not allow students to explore hyper-links, but they will be able to access and view the information by opening each file with the Web browser.