DNN: Decade Network News

Presented by: April Myers

Subject Area(s):

Grade Level(s):


This exciting lesson is a collaboration between the LMS and either a social studies or language arts teacher. Students will spend three class periods in the LMC reviewing website evaluation skills, note taking strategies, online sources, databases, and print sources to use for this class project. The research will be used to create a class newscast on decades from 1940 through 1990. Student groups, representing each decade, will do a newcast segment on either economics, culture, politics, historical significance, or technology as a specific aspect of their decade.

Goals & Objectives:

Instructional goals:

To use a variety of data to create a report on a specific aspect of a decade in United States History. To use various research skills to locate and evaluate information about a decade. To understand changes in decades from the 1940s-1990s.

Learning Objective:

The students will use a variety of sources, online databases, websites, and print resources to research a specific aspect of a decade in US history. They will use website evaluation skills, note taking strategies, and complete works cited sheet in their research. Students will gain an understanding of economic, political, cultural, historical significance, or technology as a specific aspect of a decade.

Motivational goals:

Generate interest in the research process. Establish the importance of learning information skills. Build, reinforce and encourage ongoing confidence in students research abilities. Maintain interest in the research process. Promote the value of information skills. Promote satisfaction in research accomplishments. Motivate continuing information exploration.


Let's FACE It, Note Taking job aid, Presentation job aid, works cited worksheet, 3"X5" note cards


Let's FACE It, adapted from WebMAC Middle by Linda Zuber, from "Motivation Mining: Finding Web Treasures to Teach Evaluation Skills" (1999) by Arnone and Small, Linworth Publishing.



As students enter the LMC, they will be directed to the classroom area. A Bell Ringer activity will be used to focus attention and signal the start of the lesson. On the white board LMS will have written, "How do you know when your are getting a good website?" Students will use their notebooks to write their responses to complete this Bell Ringer activity. This activity not only will focus attention, but test prior knowledge.
Next, the LMS will review the class assignment on the decade unit. Groups will have been previously preselected by classroom teacher. Within each group students will have been assigned what aspect of their decade they are researching (economics, culture, historical perspective, politics, or technology.

Next the LMS will relate a personal story about someone not evaluating a website (use something from your own experience). Relate how important it is to know how to evaluate a website. Then ask students to think of ways they know to evaluate a website. Brainstorm and list different ideas. Next tell students that they will be using Let's FACE It job aid to help them when evaluating websites. Demonstrate how to use Let's FACE It by evaluating a website as a class.

Now ask students what other places in the LMC might they use to find information on their topic. Make a list of the responses (OPAC, Decade Reference Set, online databases) are expected responses. Students will be able to use all of these for their research.

Review class assignment, the decades newscast. Instruct students that they will need to complete note cards on each source they look at. Hand out note card job aid and review what must be included on their 3"X5" cards. Also review the works cited sheets that also need to be filled out for each source. At the end of the research phase (three days) students must have completed 10 cards/works cited sheets for the sources they will use.

Students will be given remainder of class time to start research. LMS and classroom teacher will circulate to offer assistance. Students will have two additional class periods in the LMC as well as after school period to work on research. There will be two class days to compile their research and prepare their segment. Students will be given a "Presentation job aid" to use when preparing their segment. Presentations will begin in class after that depending on teacher made schedule.

At the end of class remind students that the LMC is available other periods and after school for any additional help.


Teacher observation, successful completion of 10 3"X5' note cards and works cited sheets, as well as overall completion of class newscast segment.

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