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Newseum Education’s Digital Classroom

The Newseum in Washington, DC has long been one of my favorite places to take students. The interactive museum, dedicated to media and journalism, now offers a Digital Classroom and you’ll want to add it to your go-to spaces for high quality, standards-based, document-driven instruction.

Focused on historical inquiry, media literacy, critical thinking, document analysis, and civic engagement, Newseum Education’s Digital Classroom features a wide variety of engaging interactive content for middle school through college teaching and learning.

A library of 12 captioned and beautifully produced video lessons, complete with viewing guides, essential questions and lesson plans, focus on such critical media literacy issues as Bias, Getting It Right (accuracy in media), What’s News, and Sources.  Historical video lessons cover such topics as The Berlin Wall and the Press, The Press and the Civil Rights Movement, Watergate and 45 Words (the First Amendment).

Currently, three comprehensive Modules aggregate a wealth of resources and activities.  The latest addition, Women, Their Rights and Nothing Less,

investigates the suffragists’ pioneering use of the free press and the other First Amendment freedoms. Explore more than 250 primary sources in three interactives (See the interactive timeline and the map of persuasive materials) to see how and why movement participants dared to challenge the status quo. Then, discover their legacy in contemporary civil rights issues, and build your own case for change today.


A library of primary sources connects to each of the Modules: 150 documents on Women’s Rights, Blood and Ink: 30 Historic Front Pages from the Civil War and Emancipation Proclamation Front Pages. Documents may be downloaded as full-size PDFs to facilitate examination by students.

Activities connect to a variety of standards documents in language arts and social studies from middle through high school.

You may also be interested in these other media/primary source learning portals:


Joyce Valenza About Joyce Valenza

Joyce is an Assistant Professor of Teaching at Rutgers University School of Information and Communication, a technology writer, speaker, blogger and learner. Follow her on Twitter: @joycevalenza

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