Nov 5, 2012 by

Last week I was able to spend a lot of time with some fantastic teachers and administrators on the West Coast and one of their favorite websites was Newsmap.  The teachers had loads of ideas on how they could use Newsmap in their classrooms across content areas.  Some of my favorites are below:

In General– Teachers can use this site to talk about what we value and the idea of “perspective”- how the things that are important to use may not be important to others.  In addition, many teachers like the idea of using this tool for a daily starter so students are aware of what is going on in the world around them.

Foreign Languages: Along the top of the screen on Newsmap, you will see the option to go to other countries to see what the top stories are in those countries.  Many foreign language teachers like this for obvious reasons including the fact that students can translate the headlines to English or translate the English headlines into the language they are studying.

Math– Mulitple math teachers liked the idea of using this site to introduce the concepts of ratios and proportions.  One specific idea is to look at the stories over a specific time period and note how the sizes increase or decrease from day to day based on popularity.

Language Arts– One idea is for students to choose one of the headlines and use it as a writing prompt.  Students could either use a story they already knew about (e.g. the upcoming election) and write about it as a reporter might OR they could use a headline they know nothing about and make up a fictitious account of what they believe the story might say.

Social Studies– One of MANY ideas for social studies is for a class to take a snapshot at one particular time each week (e.g. every Monday) and use this image to show how what we value changes, how time and interest in stories is fleeting, and how all of us are living history.  This can be an especially powerful lesson if done over a whole year.  Compare the stories at the end of the school year to those that were popular at the start of the school year.

Science– One great suggestion was to search for the science stories (search bar in top right corner) at the start of each week to monitor what is going on in the world of science and how it relates to what the students are learning in class.


Make It Mobile:  In the end, there are multiple other uses for Newsmap.  Whether you use this tool in class or have the students self-direct their learning on a device outside of class, Newsmap is a great visual representation of what society finds important at any given moment.

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