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CNN Student News Learning Activity: Evaluate the events of summer 2007

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  • Students will identify key news events from the summer of 2007
  • Students will evaluate the significance of these events
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(CNN Student News) -- Students will identify and discuss key news events that took place during the summer of 2007 and evaluate and rate the significance of these events for inclusion in a history textbook.


As a class, list some of the news stories that were included in the CNN Student News "Stories of Summer '07" segment. Then, pose the following questions for discussion:

  1. Which of these stories do you think were the most significant and why?
  2. Are there any stories that you remember from this past summer that didn't make this list?
  3. What criteria do you think that CNN reporters used when creating the "Stories of Summer '07" report?
  4. Do you think that these news stories would appear on a similar list in other countries? Why or why not?
  5. Do you think that time and perspective can alter how events are interpreted and recorded? If so, how? If not, why not?
  6. How do you think that historians will write about these events five, 10 or 50 years from now? State your rationale.

Explain to students that one of the roles of historians is to make choices about what information is most significant and meaningful. Organize students into small groups, and have them assume the roles of historians. Then, refer students to multimedia resources, including the Web sites listed, to review the various news headlines of this summer.

South Carolina firefighters die

Brazil plane crash

CNN/YouTube Debates

Michael Vick dogfighting charges

Minnesota bridge collapse

Barry Bonds home run record

Utah miners trapped

500 killed in Iraq bombings

Mattel toy recall

Peru 8.0 earthquake

After students have completed their research, challenge groups to create brief outlines for a section of a history textbook that will address the events that occurred during the summer of 2007. Inform them that the textbook is intended for students who will read it 10 years from now. Pose the following questions to help students organize their outlines:

• What events will you include or leave out?
• Of the events that you include, what information about them will you provide?
• What images will you include?
• What criteria will you use to make those decisions?
• What are the challenges of completing such a task?

Have groups share their outlines with the class. Encourage them to explain the methods that they used to come to their conclusions. Have students predict what future generations might someday learn about these events.

Curriculum Connections

Social Studies

Standard II. Time, Continuity and Change: Students will learn about the ways human beings view themselves in and over time.

Standard IV. Individual Development and Identity: Students will explore the influences on individual development and identity including culture, groups and institutions.

Standard IX. Global Connections: Students will examine global connections and interdependence.

The Curriculum Standards for Social Studies ( are published by the National Council for Social Studies (


South Carolina, firefighters, Brazil, plane crash, CNN/YouTube Debates, Michael Vick, Minnesota, bridge collapse, Barry Bonds, Utah miners, Iraq, bombings, Mattel recall, Peru, earthquake E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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