“Read All About It”: Primary Source Reading in “Chronicling America”

Can investigative journalism become too sensationalistic and accusatory, or is it vital for the survival of a democracy? Middle schoolers analyze primary source documents from early 20th-century newspapers as well as Theodore Roosevelt's famous speech "The Man with the Muck-Rake" to determine whether investigative journalism is beneficial or detrimental to the survival of a society.

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CCSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas

  • Assign the political cartoon for homework, prompting learners to answer the given questions before returning to class the next day
  • Encourage learners to paraphrase or summarize the speech to find its main idea
Classroom Considerations

  • The second part of a two-lesson unit found here
Pros

  • Offers an option for differentiation
  • Connects primary source analysis with discussion skills
Cons

  • None