Matters of Education

Learning Happens Everywhere

Wartime Reporting

Length of Time:   Will Vary


The Civil War was the first war in which the press was actively engaged in reporting the war from the field. New technologies enabled reporters to communicate the events in a relatively short amount of time. Printing capacities enabled newspapers to show diagrams, maps and photographs of the actual battles, feeding the increasing demand of the public. The scope of the conflict generated interest from readers of all backgrounds.

Students will consider the nature of war reporting as they select another war since the Civil War and find at least 2 examples of news reports from that conflict.  You may choose to turn this into a more extensive research project as suggested in the Enrichment Activities. Students may also work in groups for this part of the assignment. They may present their results in charts, graphs, written reports, power points or other visual media.

Have a final discussion about the ways in which we talk about Is it the same way we tell other stories? Why or why not?

Essential Questions

Does the way we tell the story of war differ from how we tell other stories?

Common Core Standards

English/Language Arts: Anchor Standards: CCRS for Reading Key Ideas and Details

  • ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.1 Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
  • ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.2 Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.

Craft and Structure

  • ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.4 Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.
  • ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.5 Analyze the structure of texts, including how specific sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text (e.g., a section, chapter, scene, or stanza) relate to each other and the whole.
  • ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.6 Assess how point of view or purpose shapes the content and style of a text.

English/Language Arts: History/Social Studies, Grades 6-12 Integration of Knowledge and Ideas

  • ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.7 Integrate visual information (e.g., in charts, graphs,

photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digital texts.


  • ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.8 Distinguish among fact, opinion, and reasoned judgment in a text
  • ELA-Literacy.RH.6-12.9 Analyze the relationship between a primary and secondary source on the same topic.

Content Standards