The World Was Watching – Today’s Newspapers

Tuesday night, after most of my 7th grade students had gone to bed, history happened. 

Whether you supported Barack Obama for President or not, it is difficult to dispute that his election speaks volumes about how far we have come as a nation in terms of Civil Rights.  In my classroom, we looked at how newspapers around the world covered our election here in America.  Click here to see some front pages that showed up on news stands all over the world Wednesday morning. Be patient; this is a cool site, and a lot of people are visiting it today, so you may need to keep trying to access it.

(Note to other teachers & parents: I downloaded the images I wanted from this site and used them, with credit, in a SmartBoard presentation. Because newspaper content varies a lot from country to country, there are sometimes images on this site you wouldn’t want to share live with  your classes. )

My Spanish speakers helped translate the articles about the first African American in "la Casa Blanca."  We talked about the Paris newspaper that ran an editorial on its front page with the interesting headline "America has Returned."   You don’t need to speak another language to understand the one-word headline, "Historico!"  The students commented on that one over and over again.

But my favorite classroom conversation started when the kids checked out a newspaper from Barcelona.  On the front page was an image of an African American man, but it wasn’t Barack Obama.  It was Martin Luther King, Jr.  We talked about the Civil Rights Movement as a long, long road and noted that even MLK might not have imagined the scene in Chicago’s Grant Park.  One of the girls at the front table nodded, looking up at the image of King on the screen and said quietly,  "It was like he was there last night, too."

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