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There is much more to explore in our calendar. Find other important events in literary history, authors' birthdays, and a variety of holidays, each with related lessons and resources.



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HomeClassroom ResourcesCalendar Activities

June 01

CNN debuted as the first television news network in 1980.

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CNN debuted as the first television news network in 1980.

Grades 3 – 12
Calendar Activity Type Historical Figure & Event





On June 1, 1980, Ted Turner introduced the Cable News Network (CNN), the first all-news television network. CNN has since provided news coverage and features 24 hours a day. News seekers can now find up-to-date coverage on and CNNRADIO, or sign up for e-mail alerts of breaking news stories.




New technologies have made it easier than ever for people to get the news. This is in stark contrast to previous centuries, when there were fewer news sources and it could take days or even months for important news to travel long distances. Have students brainstorm a list of modern news sources, such as newspapers, radio, the Internet, television, e-mail, or text messaging. Next, have students brainstorm a list of news sources from previous centuries, such as telegrams or the town crier.

Arrange the class in small groups and assign each group one of these news sources to research. Students should find out when and where the method was first used, when people stopped using it, and so on. Then have students work together using the ReadWriteThink Interactive Timeline to create a visual timeline showing the evolution of the news over time. See also the Timeline Tool page for information and activity ideas.




  • Teaching Tools

    CNN offers teachers a variety of tools for the classroom, including a calendar of programming events, reference tools, Web links, teaching tips, and lesson plans.


  • ASNE's Youth Journalism Initiative:

    Published by the American Society of Newspaper Editors, this website offers teachers a variety of resources, including lesson plans, teaching tips, and a database of high school newspapers.


  • Historical Photography, 4D Theater & Journalism Exhibits: Newseum

    The Newseum offers online exhibits about a variety of news and journalism topics, as well as brief descriptions of some of their physical exhibits.


  • JEA: Digital Media Resources

    This site from the Journalism Education Association offers information on publishing articles and podcasts online. Included also are tips on how to promote high school newspaper websites.



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Grades   9 – 12  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Novel News: Broadcast Coverage of Character, Conflict, Resolution, and Setting

This twist on readers theater has students prepare original news programs based on incidents in a recent reading, as they explore standard literary elements of character, conflict, resolution, and setting.


Grades   6 – 8  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Critical Media Literacy: TV Programs

By critically analyzing popular television programs, students develop an awareness of the messages that are portrayed through the media.


Grades   6 – 8  |  Lesson Plan  |  Unit

Lights, Camera, Action: Interviewing a Book Character

Students get the inside scoop on a story when they create interview questions and answers for characters in the books they read.


Grades   9 – 12  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

The Feature Story—Fifteen Minutes (and 500 Words) of Fame!

Students learn how to differentiate between a news story and a feature story by writing a profile of a classmate.