for Teachers, Students and Families
Story of Nellie Bly
During the Unit
Have students prepare a "Reporter's
Notebook" as they read each chapter of the NewsBook.
The blank "Reporter's Notebook" is located
within each chapter of this guide. The "Reporter's
Notebook" offers students some space to create their
own notes about information retrieved from outside
sources such as a newspaper or the Internet. Information
the students gather would serve as a factual basis for
them to write a news story or an editorial about the
general themes covered in each chapter. Click here to read a list of some of the general
themes covered in each chapter.
Have students keep journals of terms and
definitions (Use the glossary
on this website.)
Have students create a timeline of Nellie's
life, including world events and social-historical
movements which occurred during Nellie's lifetime.
(Use the historical timeline on this website as a handout or as a key to
evaluate student work!)
Have students do the Nellie
Bly Word Search.
Have students write a journal from Nellie's
perspective, recreating what they think her reactions
would be to the events of each chapter.
Keep a portfolio of student work to exemplify
their individual growth as writers .
Conduct a pre-and-post survey of newspaper
interest and knowledge.
In addition to the exercises offered here, we
urge teachers, students and families to retrieve and use
the First Amendment Curriculum Guide, which illustrates the importance of our
nation's basic Constitutional right. The First Amendment
guarantees all Americans the freedom to worship any
religion, to speak their mind without fear of punishment,
to freely publish anything they have created, to
peacefully assemble in public, and to petition the
government for any reason. The content of Chapter 3 of
this Guide for Teachers, Students and Families
illustrates how important the First Amendment is and
always has been in the United States.
Also, we urge readers of this guide to go to the
"Around the World in 72 Days" website offered by the Public Broadcasting System. That
site offers a teacher's guide and other helpful
information about the story of Nellie Bly, including the
ability to download audio of the Steven Foster song,
at the End of the Unit
To incorporate drama and arts have students
write a script of the story and perform it.
Create a song about Nellie Bly's life using
Develop an "Around The World in 72
Days" game board. For ideas, visit www.nelliebly.org for a link to a site that shows the
Using the link on
that site to see scans of
Nellie Bly trading cards as models, develop similar
advertising and trading cards for some of today's network
correspondents and other highly visible journalists.
Develop a game formatted like the popular game
show "Jeopardy" and base the questions on the
Use categories such as: newspapers, history at
the time, Nellie's career, Nellie's trip. Have students
use low order questions for least amount of money and
higher order questions for higher amount of money.
Create a poem related to Nellie's life.
Have students illustrate each chapter of the
NewsBook, explaining their choice of drawings.
Have students draw a silhouette of Nellie. Fill
in the drawing with words from newspapers describing
Have students write
autobiographies. They may also try writing fictionalized
Create mock newspapers using the format of the
Nellie Bly NewsBook. Divide the classroom into small
groups. Have each member of the group self-select and
submit a piece of writing to exemplify their knowledge of
various newspaper features. For example, select a column,
an editorial, a feature story, a news story, an obituary,
and advertisements. Have each group work together to
decide placement of the writing pieces based on their
knowledge and share the completed project with whole
the Unit Topic Question Suggestions
Describe how Nellie's views were or were not
influenced by the events and attitudes which existed
during her life.
Compare and contrast Nellie's early writing
style with her later work. Discuss Nellie's growth as a
writer and a reporter as demonstrated through the
Write a critical analysis of Nellie's personal
life as it reflected on her professional life.
Select an event or topic Nellie wrote
about and discuss the impact her reporting may or may not
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