News in Review (NiR) is an audiovisual, educational resource designed to inform and teach Canadians about important current events and themes in Canada and the world. It is prepared by a team of CBC news specialists and is shaped and supported by a group of experienced Canadian teachers.
Educators can count on this site to serve as a “Teacher’s Companion” designed to help educators employ NiR as effectively and enjoyably as possible. We hope that you and your students enjoy exploring this resource and return again and again.
The NiR Suite of Resources
There are three key components of NiR that we encourage you to explore.
- A yearly series of eight DVDs, each featuring 4 current news stories that have been specifically shaped for use in Canadian schools for students from grade 7 to post-secondary levels. The length of each story averages 15 carefully crafted minutes.
- A 60-page Teachers Resource Guide designed to explain, support and extend the visual component. All materials in the guide may be reproduced for classroom use by teachers and students.
- This website archives previous issues of NiR and offers a search function for users. As well, stories are organized by subject/theme.
Features of the Resource Guide
The Resource Guide is designed to assist teachers and students in more fully understanding, exploring and using the powerful images and reporting presented by the DVD component of NiR. Each story is enhanced by 13-15 pages of additional information, and activities. This material is designed to be used directly in the classroom by teachers or perhaps even employed by students making presentations based on group, or individual research.
The resource guide is a Teacher’s Guide and is intended to be integrated with the video material, to give additional background information not included in the video, to present learning strategies and activities, and to serve as another source of information on the subject. The guide is designed to be easily reproducible for immediate classroom use. Without the guide, NiR is not NiR.
Each month, you’ll find regular components in the guide. Here is a quick rundown of some key components you’ll find each month in the Resource Guide :
- In This Issue
A quick summary of the featured stories, including the length of the visual component.
- NiR Study Modules
A compilation of related stories from our archives. This is particularly useful when preparing a thematic study or inviting more in-depth student research of a topic.
- Related CBC Videos
A handy identification of other relevant materials available from the CBC. This is useful in preparing new units of study.
- The Introduction
This first section serves as a summary/primer for the teacher and/ or the student. It is written in a clear, summative, factual style in which description, and value‑laden terminology is minimized. Questions raised by the story are often initially discussed here. It opens with a brief Focus statement that succinctly summarizes the story for the reader, usually a somewhat harried teacher!
This section also includes a few closing questions, generally of a recall or perhaps an open-ended nature. If possible, space for student answers is provided. If the article is long and/or the questions are more thought- provoking and complex, simply stating the questions is the norm and it is expected students will answer the questions in their notebooks.
- Video Review
This can be a traditional fill‑in‑the‑blanks or true/false activity or a more “open” activity, but the intent is to give the teacher material with which he/she can focus students’ attention on the video. Space for answers is always provided as many teachers use this as a worksheet for their students.
Length: 1-2 pages or 7-14 questions.
- Feature Pages (Usually 2 pages)
The body of the story may contain a number of different features and approaches including some of the following:
- Backgrounders: These pages are a service to teachers providing facts and figures, quick summaries of the content. For example, a thumbnail chronological history of World Terrorism might be included in the Guide.
- Biographies: One to two page feature offers birth and death dates and key events. The main part of the text is a thumbnail biography, perhaps even in point form. The feature is completed by questions/activities based on the reading.
- News in Review Timeline: When the back story is very detailed and complex, a timeline will occasionally be used to focus on the key events/ issues. We usually offer 10-15 dates and brief snippets of information. This, too, is capped with a clearly marked question/activity.
- Point:Counterpoint or Crossfire: A simple series of quotations offering a range of opinions. These are designed to be punchy, provocative, revealing, varied etc. They come with an activity that encourages student response/reactions/selection/evaluation. These are intended to be used directly in the class as a motivational Black Line Master(BLM) .
- Document Study: This may be a more academic, higher level source reading, possibly a speech, interview, government document or newspaper article. The document or excerpt is an opportunity for students to analyze the newsworthy individual or organization in greater detail. This is accompanied by a series of questions/activities that often focuses on comprehension and also invites assessment/evaluation/response.
- Statistics: Includes tables, charts, a series of facts/statistics/numbers. This is a primary source document demanding statistical analysis or perhaps manipulation of information. This can involve fiscal figures, election statistics, medical data, etc. Always with a useful question/ activity.
- First person accounts: These are some of the most interesting and useful pages in the guide. They offer a powerful human dimension to a story and are generally very accessible to the student reader.
Sidebar Features: We use sidebars a great deal in NiR. These sidebars include the following:
- Focus – a simple summation of the story in the Introduction
- Instructions for Video Review
- Definitions for important terminology
- Quotations for interest and focus
- “Did you know…?“ – snippets of related, interesting information.
- Further Research – usually web sites that extend knowledge of the topic. Some may be noted in the body of the articles.
- Update – a quick note about an unfolding story.
- Note to Teachers – specific pedagogical instruction concerning an activity.
This is a hands-on, classroom ready Black Line Master (BLM). The object is to provide a high interest summary activity for the story. These are carefully designed so that all a teacher has to do is photocopy it and take it into the classroom. If research is called for, we provide very helpful hints.
Tips for Classroom Use
The NiR resource is only limited by the creativity and time of our student and teacher users. NiR can be successfully employed with both academic and less academic learners, For some students, including ESL learners, visuals are a powerful and motivating learning tool. Teachers may wish to use one of three general approaches in bringing the NiR experience to students:
- Whole class instruction with the teacher choosing the materials from the DVD and Resource Guide that best fits the teacher’s time, purpose and student needs.
- Small group research using some of the modules indicated in each edition of the guide. Student groups could view the DVDs and access the guide to complete research which might result in a written or oral summary.
- For more capable and motivated students, NiR is an invaluable aid to individual student research on a wide array of topics. Material could easily be incorporated into a wide range of products from written to oral, to visual.
Remember: Each element in each of the story modules provides explicit pedagogical opportunities for student learning. These include a range of specific questions and activities.
Thanks for visiting and we hope that you return to this exciting, essential Canadian resource. We are constantly adding new topics and educational activities to the Web site. We are pleased to be part of the excellent educational work performed by Canadian teachers and students. If you have any suggestions or questions, please contact us.