It seems only fitting that a museum devoted to the First Amendment and free expression overlooks Pennsylvania Avenue — “America’s Main Street” — the scene of parades, processions and protests by people exercising their constitutional rights.
The Newseum’s seven floors of theaters and galleries let students experience the breadth of the First Amendment in action and the biggest news stories of all time from Gutenberg to Zuckerberg.
Hundreds of artifacts personalize moments in time. Kids can view a section of the Greensboro, North Carolina lunch counter where a 1960 sit-in by four African-American students played a key part in the civil rights movement. Or walk around 12-foot-high sections of the Berlin Wall and see how the people who lived on the graffiti-covered West side were free to express themselves, while the East side remained blank.
It’s history, civics and media literacy brought to life.
“We feel this museum is an invaluable opportunity for students to encounter the power of the news media in their lives,” says Beth Villanueva, a Maryland teacher. “We want them to engage in the democratic process.”
Just like the news, our content is constantly evolving. Last fall, our popular permanent gallery, “The Pulitzer Prize Photographs,” was updated to celebrate the awards’ 100th anniversary. The temporary exhibit “Louder Than Words: Rock, Power and Politics,” created in partnership with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and on display through July 31, 2017, explores how musicians use their First Amendment freedoms to shape political and social movements. And come September, your students can take our newest class, Fighting Fake News: How to Outsmart Trolls and Troublemakers, which helps them understand their roles as both media consumers and contributors. (The class will be offered virtually as well as on-site.)
Do you want your students to explore 500 years of primary sources covering momentous events like President Lincoln’s assassination and the moon landing? The News History Gallery is a treasure trove of historical perspectives. Are you more interested in the cutting edge of today’s news? In the Newseum’s new Virtual Reality Lab, technology unleashes a new kind of immersive journalism that allows students to step inside the headlines and experience the story in powerful new ways.
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