One Illinois library came up with a unique idea to solve its book overstock problem. The library was getting more book donations than it could give out at book sales, so it set up a vending machine and filled it with books — giving them away for free! The goal is to encourage people from the local community to read more books. And to make the experience even more exciting, a surprise element was added. The books are wrapped in paper, only allowing you to choose the genre. The title of the book is revealed when you open the “gift.”

So what do you think — are book vending machines the Next Big Thing? Vote and tell us your opinion in the comments section below. Or submit your video comments to We will feature the results of the poll and some of your comments on the show!

December 7 marks National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. Last year, Channel One News visited Pearl Harbor to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Japan’s infamous attack on the U..S. Naval base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii — an event that plunged the United States into war. About 16 million Americans served in World War II, but only 620, 000 veterans are still alive today. Teach your students about the “Greatest Generation,” and learn about one teen’s nonprofit mission to preserve their stories for generations to come.

Opening Activity

Display this image for students (click image to view large). hen ask them to work in pairs to answer the following questions:

Photograph by U.S. Navy

  • List all of the details you notice in this photograph.
  • Based on these details, what historic event do you think is depicted on this photograph? Why?

Watch: Pearl Harbor, Part 1: 75th Anniversary

Whole-Class Discussion

  • Why did the United States enter World War II?
  • Why is it important for young people to understand historic events such as the bombing of Pearl Harbor? What are some ways young people can learn more about historic events like this?

Watch: Pearl Harbor, Part 2: The Greatest Generation

View Slideshow: “The Greatest Generation”

Image Credit: Speedfighter/Bigstock

If you’re at least 12 years old, your generation is the millennial generation. That’s because you were born around the year 2000. Before you came Generation X. The X indicates that this generation is not known for anything in particular.

Image Credit: dolgachov/Bigstock

The baby boomers came before Generation X. They were born soon after World War II. The world was safe again, so families had many babies. The boomers are known for their large numbers. In the 1960s, many were hippies. Later, some became yuppies.

Image Credit: American Battle Monuments Commission

The Greatest Generation came before the baby boomers. Why was it great? This generation fought World War II! Before that they survived the Great Depression. The Depression was a severe economic downturn that began in 1929. Fifteen million Americans were unemployed.

Image Credit: Public Domain/ courtesy of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library & Museum

Times were hard. But the Greatest Generation found ways to get by. Neighbors shared food and helped each other out. People took any job they could find. Millions of Americans rode freight trains around the country in search of work.

Image Credit: Gary Blakeley/Bigstock

The Depression ended when World War II began. People found work manufacturing armaments and other supplies for the war. The Greatest Generation contributed to every aspect of the war effort. Sixteen million Americans served in the military. Hundreds of thousands died.

Image Credit: Library of Congress/US Office of War Information

Back home, people grew their own food and collected metal for manufacturing. With so many men at war, factories experienced labor shortages. So millions of women went to work in defense plants. They built the machinery that helped win the war.


  • Why does the “Greatest Generation” have that nickname?
  • What does Rishi hope to accomplish with his website and nonprofit? Do you think he will be successful? Why or why not?
  • What types of  information could you expect to find on Rishi’s webiste?What could you learn from Rishi’s website and nonprofit that you could not learn from in class or from a history textbook?

Explanatory Writing Prompt

Rishi Sharma says World War II veterans are “walking history books.” Write a new chapter for your school’s history textbook about the Greatest Generation. Include relevant information from the videos, slideshow and your own ideas to complete your response.

Media Literacy

Direct students to  the National Archives websiteHave students listen to an excerpt of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s famous “Day of Infamy” speech.

Then, have them read the primary source document of President Roosevelt’s typed pages with handwritten edits.

If pages are not easily legible for some students, they can read the speech here (PDF).

Then answer the following questions:

  • Who is the author? Who is the intended audience?
  • When was it written? Where was it written?
  • What was happening at the time in history that this document was created?
  • What was the purpose of this speech? Quote evidence from the document that tells you this. (To urge Congress to formally declare war on Japan, which they did just minutes later, and to rally the American people to support the war effort.)

Closing Activity

Ask students the following question and have them share their thoughts on an exit ticket:

  • Does the Greatest Generation deserve its nickname? Why or why not?

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This innovative Next Big Thing makes it easier than ever to take your favorite pooch with you when you run errands, go shopping or decide to get some ice cream. Dog parkers are smart houses placed in front of stores that wouldn’t normally allow dogs. These high-tech houses are self-sanitizing and are equipped with temperature control, a lock and even a camera, which provides a safe place for canine owners to leave their pets in while they shop. Membership to the service is $25 a year, plus $.20 for every minute your dog uses the house.

So what do you think — are dog parkers the Next Big Thing? Vote and tell us your opinion in the comments section below. Or submit your video comments to We will feature the results of the poll and some of your comments on the show!

“I don’t like football, it’s bad. It causes concussions,” he said, his small brow furrowed with conviction.

“Okay. Why do you feel that way? Help me and the class understand.” The boy’s teacher, Erik Palmer, gently probed for the rationale behind his statement. The child looked up, shifting his weight uncomfortably, before sitting back down. “I’m not sure, Mr. Palmer. I just heard it.”

“Fake News” remains a hot topic underscoring media literacy as an essential part of civic understanding. In celebration of Media Literacy Week, Erik Palmer, media literacy expert and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt thought leader, shared his perspective after 20 years of teaching the topic in classrooms and to educators.

“Spouting conclusions, unfortunately, has become the norm in today’s political discourse. We need to teach kids to construct the points that led to the conclusions,” Palmer said. “What sticks in people’s minds is what’s available to them. Topic X is bad, they recall hearing it, but don’t remember where.” In order to bring the concept to life in the classroom, a difficult one for many adults to grasp, students need to understand, “that’s a conclusion. What statements led to that conclusion?”

How to Know Which Sources to Trust

“The default used to be ‘I believe’ and is shifting to ‘I don’t believe anything,’” Palmer said. “When our top elected officials describe news from our most credentialed media outlets as fake, all sources of information are undermined.”

This mistrust is the troubling byproduct of both the rhetoric around fake news, as well as the actual presence of false news reports pumped into the internet by disreputable sources. Although the overall impact on children’s beliefs is still unknown, the trust gap among adults is visible. According to a December 2016 Pew Research study, nearly one-in-three U.S. adults (32 percent) say they often see fake political news online. An earlier report (January 2016) from Pew showed trust in the media among Millennials is trending down. Just 27 percent of Millennials now say the media has a positive impact, compared with 26 percent of Gen-Xers and Silents and 23 percent of Boomers.

Media bias, also widely discussed, perhaps more so after the 2016 election is one that journalists are honor bound to take seriously. “Many people may not realize that reputable news organizations follow strict journalistic ethics and standards and they have a lot of checks and balances along the way,” said Angela Hunter, Executive Producer of Channel One News. “So when you compare a legacy news organization to a blog or some other less traditional news organization, it is helpful to understand the journalistic process and what goes into the report.”

Educators and media have stepped up to teach the fundamentals of analyzing every source and evaluating it for trustworthiness. For instance, “fake and bias are different things,” Palmer said. “You can show images of Donald Trump that make him look like a wonderful or a terrible person. Both images are true — the photos exist. Choosing one image over the other displays your bias.”

It takes a long time for kids to grasp subtleties on the continuum from fiction to fact across categories. Palmer suggested that, “a little bit of suspicion should be the new default. Let’s help kids move to ‘even if I believe most of what I see is true, let me check.’”

Standards for Media Literacy

Media literacy concepts are now baked into state and national standards across subjects, including the C3 Framework for Social Studies, which includes “making and supporting evidence-based claims and counter-claims” as a key component. They require that students demonstrate the ability to access, analyze and evaluate all media types, from movies and TV shows to news articles and YouTube clips. “Teaching students how to think, not what to think, is the goal of social studies educators,” said Geraldine Stevens, Product Marketing Director for HMH Social Studies. “In this way, skills are paramount. When students look at evidence — in all its modern forms — they analyze point of view, bias, context and authenticity. This is critical to successfully navigate today’s media-saturated society.”

How do you teach media literacy in your class? Share your experience in the comments. We’ve also gathered additional links and resources to help you make the most of Media Literacy Week.

Additional Resources:

An anticipation guide is a comprehension strategy teachers can use to derive more learning from watching Channel One News — for general education students, English learners and students who need additional support.

An anticipation guide presents several statements that students agree with or disagree with before watching the show. After watching the show, students return to their anticipation guides and reflect on whether their ideas about the statements have changed.

Anticipation guides build comprehension by:

  • Activating prior knowledge, which primes students to better receive information in the show
  • Generating curiosity, which causes students to set a purpose for watching the show, pay closer attention and participate more actively in discussions

How to Use an Anticipation Guide

  • Print out a blank Anticipation Guide.
  • Fill in statements related to the main ideas of the video on the blank anticipation guide. (See our Anticipation Guide Student Model with statements.)
  • Make copies of your completed anticipation guide and distribute to your students.
  • Read aloud the statements. Then, ask students to mark on the left side of the guide whether they AGREE or DISAGREE with that statement. Ask a few volunteers to share their responses and explain why they agree or disagree.
  • Watch the video.
  • Have students independently reread the statements and mark on the right side of the guide whether they AGREE or DISAGREE with the statements.
  • Ask a few volunteers to xplain why their ideas about the statements may have changed.

To see this strategy used in the classroom, watch the video in this post on Reading Rockets.

Channel One News subscribers have access to over 3,000 videos, along with student activities and lesson plans to support learning around current events. Not a subscriber yet? Learn more and subscribe today.

Help students get the most out of Channel One News with these note-taking graphic organizers. Have students fill them in while watching the show or during reflection after viewing. The organizers support on-level and advanced students in recording notes and also provide reinforcement of concepts for English learners and other students who need more practice. They focus on four comprehension strategies:

To find appropriate video content for practicing specific comprehension strategies with students, filter videos in our Video Library by Skills and Strategies. Before having students use an organizer for the first time, explain concepts related to the strategy.

Cause and Effect

  • A cause is why something happened. An effect is the result of the cause.
  • Certain words and phrases signal that an effect is being stated: as a result, therefore, so, then, consequently, thus.
  • Other words and phrases signal that a cause is being stated: because, since, as a result of, unless, for this reason.

Compare and Contrast

  • To compare is to tell how things, people, events, places or ideas are similar or the same.
  • To contrast is to tell how things, people, events, places or ideas are different or not the same.
  • Certain words and phrases signal that a comparison is being stated: same, similar, similarly, both, like, as well, also, in common.
  • Other words and phrases signal that a contrast is being stated: different, differ, however, but, in contrast, unlike.

Fact and Opinion

  • A fact is something that can be proved true. It actually happened, existed or still exists. For example, Abraham Lincoln was the 16th president of the United States.
  • An opinion is someone’s idea or belief about something. For example, Lincoln was the greatest president America has ever had.
  • Certain types of details are facts: dates, locations, statistics, names or events.
  • Certain words and phrases signal that an opinion is being stated: perhaps, probably, believe, think, feel, in my opinion, best, greatest, worst, should not, should.

Problem and Solution

  • A problem is a challenge, obstacle or other situation that causes trouble for someone or prevents someone from doing something.
  • A solution is something that solves the problem.
  • Certain words and phrases signal that a problem is being stated: problem, dilemma, challenge, how can ___ be solved?, what should ___ do?
  • Certain words and phrases signal that a solution is being stated: solution, the solution is, resolution, resolved, one answer is.

Student Models

Use the following model organizers to familiarize students with the organizers and comprehension strategies. At moments noted on each model organizer, stop the video and point out the example. Then say aloud the model notes in the model organizer, and guide students to write similar notes in their blank organizers.

Channel One News subscribers have access to over 3,000 videos, along with student activities and lesson plans to support learning around current events. Not a subscriber yet? Learn more and subscribe today.