CBC Digital Archives

Lesson Plan: For Teachers: Human Interest in Reporting

Social Studies, Media Studies
1 lesson
To review the range and purpose of wartime reporting
Students will explore human interest stories from the Second World War and investigate the value of such reports.

Lesson Plan

Before Exploring

Have students watch or listen to the news at home. Students will categorize the various types of reporting available to war correspondents, such as hard action, human interest, and opinion. Create a master list with the students.

Outline the Opportunity

Direct students to the topic Reports from Abroad: Matthew Halton on the CBC Digital Archives website. In small groups, students will review the clips "'We were all kings for the day,'" "Breendonck: Inside a Nazi concentration camp," "A soldier at the breaking point" and "Matthew Halton interviews an expert Italian sniper." Ask the class: What do you think is the intention of Halton's reports? Are these reports intended to inform? To evoke emotion? In their groups, students will discuss the meaning and purpose of these reports and create a statement that summarizes their opinion of the value of such wartime reporting.

Revisit and Reflect

Have a representative from each group present the group's statement while you write notes on the board or chart paper. When the presentations are finished, have a class discussion on human interest reporting in a war setting, making sure that the students defend their views.


Students can create a two- to three-minute audiotape of a human interest story from their neighbourhood. The assignment should include a written explanation of the purpose of the report, the emotions they are trying to evoke, and the value of the information presented.

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