Grade Levels: 6-8, 9-12

*Click to open and customize your own copy of the Nellie Bly Lesson Plan.

This lesson accompanies the BrainPOP topic Nellie Bly, and supports the standard of analyzing the societal contributions of famous historical figures. Students demonstrate understanding through a variety of projects.

Step 1: ACTIVATE PRIOR KNOWLEDGE

Ask students:

  • Can you think of any print or televised news story that is an example of “bad” journalism? In contrast, can you think of an example of “good” journalism? Explain.
  • What qualities make a journalist a credible source of information?

Step 2: BUILD KNOWLEDGE

  • Read the description on the Nellie Bly topic page.
  • Play the Movie, pausing to check for understanding. 
  • Have students read one of the six Related Reading articles. Partner them with someone who read a different article to share what they learned with each other.

Step 3: APPLY and ASSESS 

Students take the Nellie Bly Challenge, applying essential literacy skills while demonstrating what they learned about this topic.

Wrap up the lesson with the Nellie Bly Quiz

Step 4: EXTEND and DEEPEN

Students express what they learned about Nellie Bly while practicing essential literacy skills with one or more of the following activities. Differentiate by assigning ones that meet individual student needs.

  • Make-a-Movie: Produce a mini documentary about Nellie Bly that answers this question: How did Nellie Bly differ from other journalists of her time?
  • Make-a-Map: Create a cause-and-effect concept map identifying and explaining the ways Nellie Bly’s journalism impacted society.  
  • Creative Coding: Code a newscast announcing the findings of one of Nellie Bly’s investigations.  
  • Primary Source Activity: Read and analyze “Behind Asylum Bars,” the first of two articles written by Bly in an undercover investigation.  

More to Explore

Time Zone X: Feminism: Challenge students to put historical events in chronological order in this interactive timeline game.

Famous Historical Figures Unit: Continue to build understanding around individuals’ contributions to society by exploring more BrainPOP biographies.

Teacher Support Resources:

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

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