Activity Overview

The discovery of the Lascaux Cave Paintings in France gave social scientists an important view into the lives of prehistoric people. This was front page news in 1940 during a time when much of Europe was consumed by World War II. The story of the discovery itself by four teenagers is fascinating for students as are their contributions to our understanding of early humans. In this activity, students will create a newspaper that retells this discovery or any other related to early humans. They can use the 5 Ws as a guide. Teachers can have students answer questions like: Who made the discovery? Where and When did it occur? What did they find? Why is it important?

Suggested Early Human Discoveries

  1. Hiram Bingham’s discovery of Machu Picchu in 1911
  2. Howard Carter’s discovery of King Tut’s tomb in 1922
  3. Mary Leakey’s discovery of Homo habilis in 1960
  4. Donald Johnson’s discovery of “Lucy” in 1974

Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Activity", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)

Due Date:

Objective: Retell the story of the discovery of the Lascaux Cave Paintings or another major archeological discovery.

Student Instructions:

  1. Using school resources, conduct research on the discovery of the Lascaux Cave paintings by 4 teenagers in France in1940.
  2. Using the Newspaper Template, write about the 5Ws (Who, What, When, Where and Why) of the story.
  3. Add appropriate scenes, characters and items to illustrate the story.

Requirements: 1-2 sentences explaining the 5Ws: Who made the discovery? Where and When did it occur? What did they find? Why is it important?

Lesson Plan Reference

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/W/9-10/2] Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content
  • [ELA-Literacy/W/9-10/6] Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products, taking advantage of technology’s capacity to link to other information and to display information flexibly and dynamically
  • [ELA-Literacy/W/9-10/7] Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation


(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)

Newspaper Front Page
Students will re-tell key events from the story using a Newspaper front page as a template. They will add a catchy headline, create images and write descriptions for each to imitate the look of the front page of a newspaper highlighting the key events of the story.
7 Points
4 Points
1 Points
Headline and Descriptions
Students include a catchy headline for the front page as well as detailed descriptions for each event illustrated that explain what happened in a minimum of 3-5 sentences.
The headline and/or the descriptions for the events can be understood but it is somewhat unclear or too brief.
The front page is missing either the headline or descriptions of each of the events depicted.
The illustrations represent the events using appropriate scenes, characters and items. It is clear the student took time and care in creating the illustrations.
The illustrations partially relate to the events but they are difficult to understand or appear rushed.
The illustrations do not clearly relate to the key events of the story.
Spelling, Grammar, Punctuation
Final product is free of spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors.
Final product contains up to three errors in spelling, punctuation, or grammar that do not alter the meaning of the text.
Final product contains more than three errors in spelling, punctuation, or grammar.

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