Scholastic News Online

Scholastic News Online is a free resource with breaking news and highlights from the print magazine.

Available for grades 1-6, Scholastic News magazine brings high-interest current events and nonfiction to millions of classrooms each week.

Additionally, our subscribers have FREE access to Scholastic News Interactive, an exclusive online learning tool featuring digital editions, videos, interactive features, differentiated articles, and much more.

a montage of images from the top stories of 2008

The Greats of 2008

You rank the Top 10 news stories of the year!

What were the most notable events of 2008? You tell us! Scholastic News Online editors have put together what we consider to be the Top 15 news stories of the year. Now, it's your turn to decide which events make the cut for your Top 10 of 2008.

Check out this round up, listed in chronological order. Then, rank your choices in order of importance from number one to 10 on the Scholastic News Online blog.

Giant Upset
Giant dreams do come true. In one of the biggest upsets in sports history, the New York Giants beat the New England Patriots to win Super Bowl XLII (42). Through a hard-fought, hard-won game, the ultimate underdog Giants spoiled the Patriots' shot at a perfect season.

refugees seeking food after cyclone
Cyclone Nargis survivors collect food at a refugee centre in Myang Mya, in Irrawaddy Division May 11, 2008. (Photo: ©Reuters)

Historic Runoff
Then-Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton came out of Super Tuesday with almost exactly the same number of delegates. In a race where every primary and caucus vote counted, the history-making candidates battled for the Democratic nomination through the first half of 2008.

Dog Show First
He's numero Uno! For the first time in the 131-year history of the Westminster Kennel Club dog show, a beagle won Best in Show. The annual dog show is the second-oldest continuously held sporting competition in the United States.

Olympic Torch Protests

The countdown to the 2008 Summer Olympics officially began with the start of the Olympic Torch relay in March. But not everyone was happy. In many cities around the world, many people greeted the torch with cries of protest. They were unhappy with China's treatment of Tibet and other possible human rights abuses. The protests forced changes to the relay route, but the Olympics started on schedule.

wall-e the robot
WALL-E inspects an artifact left on Earth. (Photo: 2008 Disney Enterprises, Inc. and Pixar Animation Studios)

Cyclone Slams Southeast Asia
A devastating cyclone swept across the country of Myanmar on May 4, leaving thousands dead and scores of people missing. Tropical Cyclone Nargis slammed into the coast of the Southeast Asian nation. Its winds reached 120 miles per hour, causing the sea to surge more than 12 feet.

Massive Earthquake Hits China

On May 12, a powerful 8.0 magnitude earthquake rocked China's Sichuan Province. Tens of thousands of people were killed, and hundreds of thousands more were injured. But the aftermath of the quake proved just as dangerous. More than 30 “quake lakes” were created when landslides, mud, and rocks dammed up rivers. When the dams broke, massive flooding threatened the thousands of refugees displaced because of the disaster.

Polar Bear Protection Program

After months of consideration, the U.S. government officially listed the polar bear as "threatened" under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne outlined the landmark decision in May.

michael phelps swimming
Michael Phelps powers through the water in the Breaststroke portion of the Men's 200 meter Individual Medley at the National Aquatics Center at the Summer Olympics in Beijing on August 15, 2008. (Photo: ©Pat Benic/ UPI Photo/ NewsCom)

The Phoenix Has Landed

NASA sent the Phoenix Mars Lander to the Red Planet's North Pole on a mission of discovery. The space agency wanted to see whether ice was buried beneath the Martian soil. If ice is discovered, it could mean that ancient life might not be too far behind.

WALL-E Blasts Off in Theaters!

WALL-E might be a machine, but he's got a big heart. In Pixar's animated movie, WALL-E is the last trash-compacting robot on Earth when he meets a sleek, new bot named EVE. He follows EVE into space on the biggest big-screen adventure of the summer!

Russia and Georgia Go to War

A 1994 peace accord fell apart when Russia invaded southern neighbor Georgia. Russia claimed that Georgia started the conflict by attacking Russian interests. But Georgia said Russia was trying to take control of the country. The conflict strained relations with Russia and the United States , an ally of Georgia.

Are You a Phelps Phan?
Michael Phelps made Olympic history at the 2008 Beijing games. The swimming master became the first athlete to win eight Olympic gold medals. The Beijing Olympics were a spectacle of beauty, and put a global spotlight on modern China.

a man with a bike on a flooded street
Marion Peterson pushes his bike through a flooded neighborhood in Alexandria, La., after Hurricane Gustav, September 3, 2008. (Photo: ©Matt Slocum/AP Images)

A Furious Hurricane Season

On the eve of the third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans prepared for another storm. Hurricane Gustav made landfall as a Category 2 storm. It caused damage and flooding and delayed the start of the Republican National Convention. A week later, Hurricane Hanna hit the East Coast. That storm was followed by the destructive Hurricane Ike, which battered the southeastern part of Texas.

Economy in Trouble

The stock market tumbled in September amid a global financial crisis. But the large drop on Wall Street was just the start of rocky economic times. The US government stepped in and bailed out the nation's banks. And across the globe, other countries spent billions of dollars trying to save their banking systems.

Obama Becomes First African-American President

On November 4, America elected Senator Barack Obama as its 44th President. He defeated Senator John McCain in a hard fought general election campaign. When Obama is inaugurated on January 20, 2009, he will become America's first African-American President.

barack obama with his family on a stage on election night
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and his family arrive on stage for his election night victory rally at Grant Park on November 4, 2008 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo: ©Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images)

Terror Attacks in India

A team of 10 gunmen assaulted high profile sites throughout India's largest city of Mumbai in November. The disturbingly well-planned operation lasted for three days. The attacks left 172 people dead and 294 wounded. The gunmen claimed to be from Pakistan, heightening tensions between the two nations.

Header Image Photo Credits:
Barack Obama: ©Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images
Phoenix Mars Lander: NASA/JPL-Calech/University of Arizona
Beagle: ©Chris McGrath/Getty Images
Polar Bear: ©Tom Walker/Visuals Unlimited, Inc.
Michael Phelps: ©Pat Benic/ UPI Photo/ NewsCom




Read today’s story and answer the following question.

blog it What were the most notable events of 2008? Rank your choices in order of importance from number one to 10!

Tell us what you think on the Scholastic News Online Blog!


Get the latest on national and international events, movies, television, music, sports, and more from Scholastic News Online.

Privacy Policy




Here's something interesting from