Social Sundays: Teaching Current Events

Students are bombarded with the news constantly.  Sometimes it is difficult to make sense of it all.  We approach current events in multiple ways in my classroom.  Here's my top 3 for engaging students:

  • Informal:  sometimes I hear or read a story that I think might make an interesting discussion.  I bring the story in for our bell-ringer and students discuss in small groups.  Sometimes we write our reactions to the story and other times, it is just a conversation.  

  • Analysis:  often I bring in a variety of current events.  I try to include 3 different stories (sources) for each event.  Students first determine what the event is.  Then students analyze different approaches to the event.  Students work in partners or small groups to look for bias.  They also make predictions related to the bigger picture such as what might be some long-term consequences of the event, what smaller events might have led up to the event in the story, who will be affected by the event, and who is likely to care about the event occurring and why.
  • Student-directed Current Events: when we have more time, a favorite activity is the student-created current events gallery walk.   In this activity, students bring in stories about current events.  The students analyze the event and possible bias in reporting the event.  Students then create gallery displays about the event.  Students walk through the gallery learning about the other events and possible sources of bias.  We wrap it up with a discussion period. 
What do you with current events?  I am always open to new ideas.  Join the discussion in the comments section.  

Social Sundays
 is a bi-weekly (1st and 3rd Sunday) post sharing tips, ideas, resources, and products for teaching social studies.  If you have questions or think there is something I should share, you can leave me a message in the comments below or at the store in the question and answer section.  



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