George Lucas Educational Foundation

Using Current Events

Using Current Events

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I think alot of teachers need to include a portion of there classroom time to current events. One reason is that it allows the students to read outside of the classroom and it keeps thm up to date about whats going on around us. Alot of times the students are not aware of the important things that are goinon. This could be done in te begining of each class period. It will allow the studnets a time to openly discuss ther views on things.

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Michelle Nelson's picture

I agree! While there are increasingly more avenues through which we can access the news, many of my students continue to avoid it. It would be great to introduce current events through the media most appealing to students - such as podcasts or webcasts. Perhaps even allowing students to recreate a news cast would teach them through their presentation.

Jeremy Hammond's picture
Jeremy Hammond
High school Social Studies from Colchester, Vermont.

We use the magazine Up Front which is published by the New York Times. Every student in grades 9-11 gets a copy every other week. The students enjoy reading them (they are set up for the age range). I give my students (I teach 9th graders) 10-15 minutes just to look through them, then do an activity based on one of the articles. This year I am focusing on the skill of taking a position and backing it up with direct evidence (in writing). Current events is a great lens to do that with.

Kathleen Chase's picture
Kathleen Chase
High school science teacher from Thorndike, Maine

I actually have my students do current events each week. I take time in class to read the summaries to the class and it makes for great discussions. They may not want to listen to you talk about the subject at hand, but are more than willing to talk about science happening around the world! I love it!

Mr. Urschel's picture
Mr. Urschel
High school Language Arts teacher from Columbia City, Indiana

I recently began conducting current events discussions on Fridays. I present a series of headlines from the week and the students vote on which articles and websites to visit. We then vote on which topic to explore more deeply; the students research the topic on computers. We then present their findings and begin to flesh out all the particulars of the issue before formulating any opinions. The last two weeks my students voted to discuss cyberbullying and the suicide of Tyler Clementi. The discussions have been powerful, and my students are eager to be heard. I'm toying with the idea of allowing the students to completely run the current events study. I would teach them how to lead discussions and elicit responses fromt the group while providing positive feedback. Any thoughts?

Shelley McClure's picture

Check out the RESOURCES tab, there are various "Articles of the Week," which are current event articles. Students read the article, mark their confusion, ask questions, and then reflect.

Also at you can sign up (it's free) and they will send you a current events article and lesson daily. These activities are more indepth and intensive than those found at the Kelly G site.

Hope you can find something useful!

Theresa Murray's picture
Theresa Murray
HS business teacher from upstate NY

I have incorporated relevant current events into my business classes. My business law class has a group on Diigo that students populate weekly with events. They share the link, summarize the article and discuss how they relate it to class. They tag the article with key words. They are able to comment on each others entries as well.

My marketing and entrepreneurship classes share current events through blogs and other methods.

At the end of the year, I usually ask them to reflect on the process. The feedback is usually positive and results in the classes admitting that they learned things and read more than they might have otherwise.

Francisco J Alves's picture

My 12th graders must turn in a current event every Friday. Since I teach Globalization, it must be about international events.
We then discuss several of the articles in class. This does help to start thinking globally.

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