Start a Conversation: Classroom Resources about Teaching with Current Events

 

Students are affected by events that are happening in their communities and what they see in the news. Classrooms are great places to engage in conversation about current event topics. Many topics are controversial, but when conversations are implemented with care, students can have difficult, but effective conversations with each other. The article “Teaching Current Events and Media Literacy: Critical Thinking, Effective Communication, and Active Citizenship” by Karon LeCompte, Brooke Blevins, and Brandi Ray (2017) emphasizes the importance of bringing current events into classrooms as well as a process for engaging students. The authors state that “Discussions of current events teach students how to engage in effective conversations about things that matter in their lives” (p. 17). Teaching current events can encourage students to research a topic, learn about multiple perspectives, articulate and revise their perspective, engage with each other, and take action.

We would also like to stress the need to understand and address trauma when considering teaching current events. Many students, families, and educators have experienced or are experiencing trauma related to what is being taught. We shared some resources about addressing trauma in the classroom in our blog, “Start a Conversation: Classroom Resources about Race and Racism.”

Here are a few resources with strategies to use when teaching current events, as well as some lesson plans.

Strategies:

Lesson Plans:

If you are looking for other topic-focused classroom resources, take a look at our previous blogs about having difficult conversations, race and racism, and protest.

**We hope that these resources from crucial organizations help you have conversations with your students, families, and communities. There are many more resources out there, and we encourage educators to continue to research and utilize resources created by BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) communities and organizations..**

 

References Cited:

Karon LeCompte, Brooke Blevins, and Brandi Ray “Teaching Current Events and Media Literacy: Critical Thinking, Effective Communication, and Active Citizenship” in Social Studies and the Young Learner 29 (3) pp. 17–20