Imagine an activity that takes little class time but engages students in current events and encourages them to speak with their families about what’s happening in the world. Teacher Megan Kelly longed for just such an activity and finally found it in “fantasy geopolitics.”
Tagged: current events
Here’s how Sarah Cooper taught her 8th grade social studies class today, as the nation went about determining a presidential winner. Unlike the day after the 2016 election, “I’m feeling not so much shock as the need to shore up my teaching and once again dig into difficult topics.”
Lauren Brown and Sarah Cooper conclude their 3-part exploration of what it means to teach U.S. History in 2020. With fall elections just ahead, they consider how to balance historical narrative and current events in classes that frequently reflect our divided nation.
Once Sarah Cooper’s 8th graders have finished their research papers on historical reformers, she has them to work in project groups to imagine which current cause their reformers might realistically support. Unexpected match-ups include Huey Newton and Sandra Day O’Connor!
The social studies classroom is an obvious place to examine current events, write teacher-authors Elisabeth Johnson and Evelyn Ramos. Highlighting “history in the making” helps students recognize that historical events don’t occur in a vacuum. Lots of quick lesson ideas!
Writing a letter to a politician is about as “civic” an assignment as we can do within our classroom walls, and it feels so relevant in our polarized political climate. After 3 years of tweaking her project, teacher Sarah Cooper shares tips to boost the response rate.
For social studies teachers, incorporating civics and current events is an important part of the job, says teacher and civics blogger Brian Rock. “Your task is, ultimately, to help grow and develop the next generation of citizens.” He suggests four helpful online resources.
At its best, annotation starts a dialogue between our English and History students and thoughtful writers past and present. But that doesn’t mean adolescents are eager to do it. Sarah Cooper shares ideas and online resources to make the process a true learning experience.
Finding the rationale to bring news discussions into class can be tricky. Veteran teacher and current events advocate Dina Strasser shares her strategy – double dipping. Here’s how to have “productively messy” conversations in 5-10 minutes without losing curriculum focus.
Reading “Not Light, But Fire” inspired Sarah Cooper to change the way she frames conversations about current events and history – which very often involve race, ethnicity, religion, politics and other incendiary topics – to build understanding, not emotion.