With sensitivity and practicality, Sarah Cooper takes on the heightened challenge of teaching civics and governance to today’s adolescents. Fellow middle grades teacher Heather Wolpert-Gawron finds practical strategies and lessons that can be used across the curriculum.
Tagged: current events
Each day in Sarah Cooper’s 8th grade U.S. history class, they begin with a 5-minute discussion of current events. The sheer number of mass attacks in the United States this semester has pummeled Sarah and her students. She ponders how she and other teachers can continue to respond.
In a recent post, Sarah Cooper wrote about her fears surrounding a new current-events project – her 8th graders creating spoken poetry videos on issues of interest to them. Here she reviews the experience and its power to create community as it engaged her students.
Regardless of where educators land politically, it can sometimes feel like tiptoeing through a minefield to facilitate a balanced discussion of current events, writes teacher Sarah Cooper. Are there times when it’s appropriate for teachers to reveal their own views?
No one knows for sure whether there will be actual war with North Korea, but talk about the potential conflict abounds on TV and in social media. Media literacy expert Frank W. Baker calls on teachers to help students learn how to identify trustworthy news sources now.
History teacher Sarah Cooper is enthusiastically barreling into the year with a totally untried project. It asks eighth graders to research a current issue in the news that they’re passionate about, then write and film their own spoken word poem. What could go wrong?
This year Curtis Chandler’s son set a new one-week record for announcing he was bored by summer. How do we encourage kids to take a break from school, but not from learning? Chandler shares online resources across subject areas to spur some vigorous brain activity.
Bit by bit, during each Friday’s 43-minute current events session, Sarah Cooper’s eighth graders come closer to a democratic classroom culture that students really own – through their ideas, through their questions, through their wondering how the world works.
Social studies teacher Sarah Cooper improved classroom conversation and debate when she let students select and then rate current events articles as “super,” “okay,” or “not that great for discussion.” Cooper shares her process and some samples from each category.
Discussing political news in class continues to feel like “walking on glass barefoot,” says Sarah Cooper. She’s drawn toward humorous interpretations of current events to reduce tensions. After some trial and error, Cooper uses four criteria for video selection.