Current Events Are The Teachable Moment

"All I know is what I read in newspapers."  - Will Rogers

Humorist Will Rogers said that back in the 1920s and I doubt that he would agree with himself today. To keep up with what is "in the news" today you had better be looking beyond newsPAPERS.

When I was in elementary school, we always did "current events" in class. I remember having homework assignments to cut out an article to explain to my classmates. Do teachers still do current events in class? I doubt that many people call it that any more, but how can you not bring what's going on in the world to your classroom?

I suppose it would be better to call using events in the news a "teachable moment."

I have written here about the "death of newspapers" but I also believe that they are more dynamic than they ever were in my school days with more photos, charts, graphs, maps, color, and magazine-like features. Couple that with their online resources and today's newspaper is still something that needs to be taught.

I did some searching to see what's out there to teach the news. I was surprised to see that the first news source I can recall using in school is still around and online. Remember My Weekly Reader? Now, it's available for kindergarten students. (No one expected us to be be readers in kindergarten in the 1950s, and none of my classmates had gone to any "pre" schooling.) They have online materials for teachers to do current events.

If you're looking for trends and topics for students online, you can certainly look at the Google & Yahoo sources that I wrote about at the end of 2008.

This Education World article, "Why Teach Current Events," is a good starting place as is another piece on "Twenty-Five Ideas for Using Current Events Across the Curriculum."

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