Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Explore the World with Current Events

Something I often insert into my teaching to keep things relevant are current events. The government iPhone hack story last school year really had some legs with my lessons. That was a great story to engage students because so many of them have phones and place a high priority on privacy while using their phones. My students were motivated to read and write about that topic. 

And that's the power of using current events in your teaching. It allows you to access something relevant that your students are going to have heard about and have ideas and thoughts about it. It's a great way to begin integrating your content into something they already have background with.

A great place to start is Google News. It features stories from a variety of sources and countries. Google News collects all the news you can use, so there's going to be something you can apply to your teaching. And everything is categorized..sports, US, world, tech...whatever. Current events in several areas make opportunities for applying to your teaching flexible.

What do you do after you find something you want to use with your students? Have them map the coverage of a news event or issue from different countries with an interactive map. Mark and take note of the important areas where the story is taking place, or track the development of a story as it moves around the country or world. Google My Maps is an awesome tool for geographical annotations. 
Have students type up a response or develop a presentation about the situation. Have them collect images around an issue and develop a photo essay that explores the situation and implications. Publish to the web so they can contribute to the buzz around the current event. When it comes down to it, getting creative is the easy part with current events. There are so many ways that students can show their thinking or contribute to a discussion that the possibilities are almost limitless.

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