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Covering Current Events – Feast or Famine Classroom Discussions




Current events classroom discussions have so much potential.  Each event provides us with teachable moments, but only if we can move past the surface.  We’ve all taught that class where the event matches our material perfectly and if students will just come prepared, we could have the discussion of a lifetime.  Sometimes we have epic discussions, and sometimes they flop.  It’s easy to blame students for being unprepared.  But the reality is if we tweak our use of current events, provide guidance  and create a routine these discussions could change your classrooms. 


Tips for Enhancing Discussion:

  1. Establish a pattern of classroom discussion. What is your classroom routine? Do you cover these everyday or once a week?  Do students know to come prepared?
  2. Encourage students to read the news and be prepared to list their sources. This can add to your discuss if you ask them to compare facts from different sources.
  3. Banish the infamous “they.” If students are going to participate they cannot just say “they said.”  Who are they?  Are they a reputable news sources?
  4. Create news “desks”  by dividing your class into groups.  Each group should come prepared to discuss one angle of the event such as the economic, social, political or personal angles.  Students should answer the question, “ How can this impact me?”
  5. Highlight the fake news stories, and teach students how to spot those mythical snakes, dinosaurs and aliens in our news.



For more tips on how to use the news check out these articles: