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Ways to teach current events in real-time.  

thewizard
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I was thinking of setting up a dozen TVs set to different news channels, and leaving them on at full volume 24/7 in my classroom, but maybe y'all have a better idea.

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Mimi
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 Mimi
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Funny!  I don't think so!

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megfromm
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This is a tough one for me, too. I have found I often have to change up my approach every semester based on how my students (high school) respond and their personalities. I'll list some of the approaches that have worked (some reliably, some only occassionally) in case any are helpful!

1. Some classes have done really well and invested in weekly news quizzes, where I pick 3 local stories, 2 national, and 2 international stories to ask questions about (I tell them to focus on big stories throughout the week).

2. I've used CNN10 some semesters as a class starter. Once some students get past preconceived notions that it's biased, they tend to engage and some current events soaks in via osmosis 🙂

3. For other classes, we've done a Friday "want, need, should" presentation for a grade. Three different students have to share the news of the week. One student shares things we might want to know (this is fun because you get to learn what teens are interested in, ha!). One student shares news we need to know to for our lives, and one student shares news we should know because it means we're more of an engaged global citizen (this is usually international news). They each get 5-8 minutes to present, and they have to include a visual. With this, the "want" category usually gets pretty wacky, which makes students look forward to the Friday tradition.

4. I've also done a late night headline news assignment for the week. Students have to submit the headlines for what they thought were the 10 most important stories that week—headlines that are written as neutrally and fairly as possible—and then they are allowed to do a sarcastic or ironic spin like a late night comedian would. I pick the best ones to share, which turns it into a little competition and also increases some engagement.

5. If your goal is to increase diversity of source consumption, I've done a weekly reflection assignment where they follow coverage of one story from at least three different sources.

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patty.shattuck
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@megfromm

These are wonderful ideas! Thank you so much for sharing them!

Patty.shattuck

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Kim Bowman
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@megfromm  I especially love the Friday "want, need, should" idea (#3)! That sounds like a great way to promote student voice and have students engage with essential questions to news literacy like "What makes something newsworthy?" There are a couple of Checkology lessons that would make great companion resources for this activity: The lesson "What is News?" highlights how journalists determine which events and issues to cover in a given news cycle and the lesson and "Be the Editor" explores how editors select the most newsworthy stories. You can read more about those lessons in the Comprehensive Lesson Guides.

Thanks again for all the great ideas @megfromm! 

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Cike.M
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Current events require context.  Blasting news at kids' live and without it (context) will actually produce less informed people.   

I'd suggest giving students On the Media's "https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/otm/articles/breaking-news-consumers-handbook-pd f" target="true">Breaking News Consumers handbook"

You could set up Socratic Seminars, where students all vote on a story to have an in-depth discussion on, where you can choose a few leaders to not only lead the discussion but to support the discussion by doing in-depth research on it and providing several sources that are checked for reliability by reading laterally and thus giving historical context and several perspectives of the news story.  

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Kim Bowman
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So true! Context is so important when teaching both current events and historical events. If you haven't already, I suggest checking out NLP's free weekly newsletter The Sift. It explores timely examples of misinformation, addresses media and press freedom topics and discusses social media trends and issues. The Sift is great at highlighting context when it comes to recent news stories and it also has classroom-ready resources!

 

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emilika
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