Very few students know what is going on around them at a local, national or global level. Even with all the technology that keeps them constantly connected to their friends, students are unlikely to keep up with current events.
Although students may resist learning about current events, the skills and knowledge they gain from these exercises will serve them throughout their life. According to Education World, students who study current events:
- Have increased vocabulary and comprehension skills
- Become informed citizens and develop lifelong news reading habits
- Learn media literacy
- Develop positive attitudes about reading non-fiction material
- Score higher on standardized tests
Students of all ages can benefit from learning about current events and there are many ways to approach the subject. For younger students, teachers can select an age appropriate article to discuss with the class each day. For older students, students may be required to read or watch the news each night and bring a topic to discuss in class the next day.
As an expansion of the above ideas, the following ideas can be used with any age group:
Create a News Show
To further enhance the study of current events, have students create a weekly news show with the top news from throughout the week. Have students take turns operating the camera, writing the news stories and being in front of the camera throughout the semester. In this way, they will learn about what goes on behind the scenes at a news show and gain an appreciation of how TV shows are produced.
With the MediaCAST OnLocation Cart, everything you need to record your news show is available in one place. Once recorded, the news show can even be broadcast to the whole school to provide them information on current events as well.
Create Your Own News
Have students discuss events from around the school, such as the student council elections, the new lunchtime soccer league, the teacher who is retiring or their latest field trip. Then, have students write their own news article about the event. Have each student write an article on a separate topic and combine them all to create their own newspaper that can be distributed around the school.
Is there a really big story that made the front page of multiple newspapers? Bring in a copy of a few different newspapers (bonus points if you include both local and national papers) and have students analyze the different reporting styles of each article. What details were included in one article and not the others? Is there a political slant to any of the articles? What do the chosen images say about the article?
Give students an article to read that is missing the headline, have them create their own. Then, compare their headline to the original headline. This can also work for picture captions.
What ways have you found to incorporate current events into your class?