Current Issues

The 'Why' of Puerto Rico's Predicament



1.  Which of the following is true?

a) Citizens of Puerto Rico are citizens of the United States

b) Citizens of Puerto Rico have no vote in the U.S. Congress

c) Citizens of Puerto Rico are ineligible to vote for president

d) Citizens of Puerto Rico elect delegates to the Democratic and Republic conventions

2. How did the U.S. come to own Puerto Rico?

a) The people of Puerto Rico voted (in 1909) to join the U.S.

Puerto Rico: Finding Our Best Way to Help


Show the following tweet by printing it out or projecting it on the screen for all to see.

Ask students:

  • Have you seen this tweet? 
  • Do you know what it’s about?
  • What can you distinguish in the image?
  • Who is Lin-Manuel Miranda?
  •  What do you think the tweet refers to?

Athletes protest racial inequality: Exploring views


A Backgrounder for the Teacher

This lesson has students consider the widespread protests by athletes against racial injustice. The following background information about this ongoing controversy may be helpful.

After the storms, a look at ‘climate injustice’


  • What do you know about the role of fossil fuels in causing climate change?
  • What do you know about the contributions of climate change to the severity of hurricanes and other extreme weather?
  • What examples of extreme weather are you most familiar with?



What happened to the repeal of Obamacare?


On September 26, 2017, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that the Senate Republicans did not have enough votes to pass yet another bill designed to "repeal and replace" the Affordable Care Act – also known as Obamacare. 

Let's take a look at why the Republicans, with a majority in both houses of Congress and the presidency, have not been able to pass a health insurance law. First, take this quiz to see how much you remember about the fight over the ACA, which has been ongoing since it became law in 2010.

Sharing in the wake of Hurricane Maria & other natural disasters

To the Teacher:

This activity uses a circle process to help students process the many disasters that have struck people around the world in the summer and fall of 2017. It includes a more extended process for students who may be affected by the post-Hurricane crisis in Puerto Rico.

Voter fraud? Or voter suppression?

To the Teacher

Debating the Fate of DACA


To the Teacher


Discussing DACA


Ask students what they know about the DACA program and why it is currently in the news. 
Tell students that on September 5, 2017, the Trump administration announced that it will phase out a program called DACA, “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.”  Elicit and explain some or all of the information below.  

Labor Struggles, Now & Then


1. What is "Fight for 15?"

a) How the Mayweather/McGregor heavyweight boxing (with its $15 million prize) was billed.

b) The reality show where contestants may win a 15-minute appearance on "Fox and Friends."

c) The movement of low wage earners to raise the minimum wage to $15.


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