Current Issues

Classroom activities to engage students in learning about and discussing issues in the news

March 13, 2019

Students examine three current youth movements to fight climate change by dramatizing each strategy’s benefits and risks.

 

 

March 12, 2019

Through a quiz and discussion, students consider quotes by women activists, from Helen Keller to Aretha Franklin. 

March 10, 2019

Several billionaires are thinking of running for president - and one is already in office. Is this good for democracy? In this activity, students learn about and discuss the debate over billionaire presidential candidates - and the impact of the growing wealth gap between elected leaders and the...

March 7, 2019

This primer includes six short, interactive, multimodal lessons to help middle school students learn, think, and write about climate change – and consider how to take action.

February 27, 2019

In February 2019, community organizations declared victory when Amazon withdrew its plans to open a second headquarters in Queens, New York. Students explore what happened and the arguments for and against the Amazon deal that went down. 

February 22, 2019

Young people across the country are taking legal action to defend their right to a stable climate and healthy environment. In this activity students learn about the pioneering lawsuit Juliana v. United States, and discuss a short documentary about youth climate activists. 

February 18, 2019

What is a "national emergency," and why did President Trump declare one? Through a reading and discussion, students explore the news and the background, including Trump's call for a border wall, the government shutdown, the history of "national emergencies," and the opposition to the President's...

February 10, 2019

The current political crisis over Virginia’s governor and attorney general appearing in blackface raises many opportunities for learning, including about aspects of our nation’s history of racism. These issues require ongoing attention and deep exploration far beyond this news cycle. Here are some...

February 8, 2019

The economy is growing. Why aren’t people feeling it?  This lesson has students examine whether the way economists measure the health of the economy actually reflects the reality Americans experience. Students explore alternative measures that some countries and states have begun to adopt aimed at...

January 30, 2019

Los Angeles teachers and their allies won a strike demanding improved public education in LA. Students explore the background, strategy, demands, and impact of the strike with a quiz, reading, and discussion.