Current Issues

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

February 18, 2020

Students examine some key foreign policy issues in the 2020 Democratic primary, and compare the stances of two contenders, Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders.

February 9, 2020

Ella Baker, who helped build many of the most important organizations of the civil rights movement, defied traditional gender roles. She deprioritized charismatic leadership from above and instead empowered people to take charge of their own struggles for freedom. 

February 4, 2020

This lesson provides factual information for students about the coronavirus aimed at preventing students from targeting classmates who are thought to be from China. 

February 2, 2020

Basic guidelines on how to counter biased or uninformed student responses to the novel coronavirus. 

February 2, 2020

The fires raging across Australia in recent months have led to shocking devastation. Students discuss the scope of the disaster and its relationship to climate change; share their feelings about it; and consider responses, from supporting relief efforts to climate activism.

January 20, 2020

Should two small, disproportionately white and rural states be the first two primary states? Students explore the debate, and the pros and cons of the Iowa caucus process.

January 18, 2020

The U.S. has seen a rise in anti-Semitic incidents. In this lesson, students learn about the various forms that anti-Semitism takes, its history, and current examples.

January 5, 2020

Does "freedom of speech" extend to hate speech? Is countering hate a form of free speech? Students explore current controversies over free speech rights, including at schools and colleges.

December 27, 2019

Do big donors have too much influence in elections? Does the surge of small donors in the 2020 presidential election change the equation? Students explore the changing role of money in politics.

December 16, 2019

Did the Civil Rights Movement only involve the South? Was it the product of a few great leaders? In this lesson, students deepen their understanding of the civil rights movement, explore some mythologies surrounding it, and consider how sometimes "history" distorts the truth.