Current Issues

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

November 11, 2019

Public attitudes about crime and punishment have shifted over the past decade, including among politicians from both parties. In this lesson, students examine the move away from "tough on crime" approaches and consider new proposals for criminal justice reform that are in the spotlight during the...

November 7, 2019

Facebook's announcement that it would not fact check political ads touched off a controversy over social media and the First Amendment, among other things. In this lesson, students examine and discuss multiple points of view on the issue.

November 6, 2019

Students explore how dominant culture beauty standards and discrimination based on hairstyle choices have impacted African Americans. 

October 26, 2019

How many candidates is too many? Does our current primary system make for a stronger or weaker democracy? Students explore the question, and consider the pros and cons of an alternative system, ranked choice voting. 

October 18, 2019

Students learn about the Kurdish people and discuss President Trump's controversial decision to withdraw troops that had been protecting Kurds in the region.

October 3, 2019

How is wealth distributed in the U.S.? Students estimate it, examine the data, then discuss proposals by presidential candidates to narrow it. 

September 29, 2019

The House of Representatives has launched an inquiry into possible impeachment of President Trump. What led to the inquiry – and what is impeachment? In this lesson, students learn some of the background and consider their own views.

September 22, 2019

After a worldwide youth climate strike, students share their thoughts and reflections, including through images and signs from the strike. 

September 18, 2019

Reparations for slavery have become an issue in the 2020 presidential election. In this lesson, students explore the views of candidates and write tweets in response to one of the candidates. This Part 3 of a 3-part series on reparations. 

September 8, 2019

This lesson has students examine and discuss the different forms reparations can take, from direct payments, to broad social supports, to truth and reconciliation.