Current Issues

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

April 5, 2019

Through a quiz, reading, and discussion, students learn about the 'Operation Varsity Blues' admissions bribery scheme, how wealthy families legally game the system, and growing campaigns to make the system fairer.  

March 31, 2019

Less than half of eligible voters typically vote in national elections in the U.S.. The House of Representatives has passed a bill to encourage voter participation by making Election Day a national holiday. This activity explores the arguments for and against this and other proposals for making it...

March 29, 2019

Fiction exploring the possibilities of a changed and changing climate can be a powerful way to make these abstract futures more immediate for ourselves and our students.This listing of climate fiction (cli-fi) includes brief descriptions of a range of short stories and novels, along with questions...

March 20, 2019

This series of lessons helps students (grades 3-5) learn about why is climate change is happening, why it matters, and what they can do about it.

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.