Current Issues

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

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. 

September 7, 2019

On September 20, 2019, students around the world will participate in a strike to demand immediate action on the global climate crisis. In this lesson, students learn about youth activism on the climate, including its origins, and discuss some of the problems and prospects of youth climate activism. ...

September 2, 2019

After a series of deadly shootings this summer, lawmakers and 2020 presidential contenders are shining an intense spotlight on the issue of gun control. In this activity, students read about and discuss where President Trump and Democratic presidential candidates stand on the issue, and the role of...

August 26, 2019

Why are many Americans calling on the U.S. to provide reparations for slavery? In this activity, students examine recent data on the racial wealth gap, then travel back in time to look at the origins of the wealth gap. 

August 13, 2019

Segue from the summer into the new school year by having students consider the summer's news, its impact on their communities, and what kind of impact they'd like to have in their communities.

August 8, 2019

In the wake of the El Paso and Dayton shootings, how can we foster a classroom climate where every student feels supported - and where we can talk about these upsetting issues? Here are some ideas.

August 4, 2019

Where do the 2020 presidential candidates stand on climate change?  And why is the issue getting more attention in 2020 than in past elections? Students explore the issue, the candidates, and the social movements that are helping to drive the debate through readings, discussion, and activities.

July 8, 2019

Students learn about gerrymandering and the Supreme Court's important decision. Why has gerrymandering gotten worse, why does it matter, and what are the prospects for change?

July 2, 2019

What healthcare system is best for the U.S.? Students work in teams to evaluate and debate different countries’ healthcare systems from the perspectives of a variety of stakeholders (including doctors, the wealthy, and people without insurance). Students must integrate data from a chart with...