Current Issues

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

In honor of the brave ones who have left behind everything they know, for an uncertain search of a chance to survive and, ultimately, thrive, I invite you to think of this: In times of crisis and desperation, how can one find joy?

Should 16-year-olds be allowed to vote? Students learn about the debate to lower - or raise - the age, and consider the pros and cons.  

Young people sued the state of Montana seeking climate justice - and won! Students learn about the new ruling and what it means going forward.

This lesson includes two readings on the issue of sweatshops and child labor abroad, each with questions for class discussion.

Educators often say that books can teach us so much. What lessons can young people learn from fiction about how to cope with climate change?  Here are seven lessons that can be adapted for different age groups, using quotes from climate fiction.

An expanded guide of fiction to engage your students in an imaginative exploration of the climate crisis (updated July 2023).

Student unions have successfully taken on issues ranging from student bus passes to assault weapons bans. What are they?

Students learn about Juneteenth, share family histories, and explore resources on the holiday and current efforts to erase aspects of American history and the role of Black people in it. 

Students learn about and discuss why child labor violations are growing in the U.S. today, how people successfully fought child labor in the past, and what can be done about it today.

Elementary students hear the Banana Boat song, learn about Belafonte, and sing their own call-and-response song about justice.