Current Issues

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

September 5, 2018

How should educators acknowledge the anniversary of September 11th and educate students about the events of that day and their impact?  Updated 2018.

August 29, 2018

Students consider the term "Ubuntu," and the ways in which we are all connected, then discuss some of the news this summer (via tweets), and how these events affect us.

August 25, 2018

In small groups, students read about and discuss some of the summer's news, including on climate change, elections, the Iran nuclear deal, and more.

August 21, 2018

Is labor on the ropes? In this lesson students learn about and discuss how unions reduce inequality, labor’s losses in recent decades, and the current signs of a resurgence. 

August 13, 2018

Students build empathy for refugees and immigrants by learning about the experiences of some of the families separated at the southern border of the U.S in 2018. Then, students hear a poem and write their own imaginative poems to convey their learning.

July 24, 2018

The United States is suffering from a crisis of affordable housing. This lesson consists of two student readings on this issue. The first examines the arguments for and against Yimby-style development. The second looks at solutions that go beyond market-focused fixes, considering alternative ways to...

July 12, 2018

This lesson introduces students to the controversy over Justice Kennedy’s retirement and Trump’s role in reshaping the Supreme Court. The first reading reviews Kennedy’s career and highlights the significance of his role as a swing vote on the court. The second reading examines possible consequences...

July 2, 2018

Protests across the country reflect widespread outrage over the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policies. In this lesson, students learn about the controversy over the administration's policies to separate and/or detain families who are seeking to immigrate to the U.S. 

June 11, 2018

This lesson uses current civil disobedience actions by the Poor People's Campaign as an invitation to explore why people engage in civil disobedience. Students consider the goals, pros and cons, and risks of this type of action through small group discussion, video, and other methods.  (Also see thi...

June 4, 2018

This lesson uses the example of a bidding war by cities to become Amazon's second headquarters to explore the question of providing public subsidies to private companies. Students also learn about and discuss ways cities can ensure that companies like Amazon hold up their end of the bargain through...