Students dive into a new report documenting how little the very rich are taxed - and what that might mean for the rest of us.
Students grapple with numbers in the news, from the minimum wage bill to Bezos's billions.
Students consider the sequence of events leading up to former President Trump's second impeachment trial and the arguments for and against conviction.
What are the obstacles to a smooth and fair election in November 2020, and how might they be overcome? Students read about, discuss, and research the question.
Will voter suppression skew the results of the 2020 election? Students examine current efforts to suppress voting in the context of U.S. history and learn about efforts to defend voting rights.
The effects of the $2 trillion coronavirus relief package will be felt by everyone. Students read about and discuss this historic and controversial legislation.
Students learn about and discuss key issues in Bloomberg’s candidacy, including his policing, climate change, education, and housing policies as mayor of New York City.
Students examine some key foreign policy issues in the 2020 Democratic primary, and compare the stances of two contenders, Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders.
The U.S. has seen a rise in anti-Semitic incidents. In this lesson, students learn about the various forms that anti-Semitism takes, its history, and current examples.
Did the Civil Rights Movement only involve the South? Was it the product of a few great leaders? In this lesson, students deepen their understanding of the civil rights movement, explore some mythologies surrounding it, and consider how sometimes "history" distorts the truth.
Students examine the vaping health crisis, how e-cigarettes work, the role of Juul, marketing to teens, and the government's role in controlling the use of vapes.
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.
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.
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?
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.
Through a quiz and discussion, students consider quotes by women activists, from Helen Keller to Aretha Franklin.
What is a "national emergency," and why did President Trump declare one? Through a reading and discussion, students explore the news and the background, including Trump's call for a border wall, the government shutdown, the history of "national emergencies," and the opposition to the President's declaration.
The current political crisis over Virginia’s governor and attorney general appearing in blackface raises many opportunities for learning, including about aspects of our nation’s history of racism. These issues require ongoing attention and deep exploration far beyond this news cycle. Here are some points of information that may serve as a taking off point.
Many Americans believe that immigrants, especially illegal immigrants, are more likely to commit crimes than people born in the U.S. In fact, crime rates among immigrants are much lower than among native-born Americans.
In this activity, students work in small groups to analyze charts containing statistics about immigration and crime, then discuss what they have learned.
Are protesters justified in confronting political officials while they are eating out at restaurants or engaging in other personal activities? After reading about three such protests, students consider the arguments for and against such tactics.
In August and September 2018, prisoners in at least 30 prisons across 16 states engaged in strike actions. Through a quiz, reading, and discussion, students learn some facts about U.S. prisons and recent prison protests.
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.
Participants learn about discriminatory housing laws that help explain the U.S.'s enormous racial wealth gap, and consider how these laws may have affected their own families and communities.
Students learn about efforts by youth activists to challenge U.S. gun laws, and discuss the range of gun reform proposals under consideration.
February 2018 began with massive losses on Wall Street. In this activity, students get a brief introduction to stocks and stock volatility, and consider what impact such stock market losses might have.
The tax bill moving through Congress would affect many aspects of our lives. In this lesson, students learn about and discuss the bill and the debate surrounding it.
Both government agencies and private companies have extensive access to data about us. In this activity, students learn about challenges to our digital privacy and discuss their own views about the risks we take when we put information online.
Critics say Republican tax proposals will increase economic inequality. This activity has students explore the current state of U.S. wealth inequality through a quiz, reading, an activity and discussion.
President Trump tweeted that Puerto Rico has "only itself to blame" for the financial crisis that plagued the island even before Hurricane Maria struck. This lesson explores that crisis and its causes with a quiz, reading, discussion, and extension activities.
Students learn some facts about our healthcare system,and discuss Republicans' unsuccessful efforts (so far) to roll back Obamacare. The activity includes a quiz, review of key concepts, reading and discussion.
After a short quiz about current Fight for 15 movement, students read about and discuss U.S. labor's struggles — and historic strikes — through history.
It’s been a newsy summer. Get students thinking about what’s been happening in politics over the summer with this quick survey.
President Trump has praised leaders of countries around the world who are known to have violated human rights. What should the U.S. stance toward such "strongmen" be? In this activity, students work together to match eight leaders with their country and with charges about their human rights abuses. Then students read about and discuss President Trump's stances toward these leaders and the debate over them.
What led to the firing of Bill O'Reilly, Fox News' top host? Students explore the issue with a quiz, reading, and discussion.
President Trump's federal budget plan would greatly increase military spending, and slash spending for other programs. Students explore the budget with a quiz, readings, and discussion.
Students learn about and discuss the debate over Obamacare, a Republican plan to replace it, and single-payer health insurance.
Students discuss key issues in the evolving story over links between the Trump administration and Russia with a short quiz, reading, and discussion.
Students learn about and consider arguments for and against the appointment of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos through a quick quiz, student reading, small group work and discussion.
While the internet can be an excellent source of news, it is also an excellent source of lies. Here are six tips to help students tell the difference.
Students learn and discuss Donald Trump's nominee for Attorney General, his background, and what happened at his confirmation hearing.
What is the Electoral College, and why does it decide who is president? Students learn about and discuss the pros and cons of the Electoral College system and current campaigns to reform or circumvent it.
Students read about and discuss the movement by the Standing Rock Sioux and their allies to stop a pipeline - and the Army Corps of Engineers' decision to reverse its approval for the pipeline section, for now.
Students learn about opposition to past waves of U.S. immigrants and consider Donald Trump's immigration stance in light of that history.
After a quick quiz, students learn about the candidates' tax proposals and discuss our nation's complex and contentious tax policies.
Are the candidates telling the truth? Students learn tips for fact-checking and research campaign issues they're most interested in.
What is happening at Standing Rock? Students learn about and discuss the growing protest by the Standing Rock Sioux and their allies to stop a pipeline.
Help students catch up on what’s been happening in the news - from the presidential campaign, to Colin Kaepernick's protest, to Brexit - with this fun quiz and discussion questions.
Splits and controversies made for extra drama at this summer's Democratic and Republican national conventions. In this activity, students learn about and discuss what conventions are for and how they work, and what happened at the conventions this summer.
In this brief Teachable Instant activity, students learn about ways that people in the U.S. and around the world have stood up to anti-Muslim bias.
In this brief Teachable Instant classroom activity, students find out about the Libertarian Party candidates on the 2016 presidential ballot, and discuss where libertarians stand on the issues.
A student at Dartmouth College touched off a successful national campaign to get the Library of Congress to stop using the term "illegal aliens" to refer to undocumented immigrants. Now a Congressional committee is challenging the move.
A major strike by workers at Verizon offers a teachable moment: Why do people join unions? Why do they strike? And why are they now striking Verizon?
Presidential candidate Ted Cruz's plans to speak at a Bronx high school were scrapped after students there wrote a letter to their principal describing how Cruz's views were "actively working to harm us, our community, and the people we love." In this brief activity, students learn about this action and about Cruz's positions on the issues, and consider how they might respond if Cruz was invited to speak at their school.
Students learn about and discuss the massive revelations included in the Panama Papers, the impact of tax avoidance on this scale, and how the story relates to the gap between rich and poor.
In some states, voters have stood in line for hours to cast their ballot. Why? In this short Teachable Instant activity, students explore the controversy over voter suppression in the 2016 election.
Do superdelegates subvert democracy? This brief activity includes quizzes, background and discussion on the controversy over superdelegates in the 2016 presidential election.
Students learn some basic tax terminology, explore different candidates' tax plans, and take a short quiz on taxes.
In this brief Teachable Instant lesson, students learn about and discuss Justice Scalia's stances and the controversy over replacing him on the high court.
History has a way of smoothing out the complexities of real-life events. This brief TeachableInstant lesson explores some forgotten or misrepresented facts about the movement for civil rights.
Students learn about how much coverage the media are providing to different presidential candidates and discuss why coverage of the candidates varies so widely.
This brief activity includes a quiz, reading and discussion about the occupation of a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon by anti-government protesters.
Some facts and questions about how much many Americans buy and waste over the holidays - and how we feel about it.
Students discuss the definition of fascism and consider charges from the left and right that GOP candidate Donald Trump's stances are fascist.
In this brief Teachable Instant activity, students learn about how organizing by Black students and their allies at the University of Missouri led to the resignation of the university's president and helped spark a wave of organizing on campuses nationwide.
This brief Teachable Instant activity explores the fight over the Keystone XL Pipeline - and how climate activists finally succeeded in defeating the project.
In this brief Teachable Instant activity, students learn some facts about the death penalty, discuss the 2016 presidential candidates' positions on the issue, and consider strongest arguments for and against capital punishment.
What do we do about the high cost of college and rocketing student debt? This brief Teachable Instant activity explores the 2016 presidential candidates' positions, encourages critical thinking on the numbers, and invites student research.
In this brief Teachable Instant classroom activity, students survey the 2016 presidential candidates' positions on gun control and begin exploring some of the complex underlying issues.
The abrupt resignation of House Speaker John Boehner reflects deep divisions within the GOP. In this brief activity, students explore the roots of the GOP power struggle.
Can we trust what the presidential candidates are telling us? How can we know what is true and not true? This brief classroom lesson explores fact-checking and the 2016 presidential campaign.
In this brief lesson, students learn about and discuss the controversy over Hillary Clinton's private email system as U.S. Secretary of State.
In this brief activity, students consider how the storm, and the rebuilding of New Orleans, affected people differently, depending on their income and race.
This brief activity gets your class talking about the "money primary" and the 2016 presidential election.
In this brief activity, students reflect on issues that are most important to them, discuss why 65 percent of media election coverage is not about issues, and consider what they most want to know from candidates.
In this brief activity, students take a quick quiz on voter access, then discuss the debate over this issue, including Hillary Clinton's recent proposal to make voter registration automatic.
Through a quiz and brief discussion, students consider Tsarnaev's death sentence and growing opposition to capital punishment.
Students dip into the 2016 presidential race with a brief look at the two latest contenders to announce: Senators Marco Rubio and Bernie Sanders.
Quick quizzes and facts about water use, climate change, and controversy surrounding California's record drought.
In this short activity, pegged to a planned nationwide strike by low-wage workers on April 15, students discuss the growing movement to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour.
In this brief lesson, students consider competing rights, including the right not to be discriminated against vs. the right of religious freedom.
Students learn about the cyclone that devastated the Pacific nation of Vanuatu on March 14, 2015, and how it relates to climate change, then send a message to Vanuatu's UN representative.
Students learn about and discuss the US Department of Justice's report on the Ferguson Police Department and consider reforms that would address the injustices described in the report.
The nation's largest private employer just raised its wages. This short activity has students consider the significance of Walmart's move and what motivated it.
This brief activity focuses on the African American girl who refused to give up her seat on the bus, months before Rosa Parks touched off the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott. Please also see the segment about Colvin in this Teachable Moment lesson.
This brief activity kicks off Black History Month by examining King's letter from a Birmingham jail in light of current events.