Editor’s note: As curriculum writers and journalists, we think there are teachable moments in almost everything that’s going on. In this ongoing series, we’ll take a look at individual news stories as they develop and give teachers and parents some ideas on how to approach them with your kids.
By Donna Krache, CNN
You might be in front of a classroom full of ninth-graders, or there might be protests in your community that prompt a discussion among students. There’s an opportunity to both connect what students are learning to real-world events and encourage them to think critically as they formulate opinions. One way to do that is to ask them questions that dovetail into what they are learning in class. Here are some suggestions in different subject areas to get you started:
Civics/Government: Why do Americans have the right to protest? What do you know about the 1st Amendment? What are some of the responsibilities associated with the rights we have?
U.S. and World History: What other movements in history have you studied? What political or economic events set the stage for these? Which movements were most successful in creating change? Why?
Media literacy: What do you think is the message behind these protests and who is producing it? Where would you go to get information about what is going on? How do you decide what information is credible?
You can also use the story to guide students on how to formulate opinions based on information. You could ask questions like: Do you have an opinion on the protests? If you don’t, how would you go about forming one? What kinds of information would you look for to prepare you to come to a conclusion? If you have an opinion on this story, what factors helped to shape your view?
For cost-free, commercial-free news produced for middle and high school classrooms, check out CNN Student News.