Do you ever watch those late night talk shows when they have a reporter who goes out on the streets of a city and ask people civics or current events type questions? Questions like:
- “Who is the vice president?”
- “Can you tell me what this is? (picture of a national monument)
- “What city is the capital of Alabama?”
The questions are basic knowledge questions that most students can easily answer. But, the adults who are interviewed often answer incorrectly. Yet, if you ask these same people any type of pop culture question, they would be “Johnny on the spot”!
It’s interesting that in some ways we are considered “more in touch” because of all of our electronic gadgets, but in other ways we have lost touch with information we need if we are to make good decisions as citizens. What can we as teachers do?
Kelly Gallagher, the author of Readicide, has addressed this problem using a weekly reading assignment called “The Article of the Week”. If you have this book, reread pages 46 – 51. He goes into more detail and I highly recommend you purchase or borrow the book. He has links to the articles for his assignments on his site.
Once a week, my friend Sandy, has a “News of the Week” lesson. Students:
*Read an article
*Discuss the article
*Complete an assignment (get your copy below)
*Post the article on the bulletin board
*Pin the location of the article on the map
Sandy graciously gave me permission to share her N.O.W. assignment with you. Thank you Sandy!
I have a file with a different approach to current events that you can download for free. Use this with articles or magazines.
You can use this as a Reading – informational text lesson or a social studies lesson. Integrated lessons are great when you have a packed schedule.