Thursday, July 9, 2009

Getting Your Kids Interested in Current Events

Posted by Brian McCabe,

- Make a collage or découpage old maps onto the wall, a table, or a poster board.

See AVKO's previous post on collage or découpage (with words) for information on how to do these crafts.

If your students are surrounded by the images of countries, cities, and cultures -- and learn about them -- they will be more interested in learning more about them in the future. You can find maps in old issues of National Geographic (you can always find back issues at used bookstores, estate sales, antique stores, etc.).

- Take advantage of the news sites for kids and adolescents. Many of them have worksheets you can use for your homeschooling as well.

Check out:

Nick News
Channel One
Scholastic News Online
Time for Kids

- Teach your kids how to read the newspaper has a nice introduction to newspaper terms that will help in navigating the newspaper for the first time. Explain how there is a difference in perceived importance of the articles based on their placement in the paper. What's on the first page? Are there big pictures? How much space is devoted to the piece?

Explain the difference between news articles, editorials, letters to the editor, and op-eds. Explain bias. You may want to do some high order thinking exercises with your students in helping them parse out what in a piece is biased, how its biased, and what you may be able to infer about the author based on the slant that is taken in a piece.

Use the political cartoons as additional exercises in abstract thought and discussion starters.

- Assign news reviews at least once a week

Have your students write a little recap of a news article at least once a week. You can choose to assign a topic (foreign affairs, politics, op-ed, environment, etc.) or have it be a free for all of what interests them.

- Introduce the Fake News sources, if you wish, to make the news more fun. Obviously, there may be more discretion needed here to decide what is suitable for your individual setting / student. However, political satire and "fake news" programs are extremely popular in today's popular culture. You may decide to take a more intellectual / analytical approach with these and use clips or excerpts as examples of satire, parsing out what is sarcastic (or sardonic), etc.

The Onion
The Daily Show
The Colbert Report
Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update
Chocolate News

No comments:

Post a Comment