Wednesday, November 04, 2015

How to Inform Students About Current Events (part 2)

a couple weeks ago I talked about using CNN Student News in your classroom in Part 1 of this 2 part series  to try to generate interest for current events and to keep your students informed on what's going on in the world around them.

At the end of that post I mentioned that I was trying to find a Canadian version of it (just because some of the things like the elections for example are more American)... I said I wasn't exactly successful but did come across Teaching Kids News

If you happen to know of a different Canadian version of CNN student news you should definitely let me know in the comments below.

Anyways, Teaching Kids News is a site that you can get news articles from (so instead of viewing the news story they will be reading about it).  I don't think I would have used this when I was teaching my grade 5/6 class.. some of the language can be difficult to understand.  I would definitely use it above grade 6 though!

What I liked about this is that there is pretty much nothing you (the teacher or substitute) have to do other than print off the article for your students... and you don't even have to do that!... because you could just read it to them.

I started off with the article on the Canadian Vote and also read the article on Mars.  I think some of the questions with the voting article would be easier for students to answer BUT I also think that sometimes we need to challenge students more.  Yes they may struggle through that first question about what the discovery of water on Mars means to them but they will be exercising their brains and their ability to think by doing it.

Anyways, at the bottom of the article there are writing prompts, reading prompts, and a language feature question.  ALREADY DONE FOR YOU!  That's right, you don't have to sit there and think up 3 questions for your students because someone else did it for you... isn't life grand (sometimes)?

Much like CNN Student News I don't think I would use this more than a couple times a week.  I would probably use it at the beginning of the class when kids are coming in from another room and need to get settled and doing something quickly.  Maybe give them 20 minutes of class time to do it and then move along to something else (and make anything they didn't get finished homework).

How would you use Teaching Kids News in your classroom?

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