I love exposing my students to current events! Not only does it keep me updated on what's going on in the world, but my fifth graders love a good controversy. Who doesn't? This year I'm connecting my weekly current events discussions with the close reading template, created by Mike Schmoker in his 2011 ASCD publication titled Focus. I read this book last year as part of my district's school improvement team. We are required at my school to implement close reading instruction at least twice a week. What better way to do that than with current events!
Both the Common Core State Standards and Mike Schmoker’s Focus – emphasize that ALL students need MORE time to read, discuss, debate, and write argumentatively or persuasively about text.
These are critical elements of literacy instruction that will raise test scores.
If you’re looking for a way to increase these elements in your classroom, check out my newest product - Current Events Close Reading Instruction.
I created this product to use in my classroom with current events news magazines like Time for Kids or Scholastic News. If you don’t have access to either of these publications, with upper elementary students you can use your local newspaper. There are also many free websites that offer informational articles like Kelly Gallagher’s free article of the week site.
Teachers should set aside at least one day a week to read current articles and opinion pieces, especially in English, social studies, and science.
How often do you expose your students to current events? What resources do you use in the classroom to get your kids annotating, discussing, debating and writing about these current events?