Current Events in the ClassroomSeptember 29, 2011 at 6:09 pm | Posted in Content Area Literacy | 6 Comments
(authored by Katie Dardis)
Current events are available to us in a variety of ways, so why not take advantage and use them in the classroom! We can get current events from the newspaper, magazines and even the internet. Students have these resources available, so as teachers we should bring them to life and put meaning to non-fiction reading.
In the article Extra, Extra, Read all about it! Current Events in the Classroom by Alycia Zimmerman, she suggests this same idea. She decided she wanted to start reading the newspaper everyday and then realized she could even get her students involved. She even gives statistics that prove students have little interest in non-fiction reading. However, since the implementation of the Common Core Standards, things need to change! Zimmerman suggests that current events are a great way to meet the requirements of the Common Core Standards. She states that
as students read and discuss the current events, they analyze evaluate text claims, and determine the important ideas within a text. And news stories are generally short texts — perfect for shared reading, Socratic circle discussions, and homework assignments.
She then goes on to give examples of where news articles can be found that are age and grade appropriate.
I think it is great that this teacher is using current events in conjunction with the Common Core Standards. It can be difficult to find non-fiction text that students can relate to. Current events are happening in the world that the students live in so they are easier to relate to especially if the source comes from a local newspaper or website. I am definitely open to using current events in the classroom because they are available and can be found very easily. However, it may be challenging to find a variety of articles that the children can relate to, as well as material that is differentiated for the different levels of readers we may have in our classrooms.
If you were to use current events in your classroom, how would you differentiate? What types of articles would you choose? What activities could be used with the students? How can we be sure the students understand what they are reading?