Weekly Current Event Assignment

For Teachers

Current Events Assignments for Elementary Students

By Room 241 Team February 6, 2013

It’s important for students not only to pay close attention to the events that are going on in their lives, but also to the events that are going on in the city, state, region, country and the world in which they live. Yes, current events are important. And arguably today, more so than ever, students are only preoccupied with what’s going on in their immediate lives and not what’s going on elsewhere. And with the 24/7 news cycle and the plethora of ways that information is now garnered (i.e., TV, radio, social media, etc), staying on top of current events can be a challenge.

That’s why it’s important for teachers to instill the importance of staying on top of current events at an early age. This can be accomplished through various activities and assignments in the classroom. Here are some ideas for current events elementary education assignments that teachers can use in their classrooms:

Events presentations

One way to really get students to pay attention to the news and what’s happening in the world is to assign event presentations. Consider dividing students up into groups and having one group present an “Event of the Week” of a current event that they find interesting to the class every Friday. This encourages the students to read newspapers, do Internet research, watch the news and understand for themselves why such an event is so important. Encourage the students to answer the questions of who, what, where, when, why and how in their presentations. Also encourage students to back up their presentations with newspaper clippings, TV news segments and any historical context that needs to be shared. Have groups rotate throughout the year presenting on current events each week.

CNN

CNN is one of the best TV resources for staying on top of everything that’s happening domestically and internationally. Consider setting aside some time each day or each week to tune into a CNN broadcast with students. While this isn’t particularly an assignment, per say, doing so can tune students in on some of the most popular stories going on in the world. If a teacher is unable to set aside time per day or per week to devote to CNN, consider doing so for important national and world events, like presidential elections and inaugurations and anything breaking news that is appropriate for school children to observe.

Create a newspaper

While print newspapers may have taken a hit with the rise of the Internet, they are still an ideal way to learn about what’s going on in the world. And studies indicate that students who have access to newspapers are more likely to be interested in reading them and learning about what’s going on in the world. Hence, teachers should consider having students make their own newspaper as part of a class assignment, including city, state, national and world sections. This encourages students to pay more attention to everyday happenings, as they’ll need to decide what to give precedent to in their newspaper. Have students complete this project using the Internet to print out stories and photos, and be sure to have art supplies and art paper on hand for them to layout and design their own newspaper. Also encourage students to look at existing newspapers to get design ideas for theirs. This can be an enjoyable project that yields a lot of unique results.

City Council assignment

Every city has a city council that meets, typically on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. As part of a way to make students understand the important issues that their city faces, make them attend a city council meeting and write a report about what was talked about, what issues were brought to the table and what the council did to resolve any issues. Not only can this help keep students in touch with their community, but it can also introduce ways that they can help their city thrive and overcome obstacles – all at an early age. If the city is small and intimate enough, the student may even be able to interview the mayor or some city council members about some of the big issues the city is facing before or after the meeting to enhance the written report.

Tags: Early Childhood and Elementary (Grades: PreK-5), History and Social Studies

Purpose:  In order to more successfully contribute to our community and society at large, you must be current on the world’s issues, updates, and changes.  Being an informed citizen and discussing current events will give you a better perspective on different points of view.  This will also give you opportunities to read material in multiple genres and in multiple contexts.

Article Guidelines:

  • Article must be current - within approximately one month of due date.
  • Article must be relevant - it must pertain to the essential question we are discussing.
  • Article must be from an appropriate source - NOT Wikipedia (see suggestions).
  • Article must have an appropriate subject matter - articles with excessive violence or inappropriate subject matter will not be accepted and receive a grade of zero (0).

Directions: Every week you will read a current events article and turn it in with a typed response.  The news source may be digital or print.  All assignments are due on the dates given.  If you have an “excused” absence on a due date, your assignment is due the next class period.

Specific Directions:  Choose an article that pertains to the essential question we have been discussing.  You need to read the article.  It is HIGHLY suggested that you mark the text or take notes as you read.  You will need to complete a written, typed response.  The written, typed response should include the following:

        I.            Title and Date of Article – Write the title of the article and the date it was published, centered at the top of the page.

      II.            Summary – Summarize the main idea of the article.  This should be a minimum of 8 sentences.

    III.            Connection to Essential Question – State the essential question.  Then, write how this article ties to the essential question we have been discussing.  It should also include evidence from the text that supports this. This should be a minimum of 8 sentences.

    IV.            Literary Strategy – Write down the specific literary strategy for the week and discuss how this pertains to the article.  For example, if the strategy is author’s purpose, explain what the author’s purpose of the article is and text clues that helped you figure it out.  This should be a minimum of 8 sentences.

      V.            Personal Response - Write your response to what you read. Did it evoke an emotion? What were your thoughts after reading the article? Explain and give examples. There is no minimum number of sentences.

    VI.            APA Citation – This must be in the correct format.  You can use www.noodletools.com.

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