Current Events in Your Classroom

Teaching Ideas, Activities, and Strategies for Middle and High School Students


Teaching current events can be challenging: the news cycle moves quickly, stories are complex, and the issues can spark strong emotions. But engaging students with current events is a crucial part of their development as informed and humane citizens in a democracy.

Join us throughout the school year for:

  • Tips for making meaningful connections between current events and your curriculum
  • Strategies for navigating partisan politics in diverse classrooms
  • Teaching ideas for addressing breaking news and ongoing issues, from global migration to the health of democracy


Kicking Off The School Year

Plan Ahead with Our Checklist

View our checklist of things to consider before you start teaching current events including, recommended news sources, teaching strategies, and media literacy tools.

The Many Faces of Global Migration

This teaching idea uses recent photographs of human migration around the world to help students begin to explore the scope and complexity of one of today's pressing global trends.

Join Our Webinar on 09/24

Join us on September 24 for "After Charlottesville: How Uncomfortable Conversations Can Overcome Hate" with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Eli Saslow. We will explore how white-supremacist ideas migrated from the far-right fringe to the streets of Charlottesville and beyond.

Teaching Ideas

We know lack of time is one of the biggest challenges educators face. We've created new easy-to-implement teaching ideas that can be used for a portion of a class period. Each teaching idea also includes ways for your students to explore topics in greater depth in class or for homework.

Throughout the 2018-2019 school year, many teaching ideas draw connections between different elements of two broad themes, "Voting, Elections, and the Health of Democracy" and "Global Migration," and recent current events. Learn more below.

A crowd of women standing in line at a polling station in the Weimar Republic in 1919, the first year women were allowed to vote.

Voting, Elections, and Health of Democracy

Throughout the 2018-19 school year, we will share a series of teaching ideas that help students understand the challenges democracies are facing around the world. We will also include articles and activities that explore the ways individuals and groups can raise their voices and take action to strengthen democracy, with a special emphasis on the importance of voting.


Recent teaching ideas on Voting, Elections, and Health of Democracy:


Refugees arrive on the Bangladesh side of the Naf River on October 1, 2017, after fleeing their village in Myanmar.

Global Migration

Today, as in the past, global migration raises questions for both individuals and nations about identity and belonging. Join us throughout the school year as we examine many aspects of global migration that help to contextualize and humanize what your students are seeing in the world around them.


Get the New Teaching Idea


Other recent teaching ideas on Global Migration:

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Explore Additional Resources

Teaching Idea
Democracy & Civic Engagement
Race in US History

Understanding #TakeAKnee

Help students examine the questions about "patriotism" that are at the heart of the national debate over professional athletes taking a knee during the national anthem in protest of racial injustice.

Teaching Idea
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Assessing The Strength of Democracy

Provide students with an opportunity to explore their understanding of democracy and to make meaning of current events about democracies at risk in the world today.

Teaching Idea
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Family Separation at the U.S. Border

Inform students about the Trump administration’s family separation policy and help them emotionally process the human side of this news story.

Teaching Idea
Race in US History

The Legacies of Chinese Exclusion

Teach students about the Chinese Exclusions Act, an immigration law passed in 1882, and its lasting impact on attitudes toward citizenship and national identity in the United States today.

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Everything you need to get started teaching your students about racism, antisemitism and prejudice.