The School Year in Review: 2019

Last Updated: June 11, 2019

Before the summer vacation begins, we want to pause and reflect on issues that have been in the news during this last school year. In this Teaching Idea, we invite students to explore the ways in which young people are making a difference around these current global issues⁠—by taking action on racism in schools, voter engagement, climate change, and more. Students will also have the opportunity to reflect on the global issues that matter most to them and how they can stay engaged over the summer.

  1. What Has Happened in the Last School Year?

    The 2018-2019 School Year in Review gallery summarizes five key issues that we at Facing History have been following in the news during the last school year. Each slide in the gallery contains a link to a source that focuses on youth activism relating to that issue. Show the gallery to your students, and for each slide, read the information and discuss the following questions:

    • What other events have happened during the last school year that relate to this issue?
    • Do you know of other actions young people have taken relating to this issue?

    After you have discussed each slide, choose one slide to explore more deeply with your class. Click on the links on the slide to read the additional resources, including the article about what young people are doing toward the issue.

  2. What Issues Matter Most to Each Student?

    Ask your students to share any issues that matter deeply to them that they did not see in the gallery. You may wish to use the Think-Pair-Share teaching strategy to guide the discussion.

    Then, ask your students to reflect in their journals on the following questions:

    • Which one of the issues we discussed today matters the most to you? Why?
    • How can you continue to learn about this issue or take action on it?

Extension: Where Do We Get Our News and Why Does it Matter?

The school year is ending, but these issues will continue to be in the news over the summer. Use the Teaching Idea Where Do We Get Our News and Why Does it Matter? to discuss your students’ news habits with them and reflect on how they can continue to follow the news over the summer.

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