Teaching Ideas : Current Events
One of the most effective ways of developing the children’s skills in all curriculum subjects is by harnessing their interest in current events that are occurring at a local, national and global level.
It will help contextualize any classroom activities to strengthen the children’s understanding of any concepts, skills or ideas that you are teaching. It will help the children understand their place in an ever changing world and prepare them for life outside of school.
Working in English, the children can explore how to use journalistic writing to present facts and opinion about a recent event by investigating how the story is recorded in newspapers before producing their own versions. The children can also investigate how to take and manipulate digital images to accompany any news reports. Help the children develop skills in statistics by getting them to explore and interpret any charts or tables that accompany news reports to support ideas and opinions.
Support the children’s non-fiction writing by getting them to investigate how current events are presented in news reports. Select a local, national or global event and allow the class time to explore how the same story is presented in different media forms. Model how to collect facts and information about the story by showing the children how to produce notes to answer the questions of who, where, when, what and why about a current event. The children can also use any read newspaper reports to identify and discuss examples of fact and opinion in the text. Help the class use the notes that they have collected to structure and format their own news reports about the selected current event which can then be photocopied and distributed around the school so that the children know they are writing for a specific audience and can modify the language accordingly.
You can use some of the information displayed next to news reports about current events to help the children practise and develop skills in manipulating and interpreting information. The class can practise converting tables of data into Carroll and Venn diagrams or line and block graphs. Help the children identify the most effective ways of presenting the data to support a news story. You can also get the children to suggest how the data could be presented differently to manipulate the information and illustrate a different viewpoint such as using a larger or smaller scale or hiding a set of figures in a substantial amount of data. The class can also practise producing some example graphs to accompany other news reports such as including a graph of people’s favourite holiday destinations to support a news report about a travel event.
Working in computing and art and design, the children can explore how to snap and edit digital images to accompany any current events in the news. The children can discuss why certain images have been included with a selected news report. They can suggest alterations to the digital images which would change the reader’s perception and understanding of the news event. The class can practise taking and then editing their own images to accompany a news report about a school event. Teach the children how to select the correct perspective for their images before working on the computer to crop and filter the images before inserting the completed file into their news report written in an English lesson. If you choose to focus on a national or global event then the children can practise combining and layering pictures from different sources to produce their completed images to support a news report.
Help the children investigate their understanding of continents and countries in the world by exploring news events from different locations around the globe. Display a world map in the classroom and allow some children to share news stories that they have collected from home. You can select individual children each week to bring in a news story from home to share with the class. Discuss the events described in the news reports with the class and then work with the children to identify the locations where the different events have taken place. Pin copies of the news reports to the side of the map and use coloured wool to indicate the matching locations. This can then lead the class into a discussion about each location by getting them to make comparisons between the different places and the UK.
Use events in the news to help the children develop their problem solving skills working in design technology. The children can identify problems presented in the news and suggest products that can be made to solve each identified issue. For example, the children can use a story about plastic pollution in the ocean to plan and test different ways of removing the litter by designing and making a range of products to collect and dispose of the waste. Make sure that the children get an opportunity to share their ideas for the class to evaluate and suggest improvements to the planned designs.
True and False
Help the class develop their understanding of scientific concepts and ideas by getting them to test information and facts presented in news reports to prove them as true or false. For example, the children could investigate what happens to sea levels when icebergs begin to melt in the Arctic and Antarctic oceans. The class can devise a test to prove whether this action will definitely lead to a rise in sea levels. The children can produce presentations to explain their findings for the rest of the class to compare with the information presented in the news report.
- Family ChristmasPractise using mental calculations and informal written calculations to add and subtract pairs of two digit numbers when identifying different things that families might need to celebrate Christmas
- Christmas MarketCalculate numbers of items sold at a Christmas market by subtracting ones from different two digit numbers