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Teaching with the News

The Choices Program's Teaching with the News initiative provides online curriculum materials and lessons to connect the content of your classroom to the headlines in the news. Topics cover a range of foreign policy and international issues.

Nigeria and Boko Haram: Inequality, Injustice, Insurgency

Students gather information about Nigeria and the Boko Haram insurgency and identify core challenges faced by the government and people of Nigeria.

Good Atoms or Bad Atoms? Iran and the Nuclear Issue

Students analyze the issues that frame the current debate on U.S. policy towards Iran and recent international negotiations on Iran's nuclear program.

The Umbrella Movement: Protests in Hong Kong

Students analyze photographs of the recent protests in Hong Kong an explore the symbols and messages that protesters use to express their views.

ISIS: A New Threat

Students use political cartoons to explore the role of ISIS in the Middle East.

The Haitian Crisis: Thinking Historically

Students are challenged to think beyond the earthquake and consider the role of Haiti's rich history in the current crisis. Students explore the historical reasons for Haiti's poverty and its relationship with the United States.

Unrest in Ukraine

This lesson provides a background to the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, has students analyze political cartoons, and asks them to monitor the Ukrainian crisis in the news.

The Egyptian Revolution: An Interactive Timeline

In this lesson students review an interactive timeline of events in Egypt over the past three years and identify core themes of Egyptian protest movements.

Graffiti in Egypt's Revolution

Students will assess the role of graffiti in political protest, use a short video to analyze the relevance of graffiti during the Egyptian revolution and articulate opinions on graffiti and censorship.

Debating the U.S. Response to Syria

Students will explore, debate, and evaluate multiple perspectives on U.S. policy towards Syria through a role-play activity.

Fifty Years after the March on Washington: Students in the Civil Rights Movement

Students will hear stories from former civil rights activists, analyze what motivated students to join the movement, what their experiences were like, and consider the relevance of this history today.

Debating U.S. Drone Policy

Students will explore, debate, and evaluate multiple perspectives on U.S. policy regarding drones.

Surveying State of the Union Addresses

Students explore significant moments in 20th century State of the Union Addresses and identify important historic themes.

On the Brink of Nuclear War: Leadership and the Cuban Missile Crisis

In this lesson, students will understand the significance of the Cuban Missile Crisis and Consider lessons from the missile crisis for today.

The Conflict in Syria

Students work in groups to research the perspectives of a variety of domestic and international actors on the conflict in Syria, understand the effects of the conflict and the possible risks of escalation, and consider the challenges facing the international community as it weighs its response to the conflict.

U.S. Policy in the Middle East: Analyzing Political Cartoons

In this lesson students explore current issues in the Middle East and their relation to U.S. policy by interpreting political cartoons.

The Costs of War

In this lesson students explore the human, economic, social, and political costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Future of the Middle East: The Arab Spring and the Death of Osama bin Laden

Students will consider the impact of Osama bin Laden's death on different groups of people and discuss the status and future of U.S. counterterrorism policy.

The Iraqi Refugee Crisis

Students explore firsthand accounts of Iraqi refugees' experiences and gain an understanding of the causes and scope of the crisis.

Oral History and September 11

In this lesson students explore the human dimension of the September 11 attacks by conducting an interview.

Protests, Revolutions, and Democratic Change

This free lesson helps students analyze the potential effects of the protests on democracy and stability in the Middle East and North Africa.

After Mubarak: A New Middle East?

This free lesson, After Mubarak: A New Middle East?, is the second in a series of activities on the recent events in Egypt. It helps students consider the implications of a leadership change in Egypt on the protests for democracy throughout the Middle East and North Africa.

Pakistan's Floods

This lesson introduces students to the disaster and encourages them to consider the impact of history, climate vulnerability, and current politics as they attempt to understand the terrible flooding in Pakistan.

The Lessons of Iraq

In this one-day activity students examine and assess four different perspectives on what lessons the United States should draw from its experience in Iraq. Students assess the validity of these lessons and then consider their implications for other U.S. foreign policy issues.

Crisis in Zimbabwe

Student explore and deliberate about the international response to Zimbabwe's crisis and assess possible consequences.

Resources that work well with all Teaching with the News activities:

Contacting Elected Officials
Encourage your students to communicate their views on international issues to elected officials and in public spaces such as letters to the editor. You can find contact information for the White House at and your U.S. Senators and Representatives at