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.
All of us at Choices are struggling to understand the tragic and terrible events that happened in Paris on November 13, 2015. The many dimensions and the diverging opinions about the events make approaching the tragedy all the more daunting. We realize that teachers who want their students to consider these events in a thoughtful and constructive way are seeking resources for themselves and their students. We have compiled an annotated list of online sources that may be helpful for approaching some key aspects of the crisis.
Students gain an understanding of the current refugee crisis by mapping data and exploring personal accounts of refugees.
For more information on the crisis tune in to The Refugee Crises: Reshaping Europe and the Middle East on Friday, Sept 18.
Students interpret political cartoons to better understand the role of the U.S. in the debate about the Iran nuclear deal.
Students explore the changing relationship between the United States and Cuba.
Students learn about the European Union and the eurozone, identify the lasting effects of the 2008 financial crisis on Greece, and brainstorm solutions for Greece and the EU.
Students explore the structure of the World Health Organization (WHO) and its role in the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, discuss challenges the WHO has faced in responding to the Ebola outbreak, identify what resources are needed to bring the epidemic under control, and create a poster to help the WHO get more people involved in the effort to stop the Ebola epidemic.
Students consider how different societies define freedom of expression, analyze historical sources that reveal contrasting views on freedom of expression in the case of Skokie, Illinois, where a Nazi group attempted to demonstrate in the 1970s, and explore the current free speech controversy in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks.
Students gather information about Nigeria and the Boko Haram insurgency and identify core challenges faced by the government and people of Nigeria.
Students analyze photographs of the recent protests in Hong Kong an explore the symbols and messages that protesters use to express their views.
Students use political cartoons to explore the role of ISIS in the Middle East.
Students analyze the issues that frame the current debate on U.S. policy towards Iran and recent international negotiations on Iran's nuclear program.
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.
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.
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.
Students will explore, debate, and evaluate multiple perspectives on U.S. policy towards Syria through a role-play activity.
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.
Students will explore, debate, and evaluate multiple perspectives on U.S. policy regarding drones.
Students explore significant moments in 20th century State of the Union Addresses and identify important historic themes.
In this lesson, students will understand the significance of the Cuban Missile Crisis and Consider lessons from the missile crisis for today.
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.
In this lesson students explore current issues in the Middle East and their relation to U.S. policy by interpreting political cartoons.
In this lesson students explore the human, economic, social, and political costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
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.
Students explore firsthand accounts of Iraqi refugees' experiences and gain an understanding of the causes and scope of the crisis.
In this lesson students explore the human dimension of the September 11 attacks by conducting an interview.
This free lesson helps students analyze the potential effects of the protests on democracy and stability in the Middle East and North Africa.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
- Guidelines for Deliberation
- Deliberating "Pros" and "Cons" of Policy Options
- Scholars Online video resources.
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 whitehouse.gov/contact/ and your U.S. Senators and Representatives at thomas.loc.gov.