Top Five Resources to Teach Students Current Events


In this day and age, everyone should be keeping up with the news. With the advent of social media and digital news, no adult has any excuse to not know what is going on in the world. Knowing what is in the news is not just for grown-ups. Students should be in the know too.  Students are the most affected by national and international events and the Parkland shooting victims are evidence that students can have an effect on the world.

But how do you integrate current events? It is hard enough for most teachers to lesson plan, let alone plan for events that haven’t even happened yet.

Here are some resources that can help you:

1.       CNN Student News (Free)

Just like the name implies, CNN Student News is similar to the CNN News you are probably aware of... just for students. It is a short 10-minute web show that recaps the major stories from the previous day.

It’s around 8 to 10 minutes every day which makes it easy to block out time for in class. They publish the show the night before which means you can watch it before class and plan extension activities.

2.       Newsela (Partially Free)

Newsela is a resource for articles. It takes articles from various different news sites like The Guardian and adapts them for student reading levels. Newsela adapts the article to multiple different reading levels which is great for classroom differentiation. You can print articles for your class or use the web platform.

This site specializes in current events, but it’s also a great resource for history and opinion pieces as well. 

3.       Time for Kids (Paid)

Like CNN Student News, Time for Kids is the student version of a well-known publication, Time Magazine. Time for Kids doesn’t report the daily news, but the issues covered are relevant.

Time for Kids has online articles but its bread and butter is its subscription-based service that sends out mini magazines to its subscribers. This is a great way to give your kids high-quality news articles without having to make copies or put them in front of a screen.

4.       Channel One (Paid)

Channel One has a daily newscast like CNN Student News, but it also offers an extensive video segment collection as well. A variety of curriculum and lesson plans are also available to accompany their huge video library.

Video topics on Channel One run the gamut. You can find videos on topics from science to politics.

5.       Reddit (Free)

Reddit is a news aggregator, and a great resource to use if you need to keep up with the news in different fields. Reddit is not necessarily a site to show to your students; it’s a site for you to find stories and issues that matter to them.

Reddit has various communities called sub-reddits. Each sub-reddit aggregates news stories about a topic. So, say you have a lot of kids interested in video games, but that’s not your thing? Hop on to reddit and go to /r/Games/ to find some up to date news about gaming. Need to some LGBT articles to raise awareness for your students but don’t know where to go or what’s important? The /r/LGBT is a great place to go to see what the LGBT community is talking about.

Even though most schools are on board with teachers using current events in class, few of them offer any material support. Don’t be afraid to use available resources to supplement your classroom.


Andrew Pillow

Andrew is a technology teacher at KIPP Indy College Prep. He is graduate of the University of Kentucky and a Teach for America Alum. Andrew just recently finished his commitment as a Teach Plus Policy fellow, and he is looking forward to putting the skills he's learned to good use. Andrew has written for several publications in the past on a wide variety of topics but will be sticking to education for his role on Indy/Ed.