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Teaching Current Affairs. TCH 347 Social Studies in the Elementary School Department of Education Shippensburg University Han Liu Ph.D. Fall 2011. Scope of Current Affairs. Events in Family Neighborhood Community Local district The state The nation The world.

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Teaching Current Affairs


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    1. Teaching Current Affairs TCH 347 Social Studies in the Elementary School Department of Education Shippensburg University Han Liu Ph.D. Fall 2011

    2. Scope of Current Affairs • Events in • Family • Neighborhood • Community • Local district • The state • The nation • The world

    3. Events of Social Developments • Election/Rallies/Protesting • Prevailing Speeches/Opinions • Economic growth (ups and downs) • Historical findings • Geographical discoveries • Scientific & technological breakthroughs

    4. Issues of Public Concern • Social Justice • Gender Equality • Law–Related Education • Multicultural Education • Economic Crisis • Global Studies • Environmental and Energy Studies

    5. Special Events and Cultural Celebration • National Holidays • Independence Day • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day • Festivals • Thanksgiving • Chinese New Year • Special Month/Week • Black History Month • Conservation Week

    6. Controversial Issues • Same sex marriage • Abortion • Prayer in school • Affirmative Action • Multicultural education • Globalization • Job outsourcing • War on Iraq

    7. Types of Controversy • Factual Controversy • Definitional Controversy • Value controversy • Cause controversy • Solution controversy

    8. Guidelines for Teaching Controversial Issues • Select significant issues and problems understandable to children • Provide background factors, conduct cause and effect analysis, predict possible consequences • Present differing points of view on a certain issue, respect for the views of others, refrain from taking sides or propagandizing one point of view • Promote higher order learning and boost critical thinking and problem solving skills • Nurture democratic civic virtues in maintaining open-mindedness and the willingness to change one’s mind based new information learned • Encourage civic participation in public discourse and action

    9. Media Sources • TV • Internet • Radio • Newspaper • Magazines • Cartoons

    10. Examples of Online Resources • Newseum • CNN Student News • Scholastic News Quiz

    11. Criteria to Select Events and Issues • Education value • Appropriateness • Relevance • Available information • Available time • Reliability • Time availability • Avoid too complex issues

    12. Lesson Plan Development • Develop specific goals and objectives • Identify concepts, concept clusters, themes, and generalizations that relate to a social studies topic • Dovetail information into different units that student have learned or will learn

    13. Class Activities for Current Affairs • Level 1 • Routine report of events with little discussion or analysis • Level 2 • Reporting is followed by discussion of the most interesting points without requiring any critical analysis • Level 3 • Using problem-solving and critical thinking skills to explore the significance of the event or issue by reviewing supporting facts, considering different points of view, and collecting additional information (this level may need a independent unit)

    14. Class Activities for Current Affairs • Daily sharing period • Student report on specific events • Talking Circle on current affairs • Weekly news reports by each student • Organizing debates on issues • Mimicking television/radio newscast by role playing: anchorperson, news reporter, editorial commentator, sports reporter, etc. • Making connections between current affairs and knowledge learned in textbooks

    15. Debating Resource • Four Corner Debate • Strongly Agree • Agree • Disagree • Strongly Disagree • Debate Methods, Topics, and Lesson Plans • 50 Debate Prompts for Kids

    16. Class Activities for Special Events • Ask students of different ethnicities to report their festivals and holidays • Ask a local expert to talk about a special day to the class • Have students attend a celebration of another culture • Have students make a calendar of special days of the year • Have students celebrate a festival by decorating the classroom with background information and fun facts displayed

    17. Student Projects • Write letters to media and authorities • Draw cartoons to illustrate events and opinions • Simulate TV news programs • Hold press conference • Create posters to voice opinions on issue • Collect data for hot social issues from various sources • Initiate programs, such as a food drive

    18. Current Affairs Benefit Students • Enhance and enliven instruction • Reinforce concepts and concept clusters in various subject areas • Make connections of past, present, and the future • Bridges knowledge to real life outside of classroom • Develop ability to appraise the actions and decisions of policy makers and political leaders • Practice various thinking skills with concrete events • Appreciate multicultural heritages

    19. Resources for Current Affairs • New York Times Student Connections • http://www.nytimes.com/learning/students/index.html • New York Times Learning Network • http://www.nytimes.com/learning/ • New York Times Cartoons • http://www.nytimes.com/pages/cartoons/index.html • Political Cartoons • http://www.politicalcartoons.com/ • Cartoons • http://www.cagle.com/ • New York Times Student Quiz • http://www.nytimes.com/learning/students/quiz/ • CNN Student News •  http://www.cnn.com/EDUCATION/ • Washington Post Kids Post • http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/kidspost/orbit/kidspost.html • Parade Magazine: • http://www.paradeclassroom.com/DL/quiz.pdf • Scholastic • http://teacher.scholastic.com/scholasticnews/games_quizzes/quiz/index.asp • News Bowl USA • http://www.newsbowl.com/ • News for Kids on Yahooligans • http://yahooligans.yahoo.com/content/news/ • Science News for Kids • http://www.sciencenewsforkids.org/ • Times • http://www.time.com/time/classroom/glenfall2006/