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The Week Magazine Provides Teaching Resources for Digging Deeper into News While Building Skills


Questions, Ideas, and Rich Activities Ready to Use to Dig Into Current Events and Explore Them With Your Students

Every day we are assailed by stories about the world around us. News media come at us from the web, television, social media, print, and the conversations around us. Making sense of these events and issues can be quite challenging.

It's enough to make kids and adults alike want to stick their heads in the proverbial sand and try to ignore it all.

But we don't have to. In fact, with the right resources, the things going on in the world around us can provide excellent opportunities for students to work on important skills, while also trying to better understand these events and their meaning and impact.

The Week is an independent weekly news magazine that explores current events, arts, science, government, business and more, and it is coupled with The Week’s Classroom Education Program, an effective teaching tool for building student skills. Each issue of The Week comes with an accompanying Lesson Guide.

As an example, this lesson guide focuses on the March 29th issue. In addition to sets of questions around articles from that edition, there are also sets of activities provided. Each “Activity” section explores vocabulary and comprehension, provides rich discussion questions, and then provides specific activities for the classroom. Here are the activities for just one of the articles:

1. Poll students to see how many of them agree with the following statements: “I expect news coverage to be unbiased.” “There is no such thing as unbiased news coverage.” You may want to define bias for students (a positive or negative attitude toward something, often based on preconceived prejudices or viewpoints rather than evidence)
2. Ask students to discuss why, if at all, they think it’s important for news coverage to be unbiased and, if it’s not, why it’s important to examine multiple viewpoints.
3. Challenge students to create a list of how they would detect bias in individual news coverage. Then, direct students to this list.
4. Challenge students to read or watch a political news story and determine if they would describe it as biased or unbiased. Invite students to present their examples. Do other students agree? What conclusions can students draw, based on the exercise. Encourage students to learn more about how the same news story can be covered in different ways, depending on bias here.
5. Finally, invite students to read and annotate the article. Based on what they have learned, challenge them to determine whether they support or oppose the decision of the Democratic National Committee, and why.
As you can see, this a great set of ideas to pull from – you don't have to figure it all out for yourself. And what thought provoking ideas. Depending on which activities you choose to use, students will be developing written and oral communication skills, critical thinking, presentation skills, etc. Of course, you can also consider letting students choose for themselves from these varied activities.

To get a further sense of how high school teachers can use these resources in the classroom, The Week also provides The Teachers’ Reference Guide. The guide does a great job of explaining how The Week uses a consistent format from week to week to make it easy to dig into each new edition and make great use of it in the classroom.

Discounted Subscription Deal for Educators

The Week has partnered with sites like mine to offer educators this link to receive a subscription for $1.09 per copy (a savings of over 78% off the single copy price), which includes access to both the Print & Digital edition. This includes a free teacher’s subscription.

The Week’s digital format is mobile-friendly, so students can view on computers or personal mobile devices.

It would be nice if other news publications learned from this example and put this kind of effort into providing resources for educators to help their students explore news items while building skills.



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