You may feel all is lost when you turn on the nightly news. Shootings, race relations, terror attacks, climate change, and mud-slinging in politics are typically what you see within the first 5 minutes of turning on the television or reading feeds in your social media accounts. How can you tie these current event issues to the content covered in the High School Equivelancy exams? After all, the first question a student may ask is, “Do I really need to know this for the test?” Well, I’m glad you asked that question, my friend. Let’s just take a look at the items I mentioned above and get ready for News Engagement Day on October 4th and discuss why the news matters when preparing students for their future.
Let’s take a little trip about 200 years ago and try to decipher what the founding fathers meant by the 2nd amendment. You want to spark a lively debate in your adult education classroom? Just bring up this topic and enjoy the ride! How does it connect to the HSE? Check out Social Studies and learn about how a bill becomes a law and learn about the Bill of Rights. Then, move over to Reasoning Through Language Arts and explore memes online. Learn how to compare the message, identify the intended audience, discuss tone and intent, and finally – compare and contrast messages while you introduce the idea of an algorithmic echo chamber.
Under very unfortunate circumstances has this topic been brought to the fore. We have all seen the recent news about shootings carried out between the police and African Americans. There are many opportunities to discuss these current topics in your classroom by looking at the historical context of these events. Starting back to the founding of our country, African Americans have been marginalized. How does this tie into the HSE? Explore our country’s history through the Social Studies content to build bacground knowledge in key areas such as the Founding of United States, Civil War, Reconstruction, and Civil Rights Movements. These are all great areas to dig deeper into things that play a part in what we are seeing today.
There has been a rash of terror attacks around the world. Why is this happening? Can you draw any links to these recent attacks by connecting historical context? What about the aftermath of World War I and the Middle East? What about post-9/11 United States? Check out the lessons in i-Pathways Social Studies and learn how our World Wars have continued to cause instability across the globe. Tie these conversations in the classroom to the HSE by having students explore graphs and charts, read data, read non-fiction materials and understand our history.
Is it man-made or not? Let’s take a look at the Science module to determine if we can use discussions about this topic in the classroom. How does climate change work? What is the science behind it? Take a look at Science lessons that explore our environment to spark a debate.
WOW! This is a big one. As we move closer to November and the elections you will no doubt be inundated with more political commercials, debate and mud-slinging than you can handle. Where did this crazy process start? Political differences were handled very differently 200-plus years ago. Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton anyone??? Let’s take a look at Social Studies Lessons to find out how our democracy was founded and how our officials and representatives are elected.
Current events can and should be used in the classroom. Many of the things we see happening today have deep roots in the history or our country and the world. Current events can help to answer the age-old question you may receive from your students when studying history: “Why does this stuff matter?” Tying in these current events can give you a great answer!