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Lesson Plans

Current Events Classroom

The Current Events Classroom is a collection of timely and relevant brief lesson plans that assist K-12 educators in teaching news topics and other issues of the day. Each lesson helps students analyze the topic through an anti-bias, diversity and social justice lens.

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Current Events Classroom

Teens, Tech, Connect

How Technology Impacts Teenagers' Friendships

Date: August 25, 2015

Topic: Bullying Awareness and Prevention, General Anti-Bias

Grade Level: Middle School, High School

This lesson provides an opportunity for middle and high school students to explore their current use of and perspective on technology, analyze the results of a recent study on teenagers, technology and friendships, learn more about some of the negative consequences like social isolation and cyberbullying and share the information they learn with each other.


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Current Events Classroom

Boy Scouts of America Lifts Ban on Gay Leaders

Date: July 28, 2015

Topic: LGBTQ People and Homophobia/Heterosexism

Grade Level: Middle School

This lesson provides an opportunity for students to learn more about the evolution of the Boy Scouts’ position on gay members and leaders, analyze Robert Gates’ recent speech on the issue and explore students’ own points of view by writing persuasive essays.


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Current Events Classroom

Voting Rights Then and Now

Date: July 22, 2015

Topic: Social Justice

Grade Level: High School

This lesson provides an opportunity for high school students to explore the difference between the right to vote and the ability to vote, learn more about the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and reflect on some of the current day threats to voting rights and what can be done about it.


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Current Events Classroom

Freddie Gray & Baltimore Unrest

Exploring the Case Using Op-Eds

Date: May 8, 2015

Topic: Race and Racism, Social Justice

Grade Level: High School

This lesson provides an opportunity for high school students to discuss the case of Freddie Gray’s death and the protests that took place in Baltimore and elsewhere. In the lesson, students will learn more about the case, read and analyze several op-eds about it and use what they learned to write their own argumentative essays with a specific point of view and evidence to support their positions.


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Current Events Classroom

Caitlyn Jenner and the Power of Coming Out

Date: April 29, 2015

Topic: LGBTQ People and Homophobia/Heterosexism

Grade Level: High School

This high school lesson provides an opportunity for students to learn more about Caitlyn Jenner’s experiences, reflect on what it means to “come out” and explore the impact of coming out on the individual, others, policies and society as a whole.


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Current Events Classroom

Social Justice Poetry

Date: April 9, 2015

Topic: Social Justice

Grade Level: Middle School

This lesson provides an opportunity for middle school students to explore poetry and song about injustice, reflect on what social justice issues are important to them and write their own poems about social justice, using a variety of formats and finding creative ways to share their poetry with others.


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Current Events Classroom

Understanding Homophobia/Heterosexism

and How to Be an Ally

Date: March 26, 2015

Topic: LGBTQ People and Homophobia/Heterosexism

Grade Level: Middle School, High School

This lesson is geared toward increasing middle and high school students’ understanding of and empathy for how homophobia manifests itself in schools and society, including actions they can take on behalf of their school or community.


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Current Events Classroom

The Movies, the Academy Awards and Implicit Bias

Date: March 3, 2015

Topic: Gender and Sexism, General Anti-Bias

Grade Level: High School

In this high school lesson, students will reflect on their own experiences and opinions about movies, analyze demographic information about the movie industry and explore the role of implicit bias.


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Current Events Classroom

The Selma to Montgomery March for Voting Rights

Date: February 25, 2015

Topic: Race and Racism, Social Justice

Grade Level: High School

This high school lesson will give students background information about the historical struggle for voting rights and the Selma to Montgomery March that took place in Alabama in March 1965. Students will also explore voting restrictions today and gain insight into what can and should be done to preserve the right to vote.


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Current Events Classroom

We Can All Be 'Kid President'

Date: February 6, 2015

Topic: Social Justice

Grade Level: Elementary School

This lesson uses Kid President’s recent video on Martin Luther King, Jr. as a jumping off point to talk with elementary students about activists. Students will have the opportunity to learn about the activities and qualities of activists, identify and explore famous and ordinary activists and conduct research on an activist of their choice.


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Current Events Classroom

The Trap of Masculinity

How Sexism Impacts Boys and Men

Date: February 2, 2015

Topic: Gender and Sexism

Grade Level: Middle School, High School

This middle and high school lesson will help students explore how we, as a society, view boys and men and understand concepts of masculinity. Students will reflect on those messages, identify where those concepts and stereotypes come from and begin to understand how they can be challenged.


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Current Events Classroom

Exploring Solutions to Address Racial Disparity Concerns

Date: January 15, 2015

Topic: Race and Racism

Grade Level: High School

This high school lesson will help students reflect on some of the underlying problems and issues that have emerged from cases like those involving Eric Garner and Michael Brown, undertake research and present viable solutions.


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Current Events Classroom

Beyond Stigma and Stereotypes

What is Homelessness?

Date: January 8, 2015

Topic: People, Identity and Culture

Grade Level: Middle School

This middle school lesson provides an opportunity for students to gain an understanding of who is homeless, the reasons people become homeless and the ways in which homeless people are victims of violence and harassment. Students will also explore how, as a society, we stigmatize and stereotype people who are homeless.


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Current Events Classroom

10 Ideas for Teaching Black History Month

Date: January 8, 2015

Topic: People, Identity and Culture, Race and Racism, Social Justice

Grade Level: Elementary School, Middle School, High School

This resource offers ten ideas for teaching about Black History Month.


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Current Events Classroom

Is Gaming a Boy's Club?

Women, Video Games and Sexism

Date: December 22, 2014

Topic: Gender and Sexism

Grade Level: High School

This advanced high school lesson provides an opportunity for students to learn more about the world of video games, understand how sexism and misogyny are perpetuated in gaming and express their own thoughts about the issue.


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Current Events Classroom

Anti-Semitism Around the World

Global 100™

Date: December 15, 2014

Topic: Jewish Culture and Anti-Semitism

Grade Level: High School

This lesson provides an opportunity for high school students to understand more about anti-Semitic attitudes and stereotypes by people around the world, explore the Global 100 website and consider what can be done about anti-Semitic attitudes.


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Current Events Classroom

Addressing Hate Online

Countering Cyberhate with Counterspeech

Date: November 18, 2014

Topic: Bullying Awareness and Prevention, General Anti-Bias

Grade Level: High School

This lesson provides an opportunity for high school students to define and learn more about cyberhate, reflect on their own experiences with cyberhate and explore the role of counterspeech in being an online ally.


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Current Events Classroom

Should Washington's NFL Team Change Their Name

Date: November 4, 2014

Topic: People, Identity and Culture, Race and Racism

Grade Level: Middle School, High School

This lesson provides an opportunity for students to learn about the controversy of the Washington's NFL team's mascot, understand different perspectives about the use of Native American mascots in sports and reflect on their own points of view through activities and writing.


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Current Events Classroom

Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr.

Hate Crimes Prevention Act

Date: October 20, 2014

Topic: People, Identity and Culture, Race and Racism, LGBTQ People and Homophobia/Heterosexism

Grade Level: Middle School, High School

This lesson provides an opportunity for middle and high school students to understand the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, learn about how hate escalates, connect the understanding of the escalation of hate with Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr.’s murders and consider what young people can do in their schools and communities to prevent hate crimes.


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Current Events Classroom

Who is Malala Yousafzai?

Date: October 14, 2014

Topic: Social Justice

Grade Level: Middle School

This lesson provides an opportunity for students to learn about Malala Yousafzai, why she won the Nobel Peace Prize and to explore activism projects to address areas of injustice they see in the world.


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