How Can I Teach Current Events to My Students?

“How can you not be involved? These are your times, your world, even if those events are on the other side of it. And as for the narrative–you are a part of that, for better or for worse…”

–Penelope Lively  Dancing Fish and Ammonites: a Memoir

Interesting things are happening all the time, all over the world.  You are likely asking, “How can I encourage my students to inquire and learn about these events?” We have several really good sites in our subscriptions for students to find out what is happening in their world.

If you don’t know how to access the subscriptions below, go to Subscriptions in the Learning Commons website and scroll down to, “Where Do I Find My Subscriptions Usernames and Passwords?”  If you have trouble with this, please email me, Beth Johnson and I will be glad to help you.

News in Review

“News in Review” is a channel in our subscription, which is specifically geared to teaching current events. Four articles are chosen monthly during the school year, with shareable videos of about 10 to 20 minutes in length.  Each has excellent teacher guides available for downloading.

World Book Advanced

In World Book Advanced, students can find “In the Headlines” at the top right of the screen.  Under “Research & Resources”, they can scroll the dropdown list to find “World Newspapers”.

World Book Student

In World Book Student, scrolling down the home page will bring students to “Current Events:  Behind the Headlines” for interesting current events.

Discovery Education Streaming Plus

Choose “My DE” at the top of the left-side navigation in Discovery Education, then scroll down to find a  “Global News” video on the right side of the page, with the option to choose a video for Grade 6-12 or K-5.  This site shows a new current affairs article every week.  Go to “Streaming Canada Plus” to find “New This Month”, with further current affairs videos.

‘The Canadian Reader’ and ‘What in the World?’

The LesPlan team selects the previous month’s top news stories, then crafts age-appropriate, leveled stories summarizing the key points for students. They include the background information – as well as key vocabulary definitions – to help students understand the issues, and strive to present all sides of any debate. Their aim is to foster understanding and develop critical thinking so that students can develop their own positions on each story covered.

I contacted Pippa Davies for more ideas in finding current events, and she suggested the following site: common sense education® as follows:


Newsela:  Absorbing daily news stories to offer kids ‘just-right’ learning content.  “Fresh, adaptive reads for every subject.”  “With content and activities created specifically for students in grades 2-6, Newsela fits seamlessly into your elementary literacy routine.”

TIME for Kids

“For 23 years, TIME for Kids has published a weekly magazine for elementary school students. With exclusive access to TIME’s award-winning content, TIME for Kids is uniquely positioned to teach kids to recognize and value authentic and trustworthy journalism. Our magazine provides:

  • Age-appropriate stories kids are excited about

  • Information just for kids that explains the world around them

  • High-quality, trusted TIME journalism that teaches news literacy

  • Instructional materials that are aligned to Common Core and state standards”

Lastly, Pippa suggested National Geographic Kids.  To access all the articles in that site, please go to EBSCOhost and Explora.  Scroll down the left-side menu to “Finding National Geographic Content”.  This will walk you through the process to get full-text access to all issues of National Geographic Kids, or any other edition of National Geographic you wish to access.