Wow, there is so much to talk about and seventh graders love to talk about it. They are old enough to be familiar with the vocabulary, but rarely are informed enough to understand the news.
We often watch CNN Student News and they always are eager for more. Even though the daily episodes are just ten minutes long, we can (and Friday we did) spend the entire hour of class time explaining, dissecting and discussing. On Friday the topics were globalization (the effects of lowered crude oil prices – which led to fracking, OPEC and the XL Keystone pipeline), the massacre in Nigeria and the violence in Paris (which led us back to The Danger of a Single Story -right where we started the year.)
Frankly, I read the paper every day and listen to NPR non-stop and it’s all I can do to stay informed enough to help them understand. Luckily I’m old enough to know the background for most of it!
Today I’m trying to decide between playing Obama’s entire State of the Union, and Joni Ernst’s response; or just the analysis; or what about the fact-checking? How great would that be? For them to see how politicians manhandle the truth?
My original plan was to play some of MLK Jr.’s speeches for them: “But I’m not worried about that now. I’m not fearing any man! Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of The Lord!”
I’m so lucky that my topic is Social Studies and that we are approaching a global issues project. It would be a lot harder to fit this all into an introductory Chinese class!