ArticleMay 19th, 2014
12 top education resources to teach at the end of the school year
It’s nearly the end of another school year and NewsHour Extra wants to help you celebrate. Here are our most popular lesson plans from the 2013-14 school year, a quiz and suggested activities to help students think critically about the biggest news stories of the year.
A lot has happened in the world since the end of the last school year. With summer vacation just around the corner, test your knowledge of the past year’s biggest news stories.
These original lessons build upon each other, using the undead to teach the living about the brain. The lessons follow an accompanying plot line where the world is fighting a zombie apocalypse and the best and the brightest young people are being trained as medical students – with a specialty in neuroscience – with the hopes that they will be able to provide a cure to this terrible epidemic and save humanity.
May 17, 2014 marked the 60th anniversary of the monumental Supreme Court decision in the case of Brown v. Board of Education, which declared the status quo of “separate but equal” to be unconstitutional. Although this meant public schools were now required to be integrated, the battleground for equality in education was just beginning. Use these resources to provide students with the historical context of Brown v. Board of Education in the civil rights movement, to inform them of the important roles students played in integrating the schools and engage them in conversation about the unfinished work of the civil rights movement.
From the George Zimmerman trial and the secrets leaked by Edward Snowden, to Middle East upheaval and the tragedy of the Boston Bombings, 2013 changed the world in many different ways. To look back at every triumph, tragedy and trend, Google creates a summary of the year year’s events called Google Zeitgeist. Now it’s your turn to bring the Zeitgeist project into your classroom.
This collection of STEM resources was designed to engage and inspire students to connect with STEM topics and encourage them to consider a future in a STEM field. Featured are our most popular lesson plans, videos, interactives and articles from the PBS NewsHour. Additionally this collection includes the profiles of 23 STEM superstars within a diverse array of STEM fields.
The resources and lesson plans in this collection were created and compiled by NewsHour Extra to help teachers provide meaningful context to their students as the world watched the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Russia. This collection includes educational materials that cover health and psychology, history, science and engineering and human rights.
This lesson plan and student contest were created to accompany a story from The Center for Investigative Reporting and the Guardian about toxic waste in the U.S. Students will participate in a mock trial designed to help them process the story and recognize an important takeaway message: Everyone is responsible to some degree for the problem of toxic waste and everyone can be part of the solution.
Help students to appreciate the accomplishments of the Voyager spacecraft, which has now passed beyond the outer limit of the solar system. This lesson includes an interactive, “Scale of the Universe,” which gives students perspective on the vastness of space as well as the tiniest matter found in our world and beyond. Finally, a reflective video from Neil DeGrasse Tyson helps students to process the introduced information.
This economics lesson informs students about a new economic theory that examines the inequity of resources between the rich, middle class and poor. Within this lesson, students will participate in a global resource simulation that will help them to authentically experience the unfairness of resource inequality.
This Common Core-aligned lesson helps students explore the New York City’s “stop, question and frisk” program through videos, graphics and a news article. An engaging introduction creates a foundation to help students understand infographics and their utility as a cross-curricular tool. Featured in this lesson is an interactive infographic that encourages student-driven discovery and promotes higher level thinking skills. Video clips enrich the lesson by providing a balance between data analysis and the personal experiences of stop and frisk. Extension activities and related lesson plans are included, and offer educators context and depth to this important topic.
This lesson is designed to help students better understand the concept of scientific theory, then use what they have learned to evaluate the scientific theory of climate change. Students will explore one type of observation scientists use to study climate change — glaciers and sea ice melt — through online video and interactive media tools. Students will be asked to evaluate the strength of climate change as a scientific theory based on evidence they find, and reflect on what it means to both local and global communities.
Syria has been embroiled in an ongoing civil war for three years that has displaced millions of Syrians and ended the lives of over 150.000 to date. Help students establish a foundation of knowledge on Syria and its conflict through a simulation that makes students responsible for finding a solution to the war.
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To Vote or Not to Vote – Lesson Plan
Why is voting an important responsibility for citizens? Less than 60 percent of eligible voters voted in the 2012 general election. Yet, for other Americans, voting is a very meaningful, almost sacred duty. In this lesson, students will view three short films that explore the importance of voting. Continue readingcitizenshipCivicscivil rightscivil rights act of 1965constitutionElection 2016GovernmentGovernment & CivicsimmigrationraceSocial StudiesSupreme CourtU.S. governmentVotevotingvoting historyvoting rights
Decoding Media Bias – Lesson Plan
Students will view the We The Voters film “MediOcracy,” and then examine current news stories and how they’re covered by the three main cable news outlets. They will conclude by examining news stories for bias/point of view. Continue readingbiascable networksCivicsElection 2016GovernmentGovernment & Civicsmediamedia biasMedia Literacynewsnews medianews organizationsSocial Studies
Polling Pitfalls – Lesson Plan
What do people need to consider when evaluating public opinion polls? After viewing The Poll Dance, students will examine important aspects of valid polling and evaluate three polls. Continue readingCivicsdemocracyElection 2016GovernmentpollingPollspollsterpublic opinionSocial StudiesU.S. government
Will Americans living in poor rural areas vote?
Some poorer residents of rural America say their voices are not being heard as part of the national political dialogue and the presidential election. Continue readingEconomicseconomyElection 2016low-incomeNorth Carolinapovertyrural AmericaSocial StudiesvoterWilkesboro
Student Reporting Labs STEM Lesson Plan: How well are our wells?
In the PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Lab video, “Water Scarcity for New Mexico Natives,” Las Cruces High School students describe climate changes and human activities which impact quality and availability of groundwater. In the lesson plan, students gather information from a low-cost physical model, choose a part of the groundwater and well problem, propose a solution and defend their proposal. Continue readingEPAgroundwaterScienceSRLSTEMstudent reporting labsUnited State Geological SurveyUSGSwaterwells