Daily Video

March 31, 2020

PBS 2-minute news summary: Choose your own current event!


NEW! Each Tuesday, Extra brings you the news wrap and gives your students the chance to “Choose your own current event!”

Directions: Read the news summary, watch the two-minute PBS NewsHour news summary (March 30) and complete the activity below. [Note that this summary does not include the top coronavirus news of the day, which was covered at the beginning of the program.]

Teacher’s note: If you are making plans for distance learning, take a look at our list of PBS resources that covers a variety of subjects for middle and high school students. 

In this news summary:

  • Rioting broke out at a prison in Southern Iran, adding to a series of violent outbursts at prisons in the country. Officials say no one escaped in the latest incident. Iran has already furloughed some 100,000 inmates to curb the spread of COVID-19.
  • Police in the Netherlands are searching for a Vincent van Gogh painting, “The Parsonage Garden at Nuenen in Spring (1884).” Investigators say thieves stole the artwork from the Singer Laren museum east of Amsterdam after breaking in by smashing a glass door.
  • Afghanistan began releasing some 10,000 prisoners. Inmates lined up to have their temperature checked by men in protective suits looking for symptoms of COVID-19 before they were reunited with their relatives outside. Members of the Taliban were not among them.
  • A federal judge blocked Texas from banning most abortions during the coronavirus crisis. The state’s Republican attorney general had included abortions in an order to postpone procedures deemed not medically necessary. The judge ruled the state is violating a fundamental right.

Current events activity:

1. After watching the news summary, which news story would you be most likely to share with a family member? How about a friend? Why does the topic of news often come up in conversation with friends or family? Why might it be useful to talk about the news with another person?

2. Choose your own current event! Watch one of the segments from the list below that catches your eye. Putting your media literacy skills to use, which piece did you choose and why? Who was interviewed in the story? Who would you like to have heard from? If you have questions following the piece, what next steps could you take? If time, share your responses with a partner or your class.

Extension activities: 

  1. Super Civics 2020 election activity: Read Will it ever be possible to get out the youth vote?, watch the accompanying PBS Student Reporting Labs teen-produced videos and answer the discussion questions.
  2. Music education: Have your students tag their music videos using #SongsOfComfort and @NewsHour. Find out more about how to participate in this Extra Daily News Story: Yo-Yo Ma provides comfort in a time of crisis


For monthly updates containing teacher resources on Election 2020, click here. Sign up for short education highlights from the PBS NewsHour here.


To learn more about the coronavirus and how to get the support you need, read Coronavirus: Multilingual Resources for Schools by PBS WETA’s Colorin Colorado.

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