Teaching with the News

The Choices Program's Teaching with the News initiative provides online curriculum materials and lessons to connect the content of your classroom to the headlines in the news. Topics cover a range of foreign policy and international issues.

Black Lives Matter: Continuing the Civil Rights Movement

February 2016

Students review a timeline of black activism in the United States from the 1950s to today and identify core themes of the civil rights and Black Lives Matter movements.

Surveying State of the Union Addresses

January 2016

Students explore significant moments in 20th century State of the Union Addresses and identify important historic themes.

Negotiating Climate Change: Paris 2015

November 2015

Students examine the need for, and challenges associated with, creating an international agreement on climate change.

Resource Guide on the Terrorist Attacks in Paris

November 2015

All of us at Choices are struggling to understand the tragic and terrible events that happened in Paris on November 13, 2015. The many dimensions and the diverging opinions about the events make approaching the tragedy all the more daunting. We realize that teachers who want their students to consider these events in a thoughtful and constructive way are seeking resources for themselves and their students. We have compiled an annotated list of online sources that may be helpful for approaching some key aspects of the crisis.

Refugee Stories: Mapping a Crisis

September 2015

Students gain an understanding of the current refugee crisis by mapping data and exploring personal accounts of refugees.

For more information on the crisis tune in to The Refugee Crises: Reshaping Europe and the Middle East on Friday, Sept 18.

The Iran Nuclear Deal

September 2015

Students interpret political cartoons to better understand the role of the U.S. in the debate about the Iran nuclear deal.

Cuba and the United States: A New Chapter

April 2015

Students explore the changing relationship between the United States and Cuba.

Greece and the EU: Navigating Debt and Austerity

March 2015

Students learn about the European Union and the eurozone, identify the lasting effects of the 2008 financial crisis on Greece, and brainstorm solutions for Greece and the EU.

Governing Global Health: The World Health Organization and Ebola

February 2015

Students explore the structure of the World Health Organization (WHO) and its role in the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, discuss challenges the WHO has faced in responding to the Ebola outbreak, identify what resources are needed to bring the epidemic under control, and create a poster to help the WHO get more people involved in the effort to stop the Ebola epidemic.

The Struggle to Define Free Speech: From Skokie to Paris

January 2015

Students consider how different societies define freedom of expression, analyze historical sources that reveal contrasting views on freedom of expression in the case of Skokie, Illinois, where a Nazi group attempted to demonstrate in the 1970s, and explore the current free speech controversy in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks.

Nigeria and Boko Haram: Inequality, Injustice, Insurgency

January 2015

Students gather information about Nigeria and the Boko Haram insurgency and identify core challenges faced by the government and people of Nigeria.

The Umbrella Movement: Protests in Hong Kong

October 2014

Students analyze photographs of the recent protests in Hong Kong an explore the symbols and messages that protesters use to express their views.

ISIS: A New Threat

September 2014

Students use political cartoons to explore the role of ISIS in the Middle East.

Good Atoms or Bad Atoms? Iran and the Nuclear Issue

September 2014

Students analyze the issues that frame the current debate on U.S. policy towards Iran and recent international negotiations on Iran's nuclear program.

Unrest in Ukraine

February 2014

This lesson provides a background to the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, has students analyze political cartoons, and asks them to monitor the Ukrainian crisis in the news.

The Egyptian Revolution: An Interactive Timeline

January 2014

In this lesson students review an interactive timeline of events in Egypt over the past three years and identify core themes of Egyptian protest movements.

Graffiti in Egypt's Revolution

January 2014

Students will assess the role of graffiti in political protest, use a short video to analyze the relevance of graffiti during the Egyptian revolution and articulate opinions on graffiti and censorship.

Debating the U.S. Response to Syria

September 2013

Students will explore, debate, and evaluate multiple perspectives on U.S. policy towards Syria through a role-play activity.

Fifty Years after the March on Washington: Students in the Civil Rights Movement

August 2013

Students will hear stories from former civil rights activists, analyze what motivated students to join the movement, what their experiences were like, and consider the relevance of this history today.

Debating U.S. Drone Policy

March 2013

Students will explore, debate, and evaluate multiple perspectives on U.S. policy regarding drones.

Surveying State of the Union Addresses

February 2013

Students explore significant moments in 20th century State of the Union Addresses and identify important historic themes.

On the Brink of Nuclear War: Leadership and the Cuban Missile Crisis

October 2012

In this lesson, students will understand the significance of the Cuban Missile Crisis and Consider lessons from the missile crisis for today.

The Conflict in Syria

October 2012

Students work in groups to research the perspectives of a variety of domestic and international actors on the conflict in Syria, understand the effects of the conflict and the possible risks of escalation, and consider the challenges facing the international community as it weighs its response to the conflict.

U.S. Policy in the Middle East: Analyzing Political Cartoons

August 2012

In this lesson students explore current issues in the Middle East and their relation to U.S. policy by interpreting political cartoons.

The Costs of War

February 2012

In this lesson students explore the human, economic, social, and political costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Future of the Middle East: The Arab Spring and the Death of Osama bin Laden

December 2011

Students will consider the impact of Osama bin Laden's death on different groups of people and discuss the status and future of U.S. counterterrorism policy.

The Iraqi Refugee Crisis

November 2011

Students explore firsthand accounts of Iraqi refugees' experiences and gain an understanding of the causes and scope of the crisis.

Oral History and September 11

August 2011

In this lesson students explore the human dimension of the September 11 attacks by conducting an interview.

Protests, Revolutions, and Democratic Change

March 2011

This free lesson helps students analyze the potential effects of the protests on democracy and stability in the Middle East and North Africa.

After Mubarak: A New Middle East?

February 2011

This free lesson, After Mubarak: A New Middle East?, is the second in a series of activities on the recent events in Egypt. It helps students consider the implications of a leadership change in Egypt on the protests for democracy throughout the Middle East and North Africa.

The Haitian Crisis: Thinking Historically

January 2010

Students are challenged to think beyond the earthquake and consider the role of Haiti's rich history in the current crisis. Students explore the historical reasons for Haiti's poverty and its relationship with the United States.

Pakistan's Floods

November 2010

This lesson introduces students to the disaster and encourages them to consider the impact of history, climate vulnerability, and current politics as they attempt to understand the terrible flooding in Pakistan.

The Lessons of Iraq

September 2010

In this one-day activity students examine and assess four different perspectives on what lessons the United States should draw from its experience in Iraq. Students assess the validity of these lessons and then consider their implications for other U.S. foreign policy issues.

Crisis in Zimbabwe

September 2009

Student explore and deliberate about the international response to Zimbabwe's crisis and assess possible consequences.

Resources that work well with all Teaching with the News activities:

Contacting Elected Officials
Encourage your students to communicate their views on international issues to elected officials and in public spaces such as letters to the editor. You can find contact information for the White House at whitehouse.gov/contact/ and your U.S. Senators and Representatives at thomas.loc.gov.