I picked up a bean bag soccer ball pillow to use for this project.
Students are held accountable to watch the news, read the newspaper, or browse the Internet to keep themselves up to date on current events. I have my students research 3 to 5 current events that way nobody can say "He used my current event!"
At the beginning of class, after attendance is taken, the ball will be "Put in play". Once the ball is in play, nobody is allowed to talk but the student holding the ball. Student will acknowledge the class and tell everybody about a current event, with detail. We are not looking for "Uh, there is a hurricane in the Atlantic". Hold the child accountable to provide the who, what, where, whe, why, how details. "Hurricane Ivan is a category 3 storm and may potentially hit Florida on Tuesday." I usually have the class give 3 to 5 current events and then we move on to the daily lesson plan.
I was afraid at first to use the ball, as it may have been disruptive, but I have found that students go out of their way to get a current event in hopes of holding the soft, bean bag ball for a couple of minutes. An idea you can add to this activity if you want to hold them accountable to some type of grade is to have them write down their current events daily in a journal to make a personal history book, which can be graded on a weekly or bi-weekly schedule.