In the twenty-first century, it is imperative for students to become more globally aware. Incorporating writing through the use of current event articles are a great way to help secondary students develop an appreciation for the world around them as well as expand their own critical thinking skills.
Current event articles can be found in multitude of ways. Students may be inspired by a media report. Perhaps they are surfing online and come across an issue they want to more about. You may also provide resources such as magazines or newspapers. Whatever students choose the key to choosing a good current event is that it provides students with a purpose for learning and further inquiry.
To incorporate writing simultaneously with current event articles, the purpose of the writing task should also be considered. Writing options should be offered to students that stimulate analysis and inquiry of the issue. Students should also be able to interact effectively with content through the writing tasks they choose.
Consider the following ideas for helping students to write about current events, reflect on their own thinking, and communicate their ideas in an effective manner:
1.Free Response Journals -- These are a great way for helping students dialogue about an issue. In a free response journal, students can question and summarize an issue concurrently.
2.Dialogue Scripts -- Students can choose a central figure in the article and create a script with that character much like that of an interview. They can inquire, wonder, and draw conclusions using the script.
3.Poems -- Poetry can be used to summarize an issue for students. They can also create bio-poems for central figures in the article.
4.Double-Entry Journals -- Instead of taking notes on an article, double-entry journals help students to identify key issues and react to them.
5.Graphic Organizers with Summaries -- If you have students create a graphic organizer to categorize an article, have them also summarize their thinking in a simple, but effective paragraph.
6.Unsent Letters -- Composing a letter to a figure in the article acts much like a dialogue script. Students can ask questions or react honestly to an issue in a non-threatening way.
7.Collaborative Summaries -- Social collaboration can help students understand issues more thoroughly. Students can have conversations and summarize their thinking through a summary.