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Ideas For Learning About Current Events

 Before we get started, I want to quote from an article called “The Teaching of Contemporary History” by R. A. Pennethorne, published in the Parent’s Review, Volume 12, 1902, pages 272-277


  • Now every argument for the teaching of history as a whole applies doubly to the history of our own times. We who are taking our part, however humbly or obscurely, in the ‘edifying’ or building up of this world in any direction, cannot do so except on those foundations and beginnings made before us.

  • No great movement, no convulsion of nations or of society is sudden; the causes of today’s events must be sought, not only in last year’s, but in yesterday’s, and today’s doings are profoundly affecting tomorrow.

  • How much better too can we understand the full meaning of past events when we study present results.

  • No deed or event is an end in itself, no settlement is final; all are progressing towards some end and are means by which it may be attained, but "the end is not yet.”

  • It must, however, be acknowledge that there are difficulties to be taken into serious consideration if we decide upon giving definite instruction on the course of current events. To go no further than the effect upon the child’s nervous system; everyone knows that the remote horror which happens “hundreds of years ago” is much less alarming to children than something which happened “only yesterday,” for their ideas of time and space are vague and if tragedies befell somewhere yesterday, why not here “today?” argues the child. 

  • What we have to do, however, is to give our children what is generally believed to be true, but at the same time never let them think that the judgment of the moment is necessarily final or infallible. We must refrain from the tempting wiles of gossip, especially about living persons who occupy great positions, either from worth, genius, or inherited power.

  • Much may be done by rational conversation and by letting the children listen to their elders when they are talking of affairs of the moment. Much, too, might be done by even one lesson a week in school or at home, if time could not be spared for more. 


Here are some ideas to help you dig deeper into the news and current events. 


  1. Anytime a country is mentioned and you can’t think of where it is, you should look it up on the world map. Think through what you know about that country already.

  2. If a country is often in the news, then you can take a closer look at that country. For example, sometimes things in the news have to do with something that happened before. What happened before? You might have to learn a bit of history to understand current events. 

  3. You can write an article as if you were a news reporter. 

  4. “Eyewitness Account.” Put yourself somewhere in a news’ story. Let’s say there was a big earthquake. What would it have been like to have been there when the earthquake happened? Do you think your house would still be standing? Where would you go if an earthquake happens?

  5. Draw a picture of one of the stories in the news.

  6. Pretend that you are old and you’re telling your grandkids about something you heard in the news growing up. One example of this was living through the COVID 19 pandemic. What would you tell your grandkids about it?

  7. Choose something that’s going on in the news and look at it from both sides. For example, if two countries are arguing over who gets to use the water in a certain lake, then think through what arguments both countries might have for using the water. 

  8. Pretend that you are a news reporter and have to interview someone that was there when something happened. Choose an article in the paper or a story in the news and put together a list of questions that you might ask someone (who would you interview?) if you were a journalist. 

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