Do you share CNN Student News with your students? I really wouldn’t recommend it for any grades younger than 5th or 6th grade, but it is my kids favorite part of the day!
We start each and everyday with the news…. which is great for me because I hardly ever watch TV… much less the news. In 6th grade, I am to teach all about world cultures- countries and their government, religions and how their economy works. With CNN Student News, my kids learn a little of that each and every day. And its not just other countries…its right here at home too. My kids love to learn about what is going on and have great questions, but what has impressed me most of all, is the empathy my students have for others.
Many times the news has showed Para-Olympic athletes and my first thought was, “Oh no…please don’t let them snicker….” I know that is what so many of the kids would have done in the school I grew up in; however, not one of my students snickered or laughed or mocked. In fact, they remarked how difficult it must be to play volleyball only on your behind, and they oooooooohhhhhed and aaaaaaaahhhhed as they witnessed an athlete who had no arms shoot a bow and arrow with his feet and hit the target over 200 yards away! It was not just an amazing story in the news, but it was amazing to witness the understanding and empathy my kids have. I love how the news opens my students’ eyes to things they have never seen or imagined before.
How do I use it in my classroom?
- We watch it first thing each day using my elmo to project it from the computer.
- Students take notes from each story in their notebook (they usually need 2 pages for 5 days worth of notes), being sure to write important names down (using the red bar at the bottom). This helps them become familiar with listening and taking notes along with being able to write main ideas.
- After the news, students talk for 3 minutes about the notes they took and the stories they saw.
- On Friday, students take a CNN Student News quiz using their notes with a word bank provided (I give 20 words but only 10 are used)——- You can find the quiz on the CNN Student News Homepage and click on the Discussion box in the bottom right hand corner….the quizzes are available on Fridays.
- If students are absent, it is his or her responsibility to watch the news at home and make up their notes.
I am thinking I might make my own quiz questions… some of them seem to be really tough for my 6th graders, but even though the quiz is tough, the kids would never miss the news. I even have some students who will wake up early and watch it at home!!!! I love that THEY LOVE LEARNING!