Researching Current Events {Free Printable}

It’s important for our kids to be aware of what is going on in the world. Researching current events is a great way for kids to connect with their community and learn to stay informed.

During the school year, each of my kids are assigned to write weekly current event reports. I want them to know what is going on in the news, and how to gather information from different sources to form their own opinions. That feels increasingly challenging with political tensions and civil unrest.

The assignment is a bit different for my high school boys compared to my middle school daughter. I expect my high school students to do more research on a subject to form their own opinion, as opposed to accepting the opinion of a single news outlet. With last year’s highly publicized incident regarding the Covington kids’ confrontation at the Lincoln Memorial, my son came to understand the importance of considering multiple sources.

Current Events

High School Weekly Assignment:

  • Choose a top news topic.
  • Read a minimum of three articles on the topic from different news sources.
  • Write a report and be prepared to discuss your findings and opinions.

High School Written Report Should Include:

  • The topic of chosen news articles.
  • The date or time period of the news. Is it current, old, or ongoing?
  • News sources used.
  • A summary of the main points.
  • How the news sources agreed or disagreed over main points.
  • The significance of the topic.
  • What opinion have you formed regarding the topic?

My daughter will have a more gentle view of news and stories that are not as politically driven. I will view the standard news site with her to choose a topic. She has always enjoyed youth sites that are less about current events, and more about the news of her interests. For example, she found a fascinating article last year about a rarely seen wild cat in Africa. Her reports this year will alternate between current events and interest-driven news reports. She is using News Report and Current Event forms to document her findings as she transitions into writing longer reports.

Current Events

Click on the links if you would like to use either form for your students.

<<<News Report>>>

<<<Current Event>>>

Middle School Weekly Assignment and Report:

  • Find a news topic.
  • Read one or more articles on the topic.
  • Complete a News Report or Current Event form. Be prepared to discuss your findings and opinions.

Standard Current News Sources with Free Access:

  • CNN-10 – is a 10-minute news show. It replaced CNN Student News.
  • CBN News – provides news from a Christian perspective.
  • The Blaze – as one of the nation’s largest independent media companies, it offers pro-America and pro-free speech programming.
  • Student News Daily– offers daily news stories with critical thinking questions. It does cite meeting common core requirements for those that find that important.
  • PBS News Hour Extra – has a mission of providing current news to middle and high school students and teachers. They also offer educational resources.
  • Knowhere News – is new to us this year. They boast of reporting straight facts, and not opinions, for critical thinkers.

News Sources for Younger Students:

  • WORLDkids – states they are a Christian current events program for children 7-10. It’s fun for older kids looking for short articles too. They also offer WORLDteen which we’ve only recently learned about and have not yet explored. There is a login option, but we’ve had no problem viewing articles without an acccount.
  • DOGONews – wants to provide kids with safe online access. Available news articles cover current events, science, and social studies. They have a paid membership option for additional materials.
  • ScienceNewsforStudents – is new to us this year. They state they are dedicated to providing age-appropriate science news to students, parents, and educators. In our initial use, we have found intriguing science news.

There are additional student news sites available for a membership fee. Be sure to preview any sites you allow your kids to access.

Researching news and current events are great ways to get kids engaged in their community and world. Use my News Report or Current Event forms to help get your kids started. If you already write current event reports, please leave a comment if you have any favorite news websites.

October Homeschool Round UP {Homeschool Collection}

6 Comments

  1. Do you allow your high schoolers to choose the sources they research from? Just curious as that is something I myself struggle with. My girls and I (2 are high schoolers) often talk about which sources are better than others and how you tell just from search results. This is definitely an increasingly important skill for students to learn and I like the way you are approaching it.

    1. Lori, that is a great question, and I’ve struggled with it too. I approach it a little differently for each of my kids. The oldest has a strong interest and opinion in political issues. I want him to see various perspectives on how a topic is reported. He’s a natural debater and needs to research the facts. He does do some searching beyond the links I’ve listed, but he usually sticks to the list. My other HS son is a freshman, and he sticks to the links. I have them bookmarked. We definitely have sources we prefer, and those we feel are more credible than others.

  2. When I was in a school in Vermont, we all had to due an oral report on current events. The teacher would give each child a different topic – local, state, national, or world. We just moved to this area and this was very new to me. The first quarter I got a F–the first time ever I failed a class. It was horrible. Eventually, I figured out how to read an article and summarize it to share the information. This is a good skill!

    1. I’m so encouraged by your story. I think it’s an important skill too. Sorry about your “F” though. 😉

  3. Great ideas! This is so important for our teens, especially in today’s culture. We enjoy WorldTeen and WorldKids articles as well. There are some other sites listed I had not heard of. I will check them out.

    1. I included sites that will often have opposing views, so definitely preview them. I think it’s important for teens to see how the news is presented differently from different sources, so they see how important it is to do the research.

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