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Tools of The Trade: Student-Friendly News Sources

by Kelly Virgin

I recently gave my high school students a twenty-five question formative current events quiz with names such as Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and Keith Lamont Scott, terms such as Republican, Libertarian, and Pipeline, and places such as Syria, North Carolina, and Brazil. I asked students to match the names, terms, and places with the reasons they were recently featured in the news. On average, students scored a seven out of twenty-five, with some students scoring as low as a one or a two out of twenty-five. This quiz led to self-reflection and an insightful discussion about the importance of knowing what is going on in the world around us.

In their most recent book, Reading Nonfiction: Notice & Note Stances, Signposts, and Strategies, Kylene Beers and Robert Probst insist, “Far more important than the ability to capture the teacher’s information and thoughts is the ability to acquire information on ones’ own, to test ideas against one another, and to decide for one’s self what notions have merit and which should be rejected or abandoned” (32). It was clear from my students’ quiz results that they needed more opportunities to practice the acquisition of information on their own. Read more