Teaching with Current Events

By Peralta, Andrew | Childhood Education, Winter 2005 | Go to article overview

Teaching with Current Events


Peralta, Andrew, Childhood Education


This year, as I stepped into my classroom for my first full week of classes, I felt ready to go. I had all the math assignments, the reading curriculum was all set, and the rest of my planning was finished through October. After hanging onto my sanity during my first year of teaching, being prepared this far in advance was a relaxing feeling. Little did I know that this feeling wouldn't last. Three days into the school year, Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast. I watched with the rest of America as our fellow citizens and friends waded through one the worst disasters to hit the country.

My students came into the classroom the following day, asking a million questions about the storm. What happens to the people who didn't leave? Who is going to save the pets? Why is the city built below sea level? What is making those people steal? With an event this big, I expected many of these questions. All of my students are naturally curious and seek answers, but what really hit me were the rumors and false stories that were brought into the classroom. These stories and rumors forced me to change all of my plans. For the next two weeks, I changed everything to teach the hurricane. …

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