Thursday, October 6, 2011

A Current Events Blog

I was inspired this summer during the Primary Source Institute by Mary and the blog she set up for her US History II class. This is my first year teaching American Civics and Government and I quickly learned that my most of my students have no idea what is going on with issues in our government. I decided that I want my students to be reading current events on a regular basis so I set up a current events blog. Each week every student has to find a current event article related to the American government. They must post a summary and opinion on the isssue discussed in the article. After the initial posting is done, each student must read another classmate's post and make a thoughtful comment about it. Sometimes I give the students a specific topic for the current event, but most of the time the topic is their choice. I like to see what topics they are drawn to and what their thoughts are on the issue. When I see that students are writing about the same issues, I will bring the topics up for a brief discussion in class. I can also determine which issues need some clarification. I am interested to see how their comments will evolve throughout the school year as they learn more about the American government.

I have been so pleased with the current events blog that I have started using blogging in my US History I class as well. I give them a higher order critical thinking question and the students must post a response. For example, I gave them a scenario about being a poor, low class citizen in England who has been given the opportunity to go to America. Would he/she take it? All the students post their decisions and their reasons why.

EDMODO has been a great tool for my foray into blogging. Each class gets assigned a code so this means I can set up separate blogs for all my classes. The students can only see what their classmates have written and it is easy for me to keep track of each student's contributions.


  1. Amy, thanks for sharing your experiences with a classroom blog - it sounds like you and your students are off to a great start. I hope you'll follow up later in the school year, we'd love to hear how things progress!

  2. Amy - I am thrilled that you are enjoying blogging!!! ~Mary