Global Updates From World View
March 2011

Using Media
Teaching Current Events

Why Teach Current Events?

Current events…

Cover a wide range of subjects, connect to all areas of the curriculum, and help teachers teach media literacy skills.

Build language, vocabulary, reading comprehension, critical thinking, and problem solving skills. Teaching the news offers ideal opportunities for cooperative-group instruction, classroom discussions, and debates.

Develop informed citizens. Studying current events helps students understand the importance of people, events, and issues in the world and stimulates students to explore and learn more about the world.

(From, read more a

Schools across North Carolina are buzzing with the phrases 21st century learning, media literacy, and student success in a global-digital-changing-world. Teaching current events is an integral part of making these buzz words a reality in your classroom and school, and encouraging investigation into local and global communities can be effective in all subject levels and across the curriculum. By applying critical thinking skills to current events in all types of media, students can develop a multi-layered understanding of the world in which they live and strengthen their abilities to make critical, thoughtful decisions about the present and the future. This issue of Global Updates provides information and resources for teaching current events and media literacy skills.

A special thank you to World View's Leslie Hodges for authoring this month's Global Update!

Understanding Media Literacy

Integrating current events is an important aspect of curriculum relevancy to students, and so is the inclusion of a variety of current events that reflect diversity in backgrounds and perspectives. Media Literacy is the ability to access, analyze, evaluate and create media in a variety of forms. The internet has opened the door to finding resources of all different mediums with multiple perspectives. Ask your students if they agree with the view points presented and why or why not? Help your student develop a true global perspective.

The Center for Media Literacy lists five essential questions that help students critically understanding and process information from any type of media. These questions also help students determine the reliability and value of different media.


1. Who sent this message? Every type of media has a creator or author. Where did this piece of media come from, is the source authentic, and why might the person who created it want to share this particular message? Is this message being sent by a large or small company, an organization with a political agenda, or an individual?

2. What techniques are used to attract my attention?
Connect to your students who are interested in the arts, especially graphic arts.


3. How might other people understanding this message?
Help students consider the media from different lenses and angles. How might this message be interpreted by someone younger, older, and/or by people in different places around the world? 

4. What values are represented or omitted from this message? Talk about what feelings are behind different media and messages. Encourage your students to think about what events are happening locally or globally that might affect the tone of the message.


5. Why was this message sent? What is the ultimate purpose and intention of this message? Has this message achieved its intended

March 14, 2011
Media Literacy Question of the Day:

What images and video from the Japanese earthquake and tsunami do you think will stick out in your mind? Why do you think that these videos and images were used in the program?

Media Literacy Question of the Day
Each day CNN Student News posts a media literacy question of the day. This question is designed to help students examine media messages and their delivery. The questions are designed to promote critical thinking and are written for middle and high school students, but they can easily be adapted for upper elementary school classes.

Media Literacy Resources from PBS Teachers
How do you help your students succeed in a media-filled world? Do they know how media is created? Can they analyze the messages that inform, entertain, and sell to us everyday? Have they created their own media messages? Take the PBS Media Literacy Quiz and find links to organizations, research, PBS resources, and activity ideas.

Resources for Using Media and Teaching Current Events

25 Great Ideas for Teaching Current Events
What can be done to raise students' interest in and awareness of the stories making the headlines? Education World offers 25 activities intended to help teachers make use of newspapers and to help students make sense of the news. Also included is a list of additional activities and Internet resources.

100 Ways to Use the Newspaper
This site provides examples by grade level and subject for using media to enhance curriculum.

Choices curricula are designed to make complex international issues understandable and meaningful for students. The website features a special section devoted to teaching with the news.

CNN Student News
CNN Student News is a ten-minute, commercial-free, daily news program for middle and high school students produced by the journalists and educators at CNN. CNN Student News provides teacher materials including daily transcripts for each show, daily discussion questions, the Media Literacy Question of the Day, in-depth learning activities, downloadable maps and additional support materials to help students understand the news.

C-SPAN Classroom
C-SPAN Classroom offers videos and news clips that help all teachers and students better understand our national government and current political events. Video tutorials help educators effectively use C-SPAN’s Constitution Clips, the digital library, and provide strategies for using C-SPAN as a debate starter and for classroom simulations.
Curriki is an online environment created to support the development and free distribution of world-class educational materials. Search for resources by grade, subject, or type. Special collections provide resources for teaching about current events, such as protests in Egypt.

Facing History and Ourselves
Facing History and Ourselves helps classrooms link the past to moral choices today by providing tools for teaching tolerance and diversity to improve students' academic performance and civic learning. Tools include resource collections on different themes and topics, lesson and unit plans, teaching strategies, online modules, video clips, and more.

The Learning Network
Every weekday The Learning Network offers new educational resources based on the articles, photographs, videos, illustrations, podcasts and graphics published in The New York Times. Lessons can be used across subject areas and levels.

Link TV
Link TV broadcasts programs that engage, educate, and activate viewers to become involved in the world. These programs provide a unique perspective on international news, current events, and diverse cultures, presenting issues not often covered in the U.S. media.   
Through a special agreement with more than 800 newspapers, Newseum displays front pages from across the globe each day on its website. Newseum offers lesson plans for teachers in three main areas: headlines of history, journalism, and the First Amendment.

One Article a Day

About Face International (AFI) is a non-profit organization that fosters ideas of change by promoting discussion of current-events in schools and communities. AFI also invests in youth social entrepreneurs and philanthropists who want to make a difference. Through One Article a Day, educators can have current events articles emailed to them daily, along with resources and support for using them in their classrooms and curriculum. Read AFI’s Methods for Teaching Current Events.

PBS Teachers
PBS Teachers provides classroom materials suitable for a wide range of subjects and grade levels, including thousands of lesson plans, teaching activities, on-demand video assets, and interactive games and simulations. These resources are correlated to state and national educational standards and are tied to PBS' award-winning on-air and online programming.

For resources specific to current events, connect to
NOW classroom
Frontline World for educators
or search for current event lesson plans

Scholastic News Online
Scholastic news online provides news for kids, as well as teacher tools and
lesson plans. provides links to thousands of news sources covering many countries and many subjects. All listed sites are in English and provide free online content.

Get the News The BBC is the largest broadcasting organization in the world. Its mission is to enrich people's lives with programs that inform, educate and entertain. BBC News ( offers current events, special reports, and has individual pages and information for all countries of the world. is among the leaders in online news and information delivery. features the latest multimedia technologies, from live video streaming to audio packages, to searchable archives of news features and background information. Sign up for The Daily Education Alert to receive information on the major stories being covered daily on CNN Student News.

The Economist. The Economist online offers authoritative insight and opinion on international news, politics, business, finance, science, and technology. All articles from The Economist print editions are published online and searchable. The Economist online also offers blogs, debates and audio/video programs. Register for newsletters and e-mail alerts at

The Guardian. Get a free daily snapshot of the top news stories sent to your inbox by this London-based newspaper. Once registered, users can choose from a number of email services including: news, education, global development, and the environment. To register visit

Foreign Policy Magazine. FP Magazine is a free, daily online magazine. FP Online draws on the world’s leading journalists, thinkers, and professionals to analyze the most significant international trends and events, without regard to ideology or political bias. Create an online account and receive daily newsletters by registering at

The New York Times. Free e-mail delivery of NY Times Global Edition Headlines! Combing the international reporting of The New York Times and the International Herald Tribune, the Global Edition provides readers with a 24/7 flow of geopolitical, business, sports, and fashion coverage from a distinctly global perspective. Sign up today to have the NY Times Global Edition Headlines emailed daily to your inbox:

The Washington Post.  Register for free access to all of the latest news. Registered users can sign up for emailed newsletters and alerts.

Current Events in The Middle East and North Africa Resources

The following websites offer current event coverage and country information on the Middle East and North Africa.
Where is the Middle East? from the Carolina Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations

Middle East Protests: A Country-by-Country Look,

The Middle East,

Mid-East and Arab Unrest,

Revolution in the Arab World,

The Middle East Channel,

Current Conflicts, The World Affairs Network Blog,

Resources for Teaching the Middle East
Bodman Collection of Middle Eastern and Islamic World Films. The Bodman film collection at UNC-Chapel Hill is the largest compilation of films on the Muslim world in North America, and perhaps in the English-speaking world. For more information on this collection, borrowing a film, and associated rental fees, please contact the Media Resources Center (

Choices. Choices curriculum makes complex international issues understandable and meaningful. Using a student-centered approach, Choices units develop critical thinking and an understanding of the significance of history in our lives today. Middle East curriculum units include background readings, primary sources, a framework of policy options, student-centered lesson plans, and a role-play exercise that encourages students to apply their knowledge. Units of interest include: Egypt’s Uprising and Teaching with the

Globalization101. is an Internet resource offered by the Levin Institute to promote a greater understanding of globalization. provides information and interdisciplinary learning opportunities. The goal is to challenge thinking about many of the controversies surrounding globalization and to promote an understanding of the trade-offs and dilemmas facing policy-makers. For information related specifically to conflict in the Middle East and North Africa go to

GPS Challenge. How well do you know what's going on in the world this week? Take the Fareed Zakaria GPS Challenge, updated weekly, to test your knowledge (or your students' knowledge) about what's happening in the Middle East, North Africa, and the world today!

Middle East Desk. Middle East Desk is a gateway to informed, engaged analysis and commentary on the most important stories from the Middle East and North Africa. Each country page features datebooks of newsworthy events; contact information for country specialists; a brief synopsis of the country’s recent history and pressing issues in its current affairs; almanac-style data; and links to background articles from the Middle East

The Middle East Research and Information Project (MERIP) and Middle East Report . MERIP is a non-governmental organization producing the Middle East Report.  This magazine provides news and perspectives about the Middle East not available from mainstream news sources. The magazine has developed a reputation for independent analysis of events and developments in the Middle East.

Perry-Castaneda Library Collection. The PCL Collection is a general collection of more than 250,000 maps covering all areas of the world. On the main page view maps of current interest, highlighting Libya and North Africa. Users also can select a region of the world (Middle East) to see contemporary and historical maps.

The Learning Network. The Learning Network provides teaching and learning materials and ideas based on New York Times content focused on the Middle East.
The Basics: Understanding the Upheaval in the Middle East
Ways to Teach about the Unrest in Egypt, the Learning Network, from the New York Times

World View Resources.
Visit the World View website for resources on teaching about all regions of the world, follow this link for Middle East resources: or an archived Global Updates focusing on Middle East teaching Resources.

Do you have information to share?

Do you have information that you would like to share with other educators across the state? You are welcome to submit interesting global education programs that are going on in your schools, announcements about global education seminars, new resources that others might find interesting, etc. Please email Julie at with your "update-worthy" items!

Reader Mailbag

If you have comments about any of the information contained in the Global Update, send us an email! Perhaps your comments will appear here in this new section of the Global Update.

World View at UNC-Chapel Hill provides information, resources, and announcements for educational purposes only. It does not represent an endorsement of organizations or point of view by World View or The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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March 22 - 24, 2011

Latin America and North Carolina
March 22-23, 2011 (1 1/2 days)
co-sponsored by the Consortium in Latin American and Caribbean studies at UNC and Duke

Understanding Russia and Its Neighbors

March 23-24, 2011 (1 1/2 days)
co-sponsored by the Center for Slavic, Eurasian, and East European Studies

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Cost: $175 per person per seminar, or $325 for both seminars. A team of 4 is $600 (save $100 per seminar). A team is comprised of 4 or more individuals from a school, college, or district. Only $150 for each additional team member per seminar. For more information please call 919/962-9264 or visit

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World View has extended the application deadline! Join us this summer to learn first-hand about the culture, ecology, and education systems of Costa Rica. Your worldview will never be the same! The itinerary includes school visits, ecological excursions (waterfalls, volcano, rainforest, coastal attractions), Spanish language classes, community service projects, Costa Rican cooking, Latin dance instruction, and more!

Estimated Trip Cost: $2,000
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March 31 - May 11

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This 6-week online course immerses teachers and school administrators from all disciplines and grade levels in an intensive exploration of the rapid global changes in government, economics, environment and health, culture, and technology impacting our schools and communities, our country, and the planet. The goal of the course is to help K-12 educators become aware of the effects of globalization.

Registration for the Online Globalization Course is $275 per NC educator, but only $225 for World View Partners.

For more information or to register go to:

The European Union and the Euro: A Workshop for K-12 Educators

MAY 12-13, 2011
FedEx Global Ed Center,
UNC at Chapel Hill

Co-sponsored by World View and the
UNC EU Center of Excellence

Join colleagues for a 1½ day workshop designed to help North Carolina K-12 teachers better understand our interconnected world by learning more about the European Union.  This workshop will include presentations by EU scholars on the European Union and the Euro currency. Resources that use technology to enhance content and better integrate the EU in the school's curriculum will be provided. One CEU will be offered.

Session highlights:
The State of the EU
The Euro Currency
EU Classroom Resources
Euro Challenge Spotlight

Cost: $50 per person (includes hotel accommodations on May 12 for participants traveling from outside the Triangle and lunch for all on May 13)

Space is limited. Register today!

Global American South Conference
Saturday, March 19, 9:00 AM - 6:30 PM
FedEx Global Education Center
UNC at Chapel Hill

The Global American South Conference examines globalization in the Southern United States.  Gavin Wright will give the Chandler Lecture keynote address: "Sharing the Prize: The Civil Rights Revolution and the Southern Economy."  Other topics include global migration in a 21st century economy; the confluence of poverty, economic development, and politics in the South; and the role of community colleges in retooling for growth and adaptation.  Registration is free and lunch is provided along with a reception following the keynote.

On March 11th Japan suffered a devastating 9.0 magnitude earthquake that triggered a series of unfortunate events including mass destruction and loss of life, tsunamis, reaching as far as the US pacific coast, and threats of nuclear reactor meltdowns. As of March 15th, over 2,700 deaths have been reported and thousands more are still missing. The list below gives just a few websites with resources to help your students better understand this tragic event. There is also a list of agencies involved in the relief efforts.

Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Maps and Japan Nuclear Power Plant Maps,

Interactive Japan Earthquake Map from The Guardian,

Before and After Aerial Photographs,

The Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan, Learning Network Blog,

Earthquakes, BBC Learning Teacher Resources,

Earthquake, Tsunami Strike Japan, Scholastic News Online,

Earthquake in Japan, World News,

Featured Classroom Resources, PBS Teacher,

Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, CNN Student News Special Edition,

Live: Latest BBC Coverage of Japan Earthquake,

HOW TO HELP - Relief agencies helping Japan:
American Red Cross
Architecture For Humanity
Catholic Relief
Direct Relief International
Doctors Without Borders
International Medical Corps
International Relief Teams
Mercy Corps
Operation USA
Oxfam America
Salvation Army
Save the Children
World Vision

From The New York Times see:
Japan Earthquake and Tsunami: How to Help

Image Credit: U.S. Geological Survey
Department of the Interior/USGS


APRIL 22, 2011


It’s never too early to start thinking how you will incorporate Earth Day themes into your spring curriculum. Earth Day represents a common day around the world to raise awareness for environmental issues, including policies and programs to protect our Earth and its resources. 

Earth Day Network
Earth Day’s coordinating agency, the Earth Day Network has chosen A Billion Acts of Green® as the theme for Earth Day 2011. A Billion Acts of Green – the largest environmental service campaign in the world–inspires and rewards simple individual acts and larger organizational initiatives that further the goal of measurably reducing carbon emissions and supporting sustainability. The goal is to register one billion actions in advance of the global Earth Summit in Rio in 2012. Earth Day Network’s, Ning social networking site ( ) is for those interested in strategizing together around their plans for Earth Day in a atmosphere of support, discussion, and debate.

Additional Resources for Teachers and Kids
DisneyNature Earth and Oceans Teacher Resources:

Earth Day: Cleaning up our Planet:

Eco Kids:

Edutopia Think Green, A Resource Guide for Green Projects:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Earth Day Site:

EPA Teaching Resources Page:

EPA Environmental Kids Club:

EU Commission - Environment:

LEARN NC, Carolina Environmental Diversity Explorations Carolina:
Environmental Diversity Explorations are virtual field trips to areas characterized by both beautiful scenery and useful lessons about North Carolina’s environment.

Scholastic Earth Day Resources:

Teacher Planet Earth Day Resources:

Tunza :