Teacher Review For CNN Student News

Great for current events, but definitely preview before watching

Jesse D.
Classroom teacher
Desert Star
Goodyear, AZ
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My Grades 6
My Subjects Science, Social Studies
My Rating 3
Learning Scores
Engagement 5
Pedagogy 4
Support 1
My Students Liked It Yes
My Students Learned Yes
I Would Recommend It Yes
Setup Time Less than 5 minutes
Great for Further application
Knowledge gain
Student-driven work
Teacher-led lessons
Whole class
Great with Advanced learners
How I Use It
I use CNN Student News every Wednesday in my 6th grade Social Studies class. Every Wednesday we have "#WhatsUpWednesday" when we learn about current events. I start me class off with the CNN video. During the video I have my students write down 2 questions they have about something they watched and 1 fact based on the video. Students then share out their questions and we hold a class discussion based on their interests. Then I have my students, using Cromebooks, research their own current event topic and fill out a sheet that asks them to identify the "who, what, where, when, why" questions. If students cannot find a topic that interests them they can take ideas from CNN Student News. After completing their research, students are asked to write a "tweet" in which they have to summarize their article in 140 characters or less. Towards the end of the class each students reads their tweet and students vote to either favorite their peer's tweet or retweet it. If students vote to favorite a tweet this means they liked the topic, if students retweet that means they would be interested to find out more information.
My Take
CNN Student News is a great tool for introducing students to what is going on in the world around them. However, definitely make sure to preview the 10-minute video before playing it. I teach 6th grade and there have certainly been times when they discuss controversial issues in which I then had to address with my students. Additionally, some clips can be a little graphic. The content is probably designed more for high school so previewing the clip before showing it to the class will allow you to script questions that will deepen understanding.