Updated August 2014

KQED: The Lowdown

Top-notch news resources help students understand, get involved

Subjects & skills
  • Communication & Collaboration
  • Critical Thinking

  • English Language Arts
  • Social Studies
Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
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The Lowdown, part of KQED News, is a gold mine for teachers looking to integrate current events into their curriculum. The site offers multimedia resources to help students explore and understand complex -- and important -- current events. What's more, most of the content here helps students make important connections between the past and their world today. Because The Lowdown is easy to navigate, teachers can quickly find content to supplement a variety of social studies or ELA topics.

For example, teachers could use the Minimum Wage Interactive Explainer during a unit on the Depression. The Words of Warcraft piece would be valuable to enhance any discussion of rhetorical devices in persuasive speeches. There is also a By the Numbers section that uses interactive charts and graphs to demonstrate how math is important in the news. Although the resources vary from topic to topic, many are Common Core aligned and include blog articles, an educator guide or discussion questions, and some type of multimedia resource.


  • Minimum Wage Blues
  • Gun Control
  • Immigration Reform
  • The Facebook Effect

Editor's note: There have been syndication partnerships between the Common Sense Education blog and KQED's The Lowdown. However, Common Sense Education's reviews maintain editorial integrity and independence.

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Teacher Reviews

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Featured review by
Ann K. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Old Dominion University
Norfolk, VA
Great way to incorporate news & current events into the ESL classroom. My students typically know very little of US current events, and this website has proven to be useful for doing just that in a more interactive way. The multimedia addition is great!

I think that this resource is excellent, so I really can't think of anything negative. My only suggestion is for more resources, but I suppose that is selfish.

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