Updated August 2014

KQED: The Lowdown

Top-notch news resources help students understand, get involved

Subjects & skills
  • English Language Arts
  • Social Studies

  • Communication & Collaboration
  • Critical Thinking
Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
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Teachers say (3 Reviews)

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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
Kirsten S. , Principal/head of school
Principal/head of school
Looking for text sets? Look no further. Provides text sets including multimedia on current events.
I wish student could see a "behind the scenes" look at how these sources are found. How do they get them all? How does the journalist write the articles? How do they evaluate the different multimedia resources before publishing them? This might be an interesting look at how analyzing and combining multiple texts is not just something you do at school, but in real life, too.
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