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Current Issues

Main Core Tie

Social Studies - 6th Grade
Standard 4 Objective 3

Time Frame

1 class periods of 30 minutes each

Group Size

Small Groups


Emily Olaya
Chanell Price


The current world today is wrought with issues that affect our students daily. This lesson is designed to introduce some of these issues.

Enduring Understanding:
Students will understand what some current issues are and how their lives are affected by these issues.

Essential Questions:
What are the pressing issues facing the world today?



  • Poster Paper
  • Markers
  • Prepared Packets may include the following:
    • Current Newspaper
    • Current Magazines
  • A Collection of Picture Books Discussing these issues. Suggested Books to use:
    • A Train Somewhere, by Eve Bunting,(poverty)
    • Fly Away from Home, by Eve Bunting(homeless)
    • The Wall, Eve Bunting(political turmoil)
    • A Day's Work, Eve Bunting (poverty, hunger, child labor)
    • Terrible Things, Eve Bunting(genocide, political turmoil)
    • Smoky Night, Eve Bunting(poverty, race)
    • One Green Apple, Eve Bunting (political turmoil)

Background for Teachers

Teachers will need to have a basic understanding of the current issues and be able to help students understand these issues on a personal level.

Student Prior Knowledge

Students will first need to understand the difference between a problem and an issue. Examples of issues are environmental, pollution, hunger etc. Examples of problems would be a car using oil vs. natural gas.

Possible Vocabulary:

  • hunger
  • environmental
  • pollution
  • political turmoil
  • poverty
  • genocide
  • famine
  • natural disasters
  • child labor

Intended Learning Outcomes

Students will investigate some of the pressing issues facing the world today.

Instructional Procedures

Before class:
Prepare 5-6 packets containing information on the following issues using current newspapers, magazines and picture books (possible suggestions are found in materials list)

Possible topics to introduce:

  • environmental
  • pollution
  • political turmoil
  • hunger
  • poverty
  • genocide
  • famine
  • natural disasters
  • child labor

Give students 2 minutes to brainstorm as many global issues that they can think of. As a class, generate a list of current issues. This is where you can clarify the difference between a problem and an issue and also see where student knowledge lies.

  1. Divide students into groups of 4-5 students each.
  2. Pass out Current Issues Worksheet
  3. Assign each group an issue to learn about using the attached worksheet to guide them.
  4. Have each group create a poster talking about their issue. (As a teacher you can decide if you want the poster to be a fast reproduction or a project that students take their time on.)
  5. After finishing posters, have students present them to the class or in small groups.
  6. Have students then write down how these issues can affect their lives.


As a class decide an issue that your class can focus on and create a service learning project that your class can complete together.

Assessment Plan

  • Posters
  • Writing Assignment

Created: 06/26/2009
Updated: 02/05/2018