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Global Issues using primary sources

Main Core Tie

Social Studies - 6th Grade
Standard 4 Objective 2

Time Frame

1 class periods of 45 minutes each

Group Size

Large Groups


Emily Olaya


Global issues today can best be understood by studying the newspaper, the source that carries our current information. This lesson is to introduce students to how to use newspapers to understand what is currently happening in the world today.

Enduring Understanding: Students will understand current global issues.

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



  • 1-2-3 Special for each student
  • pencil or pen
  • newspapers- can be found digitally through and printed. Can also order newspapers for free through the website or by contacting the Desert News.

Background for Teachers

Know what the current issues are to help guide students in their reading. A few examples are: hunger, famine, genocide, child labor, pollution, poverty, political turmoil, and natural disasters.

Students will use skimming and scanning for this assignment. Scanning is like a copier or scanner that scans the document quickly. Students who are scanning should let their eyes scan the page looking for bold writing, colors, pictures, titles, and main ideas that are easily evident from looking across the page for a few seconds.

Skimming is letting the eyes go across the page from right to left looking for smaller clues but still not reading every word. An example is reading the first sentence in every paragraph to understand the "gist" or main idea of the text.

Student Prior Knowledge

Ask students what some of the current global issues that exist today. Make a list as a class.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Students will skim and scan newspapers to find current world issues. Students will determine importance of global issues to decide which ones are the most pressing in the world today.

Instructional Procedures

  1. Give each student a newspaper and talk about how to skim and scan looking for main ideas. This is a skill that could be previously taught with another text as well.
  2. Give each student a 1-2-3 Special worksheet and instruct them to fold on the first dashed line below Phase 1. This is so that students are only focusing on phase 1 and not trying to read or complete the rest of the worksheet.
  3. Give students 5-10 minutes to skim and scan their section of the newspaper looking for global issues. Students should find three issues and write them in Phase 1 of the worksheet. They can be a few words or a sentence.
  4. Next, have students unfold the paper and fold on the next dashed line below Phase 2. Assign students to groups of 3 where they will share their important ideas with each other. As they share, students will write the ideas of the other 2 students in the group in Phase 2 of their worksheet.
  5. Next, have students unfold the paper and fold on the next dashed line below Phase 3. In the same group, they will view the 9 important reasons (Phase 1 and 2) and choose the top three issues facing the world.
  6. Students return to their seats and unfold their paper to view the bottom section.
  7. Assign them to a different group of 3 and have them repeat steps 4-5, writing their final top three important issues on the back of the paper.
  8. Students return to their seats. Make a class list of the top issues facing the world today, according to the newspaper.
  9. This lesson is not all-inclusive of the many global issues, but students should be able to come up with a few of the main ideas. Walk around the room as they are working and direct them as needed.
  10. Give students a piece of paper and ask them to summarize the issues facing the world today.

Assessment Plan

Summary of the current global issues

Created: 06/26/2009
Updated: 02/04/2018