Skip to main content
teaching current events

Three Current Events Topics Your Students Want To Talk About

October 6, 2023 | 1 comment

Three Current Events Topics Your Students Want To Talk About

Rising temperatures and forest fires, growing numbers of migrants, and emerging challenges with social media have populated headlines in 2023. Your students want to learn more about the issues.


Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Pinterest
Share On LinkedIn

When I was growing up, social studies, particularly current events and history, were topics I was hyper-fixated on and always interested in. When I started to have open access to online news in middle school (yes, I am dating myself), I would spend my lunch periods in the library’s computer lab scouring what was happening across the world. I always loved knowing what made the world go round, and was particularly keen on what was happening throughout the big beautiful world of ours.

Although I think current events are particularly interesting and cool, that’s not a blanket statement for all students; and teaching current events helps students develop the knowledge, skills and perspective they need to navigate our interconnected world—making important connections between the past and present. And working with our partners at CFR Education (from the Council on Foreign Relations), we’re collaborating on ways to get students excited about the world around them, helping them with resources and activities that:

  • Provide historical background and geographical awareness;
  • Help them harness inquiry-based and critical thinking skills; and
  • Assist with understanding a range of perspectives and the relevance of various points of view.

We think the following three topics are of paramount importance to students in today’s classroom. Check out these collections, lessons and blogs about issues that are dominating the headlines: climate change, migration and social media. And make sure to read to the end to learn how to join us for a live #SSChat conversation about teaching the headlines, co-hosted by Share My Lesson and our partners at CFR Education.

Climate Change

Students are very interested in this topic for one big reason—it directly impacts their future and the world they will inherit. Enthusiasm and a desire for creating positive change to ensure a sustainable and healthy planet for generations to come has been a core focus of many Generation Z activists and students. To get you started, we’ve listed resources below that cover climate change and sustainability lesson plans, resources, professional development and more from both Share My Lesson and CFR Education.


Our world is made of thousands of threads of histories, cultures, art and music, and weave a living tapestry of the human experience that shapes our globalized society. And while Gen Z is often credited with having strong empathy and a dynamic global perspective, many teachers note the need to emphasize the importance of migration basics because some students have yet to grasp how migration influences culture, politics, and the economy at home and abroad.

Educating students about migration in classrooms and at home is crucial because students are either directly impacted by it—whether they’re migrants or living in communities with increasing immigrant populations—or they're interested in the general concept. And with migration constantly in the spotlight, it’s more relevant than ever for students to understand the reasons, dynamics and implications of global migration. Understanding this helps students deepen their grasp of global events, economic trends and the interconnected narratives that unite us all.

Check out the following resources to get some ideas on how to break down the foundations of migration for your students and incorporate stories of migration, bravery and resilience in your lesson planning.

Social Media

Students are drawn to social media because it offers a platform for self-expression, connection with peers, and real-time engagement with global events and trends. However, it's crucial for them to understand the drawbacks of overexposure; excessive use can lead to feelings of inadequacy, social isolation and heightened anxiety. Recognizing the potential negative impacts on mental health allows students to navigate the digital realm more mindfully, balancing its benefits with its challenges.

The ubiquity of social media also raises serious privacy concerns; personal information can be exploited or misused, sometimes even inadvertently shared, leading to potential threats to an individual's safety. National security is also at stake, as platforms can be used for misinformation campaigns, radicalization, or other malicious intentions that can destabilize democracies. Incorporating these concepts into a high school curriculum not only educates students about responsible online behavior but also equips them with the critical thinking skills needed to discern fact from fiction and safeguard their personal and digital identities.

Join Our #SSChat on Teaching the Headlines

So whether you're a social studies teacher, a parent, or any kind of educator, why don’t you hop on Twitter (oops, I mean X), and join us for a conversation on what makes our students get excited about current events and the biggest issues happening that get our students excited?

Join us on Monday, Oct. 16, from 8 to 9 p.m. EDT, and be sure to follow Share My Lesson and our partners at CFR Education (from the Council on Foreign Relations) for what’s sure to be a lively hour of conversation.

Andy Kratochvil
Andy Kratochvil is an SML team member who loves hiking, video games, scary books, Mexican food, and finding great content for the Share My Lesson community. He studied political science and French at California State University, Fullerton and received his Master’s in International Affairs from... See More

Post a comment

Log in or sign up to post a comment.
Eric Civault
Eric Civault October 9, 2023, 8:56 am

I think the first current event topic that students want to talk about is social media. Nowadays, the youth are addicted to the use of social media platforms. They use them to express their feelings and opinions to others, but sometimes they can be harmful if not used correctly.