Choose Your Own Current Event Activity with PBS!

Thursday, April 9, 2020

   Afghan soldiers stand outside the Bagram jail outside of Kabul.

Choose Your Own Current Event Activity with PBS!

Read the news summary, watch the two-minute PBS NewsHour news summary (April 8) and complete the activity below. [Note that this summary does not include the top coronavirus news of the day; see individual segments on those stories in the current events activity below.]

Teacher’s note: If you are making plans for distant learning, take a look at our list of PBS resources that covers a variety of subjects for middle and high school students. 



Choose Your Own Current Event Activity: News Summary

  • Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced Americans will start receiving direct deposits of COVID-19 aid next week. He also pressed Congress to add $250 billion to the Payroll Protection Program for small businesses so that they can pay their employees during the shut down.
  • In Afghanistan, the government freed 100 Taliban prisoners today, and said that it was part of an agreement between the insurgents and the U.S.
  • A truck driver pled guilty in the deaths last year of 39 migrants found in a truck in England. Maurice Robinson entered a plea to manslaughter. His refrigerated truck was discovered outside London last October. Police found the bodies of Vietnamese migrants, who died of lack of oxygen and overheating. Police believe traffickers smuggled them into England.
  • The Vatican has named a new commission today to consider whether to ordain women as Roman Catholic deacons. Pope Francis created the panel, as the church faces a shortage of priests. Deacons are allowed to preside at weddings, baptisms and funerals, but not to perform mass.
  • A central figure in the impeachment of President Bill Clinton, Linda Tripp, died April 8 at the age 0f 70. Tripp secretly recorded Monica Lewinsky discussing sexual encounters with the president that led to his impeachment, but he was acquitted by the Senate.

Choose Your Own Current Event Activity: Instructions

1. After watching the news summary, which news story would you be most likely to share with a family member? How about a friend? Why does the topic of news often come up in conversation with friends or family? Why might it be useful to talk about the news with another person?

2. Choose your own current event! Watch one of the segments from the list below that catches your eye. Putting your media literacy skills to use, which piece did you choose and why? What did you learn? Who was interviewed in the story? Who would you like to have heard from? If you have questions following the piece, what next steps could you take? If time, share your responses with a partner or your class.\


Choose Your Own Current Event Activity Panel


Choose Your Own Current Event Activity Panel


Choose Your Own Current Event Activity: Extention Activity Ideas

  1. Super Civics 2020 election activity: Read Will it ever be possible to get out the youth vote?, watch the accompanying PBS Student Reporting Labs teen-produced videos and answer the discussion questions.
  2. Music education: Have your students tag their music videos using #SongsOfComfort and @NewsHourFind out more about how to participate in this Extra Daily News Story: Yo-Yo Ma provides comfort in a time of crisis

This article was originally published by PBS NewsHour Extra and can be found here.