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4 Easy Steps to Teach Current Events Right

By Lily Iatridis  October 2, 2015
water on marsDid you hear the news? There’s water on Mars! Now there’s an awesome current event for you and the kids to study!

Current events make terrific cross curricular projects, and they've got the relevancy factor.

It’s something happening in the here and now, not several hundred years in the past!

By doing activities on the discovery of water on Mars, you cover science, reading, writing, and critical thinking skills, if not more.

Follow these four steps, and your coverage of an important current event will be complete.

1) First, start off with official reports from a reliable source and get the 5Ws and 1H: who, what, when, where, why, and how. Here’s a link to the NASA report:
https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-confirms-evidence-that-liquid-water-flows-on-today-s-mars

2) Next, learn background information on the event, also from a reliable source. For more on Mars exploration go to http://www.nasa.gov/ and enter “Mars exploration” in the search box. You’ll find out all you need to know!

3) Then, review a variety of news sources to see how they’re reporting on the event. Different news sources may have different perspectives. By looking at a variety of news sources, you may make some interesting observations and be able to see how it’s possible to give a very different report on an event without actually straying from the facts. This is important to critical thinking skills development!

Below are links to the article on the Mars water discovery from different newspapers around the country and the world.

Dallas Morning News
http://www.dallasnews.com/news/local-news/20150928-do-signs-of-water-equal-signs-of-life-on-mars.ece

Wall Street Journal
http://www.wsj.com/articles/trickles-of-salt-water-may-flow-on-mars-1443452400

New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/29/science/space/mars-life-liquid-water.html?_r=0

Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2015/09/28/new-evidence-of-liquid-water-on-mars-confirmed-by-nasa/

Los Angeles Times
http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-briny-liquid-water-on-mars-20150926-story.html

The Guardian (England)
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/sep/29/the-guardian-view-on-the-discovery-of-liquid-water-on-mars-cause-for-great-celebration

The Australian
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nasa-announces-discovery-of-flowing-water-on-mars/story-e6frg6n6-1227548255082

4) Finally, engage in a follow up activity with the kids. For younger kids, visit NASA’s website for a “Mars Adventure” at http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/mars-adventure/en/.

With older kids, go see the film “The Martian." It’s about an astronaut left behind on Mars who has to rely on his science knowledge to survive. The release of a Martian star-studded film and the discovery of water on Mars within the same week is too good of a coincidence to pass up!
If your kids are taking the SAT this fall, no worries! The changes to the test aren’t coming until March 2016.



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