Current events take on new meaning when quality Internet resources are available. Think about helping students delve deeply into reports about countries, and consider helping Fellow teachers craft projects that incorporate questions such as Which country is the most suitable for the sports I enjoy or my favorite extracurricular activity? or What is the impact of a new scientific discovery? Here you will find a range of options for students or most ages.
SingingFish, www.singingfish.com, is a search engine devoted solely to audio and video sources. Search options can be limited to mp3, Real, Windows, and QuickTime media players. The simple interface allows for easy user control of categories and media. Standard search strategies for phrases and other Boolean options work here as well. In addition, a family filter option helps to provide age-appropriate resources as results. The help Feature does a nice job of explaining search strategies and copyright issues. This site works well for middle school and high school students searching for current events materials.
Looking for a current events site useful for elementary students? Remember to check out the news link at Yahooligans! http://yahooligans.yahoo.com/content/news/. Students will find slideshows with stunning visuals of daily news as well as links to in-depth stories. A top story option takes young learners to a high-interest story with appropriate reading levels. News stories on science, animals, world events, the United States, entertainment, and sports are showcased. A news movie option provides access to a BrainPOP movie, which plays without registering at the site.
Designed to explore the technology, science, and math behind the news stories, The Why? Files, http://whyfiles.org/, introduces students in elementary through high school to a new story each week. This site offers superbly designed web pages that are easy to read, and each week includes an in-depth article and a brief front-page story. Teachers will find helpful classroom materials as well as a large archive of lesson activities. The "Cool Science Images" section also provides materials for teaching in-depth questioning and scientific inquiry skills.
Explore over 450 front pages of news-papers from 47 countries by visiting the front-page option at the Newseum, www.newseum.org/todaysfrontpages/. Indexed in alphabetical order, this site provides an image of the front page of each newpaper and a corresponding pdf, which can be used for activities dealing with various points of view and for detecting bias in news coverage. A link to the paper's web site is included. A map view provides the ability to tie in geography lessons with current events.
Places in the News, http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/gmdhtml/plnews.html, is a Feature of the map division of the U.S. Library of Congress. Here, learners find information and high-quality maps for areas in the news. The maps can be viewed in detail by using the various zoom options on the site. The background information is provided by various government agencies and publications. The ability to examine the maps in detail enables students to build geography and map skills as well as sharpen their questioning skills. For example, the map of Kashmir, displayed after the earthquake, could be used for asking students numerous high-level thinking questions.
Science Daily, [[http://www.sciencedaily.com/,|www.sciencedaily.com/,]] is updated every 15 minutes and covers a range of science topics for high school students. Students can access daily videos on science, space, technology, and nature. Use this site to engage students as they enter the classroom or school library by posing a question and having them review the video or read the article summaries to find the answer.
Help deepen country reports by having students use information from other points of view. Use the BBC News Country Profiles, [[http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/country_profiles/,|http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/country%5fprofiles/,]] to help teach broad thinking about world events. Students will find an overview from a British vantage, a brief set of facts, a short entry on the current leader with links to further information, and information on the various media in the country. The information on the media and the additional references help students gain a deep understanding of how information is disseminated.
Provide students with a look at a completely automated news option with Columbia Newsblaster, www1.cs.columbia.edu/nlp/newsblaster/. This academic project at Columbia University's Department of Computer Sciences crawls a number of web sites, downloads articles, clusters the articles, and summarizes them each day. Newsblaster differs from Google news by having multiple summaries produced and by reflecting the media from each country separately. Available categories include the United States, world, finance, science/technology, and sports. A list of sites accessed for the creation of the summaries is also available on the homepage.
Have students check the World News Network, [[http://www.wnnetwork.com/,|www.wnnetwork.com/,]] when looking for balanced coverage of current events. This global leader in online news has around 300 media partners, ranging from the BBC and CNN to Al Jazeera, AllAfrica.com, and the New Zealand Herald. Students will find brief statements from several highlighted articles along with links to the original source and a wealth of topic-oriented links at the homepage. In addition, links for country-oriented news views and today's photos are available.
Finally, visit the classic New York Times Learning Network, www.nytimes.com/ learning/, and CNN.com Education with Student News, www.cnn.com/EDUCATION/. These resources may have become so familiar to us that we tend to overlook the wealth of current events materials they offer. Consider posting the conversation starter from the New York Times page in the school library once a week to get students thinking about current events. Also, be sure to check out the "Ask Chad" feature, new this school year to the CNN.com web site.



The Internet is a superb resource for students searching for current events. Information can be updated easily and can be more current than that found in traditional print resources. So, consider helping your fellow teachers find these resources by looking at the options covered in this edition of Web Wonders.
The New York Times Learning Network, http://www.nytimes.com/learning, is one of the first sites I point out to social studies teachers. Here they will find a daily news photo activity, a detailed lesson plan on one story from the current online version of the New York Times, news summaries, a word of the day, conversation starters which are questions about the week's news and links to separate Parent and Teacher Connections. The site also contains an archive of lesson plans indexed by topic.
Another great place for current events is the CNN Student News site, http://fyi.cnn.com/fyi/. Teachers and students will find concise new stories, links to related video clips, discussion starters and classroom activities. The Teacher Resources link includes an index of past lessons by subject, links to educational news, background information links on current hot topics and links to partner resource teaching tips such as hints on doing oral history interviews found at the Harcourt publishing site. Teachers can also record the video CNN Student News version for use with their classroom.
Newsweek magazine has a separate school site, http://school.newsweek.com/tg, filled with easy-to-use teaching ideas and materials. The materials are categorized in themes. Each week includes a number of activities and thought-provoking questions. Other useful teaching options include a media literacy lesson and a listing of vocabulary words. The link takes you to a directory of lessons for the calendar year.
Scholastic publishes two print news magazines, and companion online sites provide access to a portion of the print information. The sites include the teaching materials for the articles found in the online version. The secondary version is designed around the New York Times Upfront magazine, http://teacher.scholastic.com/upfront/. The version for Grades 3-8 is Scholastic News, http://teacher.scholastic.com/scholasticnews/index.asp.
Another good news site for elementary students is the Time for Kids Online site, http://www.timeforkids.com/. Again, student and teachers will not find the complete print version. However, the lead articles, a poll activity and a number of worksheets are available at the site.
The Washington Post also provides a student edition online for those seeking current events, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/education/kidspost/. This site includes a links to some daily stories and a review of other top stories throughout the month. A polling booth activity and links to articles from the print version of the daily newspaper are also available.
The Canada Globe, http://www.canadaglobe.com/. provides a good resource for Canadian and North American news. Users can easily access the news options they wish from the well-designed home page. Links to various teaching resources are included in the Useful Links index.
Another Canadian resource is Mapleleafweb, http://www.mapleleafweb.com/main.shtml.It provides a look at the news from a political perspective. In addition to news stories, there are political cartoons and an opinion poll, which make excellent teaching materials. The index of links at the site provides a great entrance to Canadian government, news and media, institutes and organizations, as well political science journal Internet sites.
A second news site is 1st Headlines, http://www.lstheadlines.com/. Here is a stupendous index of worldwide news headlines. Each entry includes a link to the story, the publisher of the information, and the date the information was posted. In addition links are indexed by US & World, Business, Health, Lifestyles, Sports, and Technology.
Also look at the Today's Front Pages exhibit at the Newseum site, http://www.newseum.org/todays frontpages/. The site includes front page images of 126 newspapers from 22 countries. The links provide access to the front page housed at each newspaper's Internet site. This is a great tool for your social studies teachers to bookmark.
Teachers and students will also want to look at the PBS Newshour site, http://www.pbs.org/news hour/extra/index.html. when searching for current events. This site is tailored to students and includes lesson plans for classroom use. Includes a feature of the week as well as daily news items. Users can link to a number of video clips and an editorial page for sparking classroom debate.
The BBC News site, http://news.bbc.co.uk/,is another gateway to a wide range of current events. Users discover audio of the Newshour and the World Today programs. Video clips are available for many of the stories. Links to news from Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, Europe, the Americas and Asia-Pacific are included. This is a great source for helping students see major current events from another point of view.
The CBC News site, http://www.cbc.ca/news/,also contains a vast number of news reports in print, video and audio. Indexes for in-depth, science and live information are included. Users can either watch the Newsworld Newscast or listen to the CBC Radio Newscast in real time. Again, a superb source for viewing current events from another point of view.
Gary Price's list of Current Awareness Resources via Streaming Audio & Video, http://www.freepint.com/gary/audio.htm,is a true treasure trove. The straight listing of information may appear overwhelming, but this is truly a timesaving site. Users will find links to international, national and regional news stations. Consider using this site as your index to television and radio news coverage.