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current event sites for distance learning

Current Event Sites for Social Studies Distance Learning

Teaching our students about the world around them has never been so important. Sharing appropriate sources for news and current events is vital in an age of "fake news". These current events sites for the social studies classroom will help your students know what's going on in the world around them. Pair these sites with active discussion in your online learning platform like Google Classroom or Seesaw or through live classes on Zoom or Google Meet.


Newsela is the perfect place to find news stories for your students. Different categories on the site allow you to introduce stories to your students that will pair well with what you're studying in class, or they can explore based on individual interests. In addition, Newsela lets you assign text based on reading level or Lexile score. Newsela has also put together paired texts with articles linked to nonfiction and fiction texts within your curriculum. Newsela also has quizzes for each article that can link to Google Classroom. Finally, Newsela links with distance learning tools such as Pear Deck and Nearpod. Try this Pear Deck activity that works with articles about video games. Try sharing a Newsela article weekly with your students based on topics relevant to them.


CNN10 is a site where your students get the daily news in 10 minutes. Anchor Carl Azuz is popular with upper elementary and middle school students with his current event-related puns and understandable approach to the news.

Ten minutes of news can be shared on your Google Classroom, or when you return to school, play it at the beginning of your social studies block. It's so important for students to get an unbiased account of what is going on in the world around them. CNN10 puts the daily news in their terms and short bites that students can understand. As an added bonus, adults find CNN10 enjoyable too!

Time for Kids

Time magazine's website version for kids is a perfect way to introduce current event topics to your upper elementary and middle school learners. Whether you are teaching your students about civil rights in 2020 or the SpaceX launch to the International Space Station, daily articles help your students access nonfiction articles and text features that align with state and common core standards. Print subscriptions are also available. Check out the sample of the March 27, 2020 edition for your upper elementary and middle school learners.


Parlay isn't a current event site, but it is a roundtable discussion platform. Teachers can create courses with resources. Start by assigning an article or a pre-loaded roundtable discussion to your students. They'll read and respond and then interact with other students in a productive discussion. Practice with a group of teachers first. Your students will love interacting during remote learning with this fair and balanced way to discuss current events.

Local News Sites

Sharing your local newspaper online edition can help your students learn about current events in their own backyard. Share age appropriate stories about issues and events affecting your community. It's one thing to just post the stories, but have discussions with your students to make sure they understand the content and how it impacts them as students and community members. Post discussion questions on Google Classroom or have a Parlay discussion with your distance learners. Some local sites require subscriptions for full new coverage. If this applies to your hometown newspaper, check for an educator or school rate.


Your learners will love engaging BrainPOP videos that focus on a variety of topics, including current events. Space-related topics like these lessons and videos on Mars developments are some of the excellent resources your students will find with Brain Pop subscriptions. BrainPOP has also shared videos, lessons, and information accessible for students and teachers about the latest pandemic. Share coronavirus resources to help your students get accurate information about how to stay safe and healthy during this time.

Tween Tribune

Similar to Newsela, Tween Tribune offers articles and multiple Lexile levels for your learners. Students can also comment on articles and take quizzes. Tween Tribune offers a lot of intriguing, outside the box articles for your students to read and explore. One recent article, "Would you eat soup made from crickets?" discusses a unique french cuisine. Share and see what your students think! As social studies teachers, it's so important to not only teach history but also current events. These current event sites for classroom and remote learning will help your students understand what is happening in their neighborhood, city, state, country, and the world today.
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Grab a Free Growth Mindset Escape Room for grades 4-8.

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