All Social Studies

Corp small

Current Event July 29, 2014

Supreme Court Sees Corporations as People, Given Individual Rights

US History II US History I

When corporations were first created, they were given one right and that was to the right to make a contract. But as the country industrialized, they received more rights under the Bill of Rights, like individual people. Listen to this radio story to learn how rights for corporations have changed over time and how the most recent Supreme Court ruling about Hobby Lobby gives corporations more rights than ever before.

Read More
29931631671 5dc8c5f0d3 z

Current Event October 12, 2016

How Gender Factors into the Presidential Debate

Politics Gender

The debates between the U.S. presidential candidates will mark the first time gender is a dynamic. The way women are perceived in a debate setting is different from the way men are perceived. The pitch of a woman’s voice and the way a woman dresses should not affect the debate, but are often highlighted or criticized. Listen to hear more about how some people see women versus men in a debate setting.

Read More
5691324111 46c6058112 z

Current Event August 24, 2017

The Fate of Confederate Monuments in the South

Politics Race Civil War

Recently violence broke out in Charlottesville, Virginia after a rally held by white nationalists became violent when they clashed with counter demonstrators. One woman was killed. The white nationalists were in Charlottesville to protest the city’s plan to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee. The clash has raised tensions around the country about what to do with monuments honoring Confederate figures. One city, Richmond, Virginia has a rich history when it comes to the early development the United States. It had a massive slave marketplace and a strong Confederate Army during the Civil War. Listen to hear a discussion of the history and fate of Confederate statues.

Read More
34766794315 8658ab5b0c z

Current Event June 2, 2017

Debate: Should Confederate Statues from the Past be Removed?

Race Civil War

The mayor of New Orleans, Louisiana removed four Confederate statues from the city to ease controversy of how the city remembers the Civil War. He made a speech at the fourth and final removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. Some saw these statues as symbols of white supremacy and of the systemic oppression of human beings, and some saw them as tributes to Confederate heroes. Listen to learn more about the statue removal in New Orleans and its place in the nationwide debate about the removal of symbols of the Civil War and then debate: Should Confederate statues from the past be removed?

Read More
No guns with coffee

Current Event September 19, 2013

No Guns With Coffee

Civics/Government Constitution

Starbucks Coffee has a new policy. While the coffee shop used to allow guns, it’s now saying that they’re no longer welcome. Starbucks is not explicitly banning these weapons, but instead just asking customers to leave them at home. This new policy has been met with mixed reactions. Click here to listen to this story about how the gun debate is mixing with coffee.

Read More
28425643009 469b1925e0 z

Current Event March 1, 2018

The Black Panther Movie

Race Entertainment

The movie about the superhero Black Panther is a phenomenon. The stars of the movie are black actors and it takes place in a fictitious African country that was never colonized by Europeans. The Black Panther has characters who are rulers of kingdoms, inventors, creators of advanced technology, and fierce women warriors who protect the king. Crowdfunders across the U.S. are raising money to take entire groups of kids to see this movie. Listen to this story to hear the reaction of fifth grade students after they saw the Black Panther.

Read More
16229612346 c841e02e09 z

Current Event November 18, 2015

ISIS Responsible For Paris Attacks

Politics Violence

In coordinated attacks at six sites across Paris, France, 129 people were killed and more than 200 people were injured. This large-scale terrorist attack is being claimed by the Islamic State, or ISIS. The terrorists used suicide belts and automatic weapons to attack people at a concert, a football game which the President of France attended, restaurants and cafes. Listen to hear what led to this attack and what is being done to prevent future attacks.

Read More
5574032041 77e3b160f8 z

Current Event October 13, 2016

The Complex Legacy of Shimon Peres

Politics Religion Global Middle East

Former Israeli President and statesman Shimon Peres was one of the founders of Israel. His participation and influence in Israeli politics spanned decades. After his recent passing, he is remembered for winning the Nobel Peace Prize and for his optimism about forming peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Listen to learn more about Peres’ legacy.

Read More
Israel 2013 jerusalem temple mount dome of the rock   chain 02

Current Event October 19, 2015

Israeli Palestinian Conflict Goes Back Centuries

Religion Middle East Protest

Israelis and Palestinians have had conflicts for centuries. Recently the violence and death toll on both sides has dramatically increased. The focus of the dispute is on one site in the Holy Land that is sacred to both Jews and Muslims. It’s known as Temple Mount to Jews and the Noble Sanctuary to Muslims. According to an agreement in 1967, Muslim religious authorities administer the site, Israel controls security, and non-Muslims are not allowed to pray there. Jewish activists have recently decided that this is a holy place where Jews should pray, and their mass visits have caused protests. Listen to hear how control over Temple Mount has led to violence and threatens stability in the country.

Read More

Current Event November 20, 2014

Temple Mount

Civics/Government World History II Religion

In 1967, a brief war between Israeli and Palestinian forces led Israel to capture the Old City of Jerusalem, which included the holy of sites in both Jewish and Muslim religions. The Temple Mount has become a point of tension among Israeli and Palestinian communities. From who can visit and pray there to who controls the space, this is igniting conflict as right wing Jewish politicians fight for more control and access to the site.

Read More
The stonewall inn vigil %2827047413684%29

Current Event June 20, 2016

Presidential Candidates on Orlando Shooting

Politics Culture Violence

An attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida left 50 people dead and the nation in shock. Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump talked about their reactions to the tragedy and thoughts on how to prevent these kinds of attacks in very different tones. Clinton used a dignified tone and encouraged “steady hands and clear eyes” during this time. Trump used a tough tone and repeated his call for a ban on Muslims entering the United States. Listen to hear about the different reactions to this tragic event.

Read More
8677736772 4085f95bf2 z

Current Event November 9, 2016

North Korea Poses Serious Nuclear Threat to World

Politics war

North Korea has shown it is close to having the scientific ability and political will to launch a nuclear weapon. Recently the Communist nation has conducted a number of nuclear missile tests. Even though these tests weren’t successful, many intelligence officials believe North Korea is close to becoming a nuclear power. There is growing concern among U.S. intelligence experts that their technology is improving as they learn from their failed missile launches. Listen to hear how the experts view the threat of North Korea.

Read More
6160866188 ce33e19f0f b

Current Event March 24, 2016

American Arrested in North Korea

Politics Law

When an American college student tried to steal a propaganda sign in a North Korean hotel he was arrested and sentenced to fifteen years of hard labor. As a result, the United States has strongly recommended that U.S. citizens not travel to North Korea. Diplomats have tried to negotiate with North Korea and have urged them to release this man on humanitarian grounds. The U.S. assumes North Korea will use him to bargain for something in return. Listen to hear more about the politics of this unfortunate arrest.

Read More
1024px houston gun show at the george r. brown convention center

Current Event October 16, 2015

Debate: Should We Have Stricter Gun Control Laws?

Law Constitution

With the most recent school shooting at a Community College in Oregon, gun control is still a hot topic of debate. Passing stricter gun control laws is a political challenge. Voters who oppose gun control often decide who to vote for based only on this issue. Politicians don’t want to be hurt in the next election and are reluctant to propose strict gun control laws. However, Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut has proposed new gun control legislation in the past and is currently introducing new legislation. Listen to this story and then have your class debate whether new gun control laws will keep Americans safer.

Read More
28423270876 2166a10a72 z

Current Event September 5, 2016

Trump's Faith in the Prosperity Gospel Defines his Outlook

Politics Religion

For many voters, a candidate's’ religion is an important factor in deciding whether or not they will vote for them. Last week we looked at HIllary Clinton’s Methodist faith. This story looks at Trump’s faith. He was baptized in the Presbyterian church but does not claim to be devout. He later joined a Protestant church with a preacher who promotes the Prosperity Gospel. Governor Mike Pence calls himself a “born again evangelical Catholic” and brings his strong support from conservative Christians to this race. Listen to hear more about how these candidates’ religious beliefs shape their outlook.

Read More
Logo of boko haram.square

Current Event January 20, 2015

Islamist Militants in Nigeria

Civics/Government World History II Religion

Islamic extremists in the Middle East and France have dominated the news. But they’ve also attacked innocent civilians in Nigeria. A group known as Boko Haram kidnapped young school girls in April of last year. Most recently they appear to be behind brutal attacks and killings in the lawless north of Nigeria. The Nigerian government seems powerless to stop their attacks. What is Boko Haram and are they connected with other Islamic militant groups? Share this story with students to help them understand this growing threat.

Read More
Why did mandela protest

Current Event December 11, 2013

Why did Mandela protest?

World History II Civil RIghts

Nelson Mandela, former South African President and leader of the anti-apartheid movement, was also labeled a "terrorist." As protests against the government grew from peaceful to violent, learn more about why Mandela was forced to call for armed struggle by listening to this story.

Read More
3199012558 76e6bd0c0e z

Current Event December 6, 2013

Nelson Mandela Dies

US History II World History II

The former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela died at the age of 95. Mandela was the founding president of the democratic nation. Listen to this story to learn about Mandela's life and legacy.

Read More
16457259309 2823e844cc z

Current Event March 23, 2016

Honoring Culture with a Hairstyle

Gender Culture Sports

As part of Native American Heritage night, a women’s high school basketball team wore traditional Navajo hair styles. They wore a tsiyeela—a bun tied with yarn. Then a referee told them they couldn't play because he believed the hairstyle broke regulation. The students ended up taking out their buns. After the team received an apology, they wore their traditional hairstyles at the next game. And so did many in the audience. Listen to hear more about this event that highlights the issue of cultural sensitivity.

Read More
Shinz%c5%8d abe and barack obama shaking hands at the hiroshima peace memorial park

Current Event June 6, 2016

U.S. President Visits Hiroshima

Politics World War II war

Obama recently visited Hiroshima, Japan, to honor the memory of all who lost their lives in World War II. The city was the first to be hit with an atomic weapon in 1945. Nagasaki was the second. Obama is the first sitting U.S. President to visit Hiroshima. He did not apologize for using nuclear weapons on Japan during his visit, but paid respect to the victims. Listen to hear more about this historic visit.

Read More