All Social Studies

Current Event November 22, 2013

How Kennedy Handled the Cuban Missile Crisis

US History II World History II

50 years ago today, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Looking back on the key moments in his presidency, the Cuban Missile Crisis stands out. In 1962, the U.S came dangerously close to igniting a global nuclear war with the Soviet Union. President John F. Kennedy showed that in a time of crisis, one must ultimately worry about not just protecting his own American citizens but about all people. Listen to this story to hear how JFK urged diplomacy despite the pressure for war.

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Current Event August 22, 2014

Chicago Little League Team Makes History

Civics/Government Civil RIghts

The Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania is coming to its end with the championship games this weekend. One team from Chicago, Jackie Robinson West, is making history as the first all-black team to make it to the Little League World Series in 31 years. In this radio story, we will hear from the Chicago community that is supporting them. Listen to learn more about this historic team and the impact their success might have on baseball.

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Current Event January 17, 2014

Civil Rights Song

US History II

Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come” became a sensation in the African-American community and an anthem of the 1960's civil rights movement. Listen to this story to learn why “A Change is Gonna Come” was written and the impact it had on the Civil Rights movement.

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Current Event November 13, 2013

Keeping Native American Languages Alive

US History I Westward Expansion

As part of Native American History month, listen to this story with students to hear one man's story about keeping alive his Native American language.

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Current Event November 21, 2013

Low-cost Private Schools in Kenya

Education Geography

Several non-profits are targeting families in Africa making less than $2 per day: they want to give those families' children a chance to gain a world class education with affordable tuition. However, stakeholders in Africa feel like chains of low-cost private schools are actually accomplishing the opposite and do not allow access to education for the poorest kids. Discuss with your students the importance of education and what kind of aid is actually helpful by listening to this story.

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Current Event October 25, 2013

Saudi Women Taking the Wheel to Protest Driving Ban

Gender World History II Geography

In Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, activists are challenging the ban on women driving by taking the wheel and documenting their protests by video. Madiha Al Ajroush, a longtime advocate of women driving, compares the inability to drive like cutting one's legs off and taking the wheelchair away. This is not the first attempt to challenge the ban. There were two previous attempts in 1990 and 2011. Use this story to talk to your students about the struggle for women's rights on a global scale and how that compares to rights women currently have in the United States.

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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.

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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.

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Current Event August 21, 2014

Race and Equality in Policing

Civics/Government Race

Demonstrations and unrest in Ferguson Missouri continue in response to the shooting death of Michael Brown, the unarmed black teenager killed by local police on August 9th. This public radio story brings us sounds of these demonstrations and voices of Ferguson residents. Listen to learn more about the underlying racial tensions that exist between Ferguson residents and police.

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Current Event January 10, 2014

Prison Loaf as Punishment

Civics/Government Psychology Ethics

Food shouldn’t be used as a form of punishment, but some prisons do it. In some prisons, “the loaf” is a bland form of food, given to disruptive inmates. Is this ethical? Listen to this story and discuss the merits of this form of discipline.

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Current Event January 16, 2014

Political Parties Agree to Help Poor

Civics/Government Politics Economics

This month, 50 years after a war on poverty was declared by President Lyndon Johnson, politicians are still fighting over how to help alleviate poverty. This week the two major political parties in the U.S. agreed they need to do more to help the poor, but differ on how. Republicans call to repeal state aid and Democrats claim that those safety nets saved the economy.

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Current Event August 27, 2014

Getting It Fast: The Instant Economy

Economics Psychology

Sometimes you want what you want when you want it, and you will pay to get it quickly. This desire combined with smart phone and GPS technology has created a booming market of services that enable their users to get what they want, when they want it. The instant gratification these services enable has created an “Instant gratification economy” that changes the way people interact with the world and the way people work. Listen to learn more about these services and their impact.

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Current Event January 13, 2014

War on Poverty

Civics/Government US History II

50 years ago President Lyndon Johnson declared an “unconditional war on poverty in America.” The President and Congress created Medicare, Medicaid, Head Start and other programs for low-income Americans. But did we win the war on poverty? Listen to this story and then explore the question with your class.

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Current Event August 8, 2014

Water is a Weapon in the Iraq War

World History II

Islamic extremists and Iraq's Army are fighting over control of the Mosul Dam on the Tigris River. Iraqi soldiers are guarding the dam because even a small attack could cause flooding and disrupt power. Water has been used before in the conflict and the effects are devastating on health and food. Listen to this radio story to learn more about the dam's importance.

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Current Event January 20, 2014

Martin Luther King's Boston Ties

US History II US History I

Martin Luther King Jr. had many ties to Boston in the 1960's. He donated his personal papers to his alma mater, Boston University. Listen to this story and hear how many people in Boston remember the young King.

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Current Event January 20, 2014

A Family's Slave History

US History I

The movie '12 Years a Slave' has inspired some people to uncover connections between their own families and slavery. A San Francisco man talks about how he felt when he discovered his ancestors had been slaves in North Carolina. He studied old documents and record books that revealed both struggle and resilience in his family’s past. These stories feel deeply personal to him, and they’ve affected him in powerful ways. Listen to learn more about what this man and others have learned about their ancestors.

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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.

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Current Event January 24, 2014

Mexican National Executed in U.S.

Civics/Government Immigration

There are 48 Mexican nationals on death row in the United States. The third Mexican national was executed this week in Texas, despite push back from Secretary of State John Kerry and the Mexican government. Listen to this story to learn why this precedent could be risky for US citizens living abroad.

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Current Event July 30, 2014

Learning Music Develops More Attentive, Skilled Students

Life Science

Recent studies show that when students are taught to play an instrument or sing, their ability to pay attention and multitask in other parts of their life, including school, increases. Music students are also better at reading, writing and learning new languages. Listen to this public radio story to learn more about music neuroscience and what's going on in the brain when you study music.

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Current Event August 5, 2014

A Cargo of Lost Legos Tells the Story of Marine Trash

Earth and Space Science Environment

Lego pieces have been washing up along beaches for nearly two decades after a shipping container slipped its cargo. Now, these Legos that were accidentally dropped into the sea are traveling around the world and turning up in places like Holland and Australia. Listen to this story to learn how that's possible.

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