Pulitzer Center Update

Our Top Ten Global News Lessons of 2018

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Images from our top ten lessons of 2018.

Images from our top ten lessons of 2018.

The Pulitzer Center education team and our community of educators create K-12 and university curricula-aligned lesson plans throughout the year to ensure the issues that matter stay at the forefront of students’ minds, sparking discussions about international stories and how journalists report on them.

In 2018, we published 45 new lesson plans, highlighted student work through our international poetry and letter-writing contests, and connected with students across the U.S. and beyond in-person and digitally.

At the start of the new year, we present our top ten lesson plans of 2018, selected by our education team to spotlight diverse subjects and geographies.

Stay in the loop about our newest lesson plans and programs by joining our Facebook group for educators and signing up for our weekly newsletter.

1. Global Explorers Workshop

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Students explore how to seek out under-reported global stories and make local connections to them in this workshop.

How do we get our news? What stories do we see and which do we miss? This workshop helps students strengthen their interest in global news and build a balanced news diet that draws on diverse sources to find under-reported stories.

2. Young People's Revolutions: Examining Youth Movements Around the World

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Shibby de Guzman, 13, center, joins other youths Tuesday at a Manila rally to protest policies of the Duterte government. Image by Ana P. Santos. Philippines, 2017.

Shibby de Guzman, 13, center, joins other youths Tuesday at a Manila rally to protest policies of the Duterte government. Image by Ana P. Santos. Philippines, 2017.

This lesson is designed to guide young people in exploring their power as community and movement leaders by analyzing news stories about how young people are responding to problems around the world. Students learn about youth leaders in the Arab Spring, Venezuela's ongoing protests, Kashmir's struggle for independence, and the Philippines' anti-drug war movement, and consider how they can combat problems in their own communities.

3. Losing Earth: A Climate Change Curriculum

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Image by George Steinmetz. Greenland, 2017.

Image by George Steinmetz. Greenland, 2017.

In a year rife with landmark reports on global warming, natural disasters, and political hedging on climate science, Losing Earth took over a full issue of The New York Times Magazine to put climate change in historical perspective and bring the moral necessity of caring for the planet to the fore. We developed a full curriculum that includes lesson ideas to help students visualize climate change, communicate the science and its urgency, and take action to help the Earth, using Nathaniel Rich's story, George Steinmetz's stunning drone photography, other multimedia resources, and primary source materials.

4. Press Freedom and Media Integrity in Morocco

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A customer talks to the vendor of a newsstand in Morocco’s capital. Very few publications in Morocco offer critical reporting of the government or the royal family, which uses a system of economic oppression to control what is published. Image by Jackie Spinner. Morocco, 2017.

A customer talks to the vendor of a newsstand in Morocco’s capital. Very few publications in Morocco offer critical reporting of the government or the royal family, which uses a system of economic oppression to control what is published. Image by Jackie Spinner. Morocco, 2017.

What is self-censorship? How can governments force journalists to censor themselves? What can the media—and community members—do to fight for free speech? This lesson explores freedom of the press in Morocco, and brings the story home for students.

5. Elderly Women in Japan's Prisons: Composing Portraits Reflecting Interviews

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Almost 1 in 5 women in Japanese prisons is a senior. In the vast majoriy of those cases, the women were found guilty of shoplifting. Image by Shiho Fukada. Japan, 2017.

In 2018, the Pulitzer Center led programming for teachers and students in New York City and Chicago on mass incarceration in the U.S. and around the world. This lesson plan helps students make personal connections with photojournalist Shiho Fukada's reporting on Japan's rising number of elderly women in prison.

6. Geographies of the Mind: Mentally Mapping the Silk Road

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Mangystau, Kazakhstan. Image courtesy of National Geographic. Kazakhstan, 2018.

Mangystau, Kazakhstan. Image courtesy of National Geographic. Kazakhstan, 2018.

On the "Out of Eden Walk," Paul Salopek is walking from Ethiopia to Tierra del Fuego in the footsteps of human ancestors, and he's taking us along for the journey. This lesson uses Paul's reporting from the Silk Road—a beautiful multimedia interactive on National Geographic—to consider the psychological and social construction of geography and map-making. Students can also engage in the Out of Eden Walk through interactive workshops. See past examples of high school, middle school, and elementary workshops, and email us at education@pulitzercenter.org to plan a walk with your students!

7. Too Young to Wed: The Secret World of Child Brides [Documentary Screening and Discussion]

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Image by Stephanie Sinclair, Afghanistan, 2005

Stephanie Sinclair's documentary short is an investigation of child marriage and a call to action. In this lesson, students view the wrenching film and discuss root causes of child marriage and solutions, around the world and at home.

8. Piecing the Story Together: Visual Literacy Activity Using Photo Puzzles

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An older miner and a younger boy are chin deep in frigid water 150-meters below the surface as they work a gold mine near Syndicate on the island of Masbate. Image by Larry C. Price. Philippines, 2012.

A perfect warm-up game for any visual literacy lesson, this activity puts students' close observation, inference-making, and critical thinking skills to work as they piece together a photo puzzle, and the story behind it. The activity was developed by Carolyn Kouri, a visual arts educator at Alice Deal Middle School in Washington, DC.

9. Blended Photography for ELA, History, Spanish, and ELL Classrooms

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MIKE PINAY, Qu’Appelle Indian Residential School, 1953-1963. “It was the worst ten years of my life. I was away from my family from the age of 6 to 16. How do you learn about family? I didn’t know what love was. We weren’t even known by names back then. I was a number.” “Do you remember your number?” “73.” Image by Daniella Zalcman. Canada, 2016.

Daniella Zalcman's double-exposure portraits of Indigenous North American residential school survivors inspire students to experiment with the photography technique to create unique products that demonstrate their learning in diverse subject areas. The extension activities included in this lesson were developed by educators at R.J. Reynolds High School in Winston-Salem, NC.

10. Finding Home: A Year in the Life of Syrian Refugee Families

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Image courtesy Lynsey Addario. Greece, 2017.

Image courtesy Lynsey Addario. Greece, 2017.

By exploring an award-winning multimedia story that follows Syrian refugee families resettling in Europe, students examine their own concepts of "home" and consider options for responding to the refugee crisis.

Bonus! Local Letters for Global Change: Resources for Letter-Writing

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Tell Congress what global issue you want them to prioritize!

Tell Congress what global issue you want them to prioritize!

Election season has ended in the U.S. and the 2018 contest winners have been published, but the time for civic engagement is now. Use this graphic organizer, letter-writing template, suggested news stories, and rubric to start the new year off with a call to action.