Surprisingly, CNN Student News has added tons to our 7th grade literature courses this year, and the trend is catching on in other grades.
We watch at least the top stories of CNN Student News each day, and normally we watch the whole 10 minute show.
Benefits and uses:
- Students are sharpening listening skills.
- Students are obtaining tons of background knowledge about the world.
- Students are learning to right great summaries as they write a summary of a news story about once a week. We’re moving from watching the story 3 times, to 2 times, to 1 time, to writing a summary of a story without being given a warning ahead of time. We’ve introduced paragraph GIST summaries, and 20-word summaries using CNN news.
- Students are CAPTIVATED. Many watch it at home on the days they don’t have literature.
- Students are talking about current events with their parents and they’re often heard talking about news topics in the halls.
- The funniest result is that my students–many of whom are ELL–are becoming adept at word play. At the end of each broadcast, Carl Azuz, the anchorman, makes a number of word plays about the final story. Today we counted 8 or 9 following a story of a 40 foot tall rubber ducky.
I know I sound like I work for them, but I just love this show and all it is doing for my students.