The Benefits of Current Events Instruction in Special Education

n2y Staff

We used to read the newspaper or watch the evening news to learn about the happenings in the world on any given day. Today, we are surrounded with news 24/7, accessible not just in print newspapers or on the TV in our living rooms, but also via digital content on all sorts of websites, online newspapers, blogs, social media channels and more. Through all these outlets, we can obtain the most current updates on news stories and everything else that’s happening around the globe. Given this daily immersion in the news, how can current events instruction be of benefit in today’s classroom?

Current events instruction can play a vital role in any classroom, with benefits including:

  • Exposure to various types of writing
  • Nonfiction reading
  • Critical-thought enhancements
  • Expansion of students’ language and vocabulary capabilities

Positive Impact of Newspapers

Current events instruction also engages students with relevant events and issues in the news, and this shared information then fosters discussion, articulation, advocacy and dissent among students to shape thinking and raise awareness of issues in the world.

Leveled News-2-You Newspapers

The right tools can help students with disabilities use the study of current events to expand their horizons to engage with the world at large, and interact with people outside their classroom. News‑2‑You® is a weekly newspaper that fills this need, giving students with disabilities the supports necessary to use current events topics to connect with the world and engage in conversations about relevant topics of the day.

Simply providing access does not equate to learning. Therefore, as a supplementary tool for literacy and learning, News‑2‑You is provided in four different reading levels, and is customizable for individual students’ specific needs in reading speed, text-to-speech enablement and answer highlighting. Students learn about diverse current events topics through appropriate and age-respectful content. A wealth of activities reinforce the concepts and themes of each weekly edition, encouraging reciprocal communication, written expression, map skills and other related instructional areas.

Consistency Between the Classroom and Home

Classroom discussions of current events carry over to conversations at home, creating opportunities for students to engage in family discussions, chatter about the news or provide opinions about news stories. News‑2‑You gives students with disabilities many opportunities to enter and participate in conversations about relevant topics outside the classroom. News‑2‑You further supports and fosters strong school-to-home connections through Class News, a feature that allows users to create unlimited custom newspapers.

In addition to such benefits as exposure to new ideas, various sentence structures, new concepts and different vocabulary, perhaps the most important advantage of current events instruction is its preparation of students to live in today’s world. Students gain an understanding of issues and events going on in the world, learn life skills and perhaps even discover potential career choices through the study of current events. News‑2‑You extends these benefits to students with disabilities, bridging the gap between the classroom and the real world.

About the Author

n2y’s staff works closely with educators, in‑house experts, and program developers to share the latest topics and timely thought leadership from the field. It’s our goal to help keep you informed and ready to serve your students!