Many teachers would like to use the news to spark great classroom discussions as part of their subject teaching, but it can be challenging to do well. Tom Bigglestone from the Topical Talk project offers 10 tips for getting it right

Establish the facts

When sharing a news story with your class, lead by example. Use trusted, reputable sources that explain the “what, where, when, why and who”. Don’t be afraid to challenge incorrect or misleading information.

By modelling how to do this appropriately, students will become confident and comfortable doing the same with each other.

Although it may help students to feel safer, avoid telling students that events in the news won’t happen to them, as you cannot guarantee this – keep things in perspective by using easy-to-understand statistics where necessary.

Start from what they know

Start from where your students are at: ask them what they know already and go from there. Consider using analogies or fictional parallels to aid their understanding. The Topical Talk project (see further information) uses an example of a squirrel hiding their acorns that explains tax-avoidance and money-laundering as part of our resource on the Pandora Papers.

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