Current Issues Course Description/Syllabus
Mr. Nate Stein
Current Issues is designed to enhance the students' understanding of people,
issues, and events that shape our world. The course will begin with an
analysis of global issues that shape the news. Each student will select a
global hotspot and provide the class with information relating to the people,
place, and events that influence the region. Emphasis will be placed on the
United States' interest in the hotspot. The intent of this unit is to broaden
the class's perspective of the world. Students will be challenged to develop
opinions regarding world events.
We will spend considerable time exploring domestic issues including but not
limited to: the Supreme Court, the structure of the U.S. legislative process,
politics and politicians, civil rights and other issues that are newsworthy.
Students will also create a presentation that will focus on local issues. This
project is designed to challenge the students to become involved and informed
about local issues and to create a forum for the whole class to learn about
local issues that will impact them.
- Materials: The students will need to create a journal (a simple
notebook will be fine). Each day the students will receive a copy of the St.
Louis Post-Dispatch. There will be a series of exercises that will guide the
students through different sections of the paper. Each student will receive a
copy of THE WEEK Magazine. Students will have a typed summary of the magazine
ready for class on Monday.
- Assessment: Participation will be a major part of this class. Each
day, after having read the paper, students will have an opportunity to react
to items in the news. Participation will count toward the student's
evaluation. Each Monday, students will receive credit for their THE WEEK
summaries. Students will be evaluated for the various projects that are
- The majority of this class revolves around making a conscientious
effort in this course. Students who read the paper daily (in class), join in
class discussions, prepare presentations thoroughly, and turn in assignments
in a thoughtful and timely fashion will do well.
If you ever need to get in contact with me, e-mail me at
Weekly Article Summaries
As part of your weekly assignments, you will be asked to produce
4 article summaries. These summaries are to concisely explain the details of
the article and the significance behind said article.
When writing your summaries consider the following:
WHO IS INVOLVED? -- Who are the key players? Are the individuals that you have
seen prevalently in the news? Do you expect to see them in the news in the
WHERE IS THIS TAKING PLACE? -- Is this an area that has appeared frequently in
the news? Does the location of the story affect the conditions or situation
in any way?
WHAT ARE THE MAIN CAUSES/FACTORS INVOLVED? -- What influences are playing into
this story? What circumstances brought this event/story about?
WHEN DID THIS ALL START? -- Is this an ongoing story? Is this a brand new
WHY SHOULD WE KNOW ABOUT THIS NEWS?
WHAT DID YOU THINK ABOUT THIS ARTICLE? -- Was it well written? Do you think this
article made any really profound statements? Is this article pure crap?
WHAT IS YOUR OPINION, BOTH ON THE ISSUE(S) COVERED IN THE ARTICLE AND THE
QUALITY OF THE ARTICLE?
CRITICAL WRITING and ANALYSIS should a point of focus
These summaries are to be approximately 200-250 words long