The Learning Network: The New York Times’ Social Studies Resource

Hey class!

I have found a fantastic resource on teaching current events and lessons revolving around relevant topics to social studies instruction. Follow this link to view The New York Times’ Learning Network for Social Studies. This resource uses content from The New York Times to create “Lessons of the Day” surrounding a current or important history topic.  They also post graphs and other visual organizers with interesting and relevant social studies topics. Some of the recent “Lessons of the Day” have been about confederate monuments, black history, the invasion of Ukraine, and redistricting/gerrymandering. These lessons include warm-ups, vocabulary, questions to lead writing and discussion and further learning to dive deeper into the content. They have different tabs for lessons on U.S history, global issues, civics and social studies skills. I thought this website had some fantastic resources for teaching current or important historical events regarding social studies and civics. I think some of the lessons are too complex for elementary students but I think the resources provided by the site surrounding events we teach in the classroom can be great tools to aid our social studies instruction.

Do you think you’ll use this resource to aid your social studies instruction? Have you found any similar resources on your own? Link any others you’ve found below!

Hope everyone has a great week!

6 thoughts on “The Learning Network: The New York Times’ Social Studies Resource

  1. What a great resource, Emily. Thanks so much for sharing this! I had no idea that the New York Times developed lesson plans to compliment their content. I would certainly use some of these lessons in my classroom, though I think you’re right that most of the plans here are geared toward older students. That being said, I especially admired the lesson plan on Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation, and I think you could modify the lesson to teach students K-6. To actually read and respond to the lesson plan’s articles, the students would need to be in the upper elementary grades; however, even very young students could answer and discuss the “What does this nomination mean to you?” prompt.

  2. Emily,

    This has the potential to be a great resource! I think current event discussions are very important in the Social Studies classroom, and this offers many instructional opportunities. When relevant, we can certainly modify lessons, but the framework/questions provide a great place to start. The graph examples are an interesting idea, and certainly I think Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation would be a great discussion. The lesson regarding the 90-year-old former schoolteacher’s private collection of Black history artifacts also really caught my eye. I look forward to further exploring the lessons of the day.

  3. Hi Emily,

    Thank you for sharing the New York Times’ Learning Network for Social Studies. I agree with you on using this resource as an aid, since the content does seem a bit too complex for elementary level students. However, I feel that your resource can help teachers narrow down potential topics they may want to include during their teaching instruction.

    I did come across TIME for Kids, which provides flexible teaching resources. The only consideration needed to be able to access the “educator” or “parent” resources is by signing up for a subscription but depending on how often you plan to include current events and topics, this could be a subscription worth considering.

    Link for Educations:

    It should be noted that if you click on the table of contents on TIME for Kids home page, you can go to the “KIDS SITE” and from there, you can choose from “GRADE K-1,” “GRADE 2,” “GRADE 3-4,” and “GRADE 5-6.” From there, you can use the search bar to look for articles. Further, there are options for the articles such as “Read aloud,” “En Espanol,” and “Print,” which are great for differentiation. Regarding civics, I found an article called Meet Orion by Rebecca Mordechai, which could tie into a Civics lesson as it talks about Orion, an 11-year-old, who is leads campaigns that focus on helping others.

    Meet Orion article:

    Link for Kids Site (Grade 2):

    Thank you for sharing! I hope to hear your thoughts on the TIME for Kids website.


  4. Hi Emily,

    Thank you for sharing this resource; I think it can be utilized in the classroom and is an excellent way to get quick current event information! Some of the stories I feel are too complex for elementary classrooms; however, the information can still be used and referenced (even just using the vocabulary section, for example). As educators, we also need to be prepared to answer questions or try to soothe anxieties students may come to class with; I think this site could be helpful if we needed a quick resource to refer to when talking about current events.

    In fourth or fifth grade, I remember we would be asked to find a current event or newspaper article that interested us for homework. We would bring in the article and a quick summary and present it to our class; I think if I were to use this same assignment, the New York Times page would be fantastic!

    My students love Flocabulary for learning vocabulary; however, they have “The Week’s in Rap,” which provides rap songs that share current events. This is a fun and entertaining way to engage students in conversations about current events.

  5. Hi Emily,

    This is a great resource that you found, I am so glad that you shared it with us! I will definitely use this in the classroom as it is a fantastic way to incorporate social studies all throughout the classroom.


  6. Hi Emily!

    I really enjoyed clicking through the different current events and skimming through them. I love the organization of each article/lessons and how relevant they are today. I get the sense that some of them may need some modifying and meticulousness with how sensitive the images portrayed or asked to visualize may be (for example: photographing the reality of war). These really are great lessons to incorporate into the class, even if it is just 10 or 20 minutes. A little dose of current events a day will be better for the children.

    I have this bookmarked and will refer to it in the future!

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