A great way to keep your students informed and help make them a knowledgeable and productive citizen in our society.
As a social studies teacher, I think it's important that my students are kept up-to-date on current events. In the days prior to internet streaming, I would list a couple of current events on the board and elicit a discussion about those topics. Or, I would ask the students to bring in current events and share them with the class. Those arcane ways of staying on top of current events are no longer necessary. Today, I have the power of the internet!
I use CNN Student News to stream daily current events to my class as my opening activity. The news stream is designed for students in junior high and high school, so you don't have to worry about fluff or subject matter that may not be appropriate for your students.
Now before you say, "wait a minute, CNN is biased a certain way," I assure you that it's straight reporting with no commentary. It's presented in simple language that kids will understand.
Each segment is about 8-10 minutes long and usually consists three or four current news stories. In my case, most of my students looked forward to the news each day. But, in order to keep the kids more engaged, I'll preview the day's news report and create a few questions that the students will answer as they view the stream. I have my students keep the questions as part of a weekly news log. On Friday, after the news, I ask them to pick one of the topics of the week and write their thoughts about their chosen topic.
Again, I can't recommend CNN Student News enough. It's a great way in today's visual society to keep your students abreast of current events and help make them an informed citizen in our society.