Logo for CNN10, including the text, "News explained in 10 minutes."

Five Reasons CNN 10 Videos Are Great Tools for Teaching Current Events

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Today’s Friday, the first Friday of the year for me. Oftentimes, I like to take some time at the end of the week to break up the routine of class and talk about discuss some current events with my students.

To do that, I’ve got a go to, free resource: CNN10.

What Is CNN10?

CNN10 (formerly CNN Student News) is a daily video newscast produced by CNN10 with anchor Carl Azuz. The program is designed specifically for middle and high school students. In a typical day, it’ll feature three to four stories, a bit of trivia, a funny viral video clip, and some closing puns.

All of that happens in ten short minutes.

Why Do I Love CNN10?

There are a ton of reasons to love CNN10, but here are my top 5:

  1. The videos are downloadable (go to the RSS feed here). You can also subscribe to the video podcast on iTunes and automatically download each new episode. I don’t know about you, but I hate when the internet isn’t working well and I’ve planned a lesson around streaming a video.
  2. It’s short. Ten minutes is the perfect length. It’s long enough to be of substance, but it doesn’t take up the whole period. Depending on how long you discuss it afterwards, you’ll still have twenty to thirty minutes left in a regular class period to do something else.
  3. The host is engaging. Carl Azuz is entertaining and relatable, albeit a bit funny in a corny dad kind of way. He’s not overly serious, dramatic, or pedantic. You’ll either love or hate his puns, but either way I think he was a great choice for hosting a show aimed at students.
  4. It’s actually “fair and balanced.” FOX News might have ruined that phrase forever, but in an era of hyper-partisanship it’s refreshing idea. Despite the President’s hatred for CNN, I don’t notice any discernible bias in the CNN10 broadcast. Read this analysis for a more in depth look at whether or not CNN 10 is biased.
  5. It’s interactive. Each day, there’s a quick trivia question in the middle of the video that leads into one of the stories. The students are prompted to call out the answer, and in my classes there are always some who get in the routine of trying to guess the answer.

How Do I Use It In Class?

I watch CNN 10 regularly with my classes. It can be a great filler for those “wasted” days – half days where you only see some of your students, testing days, days before holidays, etc. But it can also be an integral part of your daily or weekly routine.

Check out these five suggested activities for ways to incorporate CNN 10 into your class.

Check Out Today’s Video

Here’s today’s CNN10 video for Friday, September 8. The stories featured include Hurricane Irma, the NFL and its ratings, and a non-profit that supports struggling students. Since it’s Friday, the video closes out with a one minute montage of photos and clips from coverage throughout the week.

Source: CNN 10, September 8, 2017

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