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CNN10 Discussion Questions: 9 Ways to Get the Conversation Going

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CNN10 is a great resource for teaching current events. If you watch one of the videos in your class, you’re probably going to want to have a quick discussion afterwards – so here’s a list of CNN10 discussion questions that you can use to get that going.

  1. Which story did you find the most interesting? Why?
  2. If you had to tell your friend about one of these stories, which one would it be? Why?
  3. After watching today’s video, what are you wondering?
  4. Which of the stories surprised you? What was surprising about it?
  5. In one word, how do you feel after watching today’s video?
  6. Which story do you think we’ll learn more about in a future episode? What do you think will happen?
  7. In what ways does this video relate to something we’ve learned in class this year?
  8. In what ways does this video relate to a news story that we saw earlier in the year?
  9. In what ways does this video help us understand one of our essential themes? [Note: see this post about using themes to organize your social studies class.]

If you’re not familiar with CNN10, keep reading for some more information about the resource and how you can use it in your class. If you are, skip to the comments below and share which of the CNN10 discussion questions you find most useful in your class.

And remember – incorporating current and controversial issues is one of the six research based methods for improving civics education.

What Is CNN10?

CNN10 is a daily video podcast created by CNN. Each episode typically highlights three to four major news stories from around the world. The video usually ends with a viral clip and a collection of puns to liven things up. The videos are produced specifically for use in middle and high schools, and they aim to report on stories in a way that is approachable by teenagers.

Read more about why I love using CNN10 in my class here.

How Can You Incorporate CNN10 Into Your Class?

Each CNN10 video is relatively short – 10 minutes. There are a number of ways that you can incorporate this into your class. You might watch it every day as an opener, you might watch several of them on a designated day of the week, or you might have students watch them at home in a flipped classroom.

As for evaluating students afterwards, you could take a number of approaches. You could have them write summaries. Or you might have them take a quiz. You could also just grade them based on their participation in answering the CNN10 discussion questions listed above.

Read more about teaching methods and assessments using CNN10 here.

Is CNN10 Biased?

If you work in a school with ideological diversity – or one with a strong conservative bent – you might be afraid that CNN10, aka “fake news” is too “liberal” to use in your class. You can rest assured that CNN10 presents the news in a neutral way, and it goes to great lengths to make sure that both sides of every issue receive equal reporting.

In fact, the biggest critique of CNN10 might be that it goes too far in trying to be neutral. But that’s a discussion for another day, and if you’re ever challenged by a parent you should have no problem demonstrating that CNN10 is a fair and balanced resource.

Read more about how CNN10’s reporting is unbiased here.

List of eight CNN10 discussion questions that you can use when teaching current events.

Other Ways to Teach Civics in a Fun Way

Incorporating CNN10 and other current events can be a great way to liven up your social studies class and make civics more exciting. But if you’re looking for more ideas, check out this collection of six ways to teach government in a fun way.

What Are Your Favorite CNN10 Discussion Questions?

What discussion questions do you typically use after watching CNN10? I’d love to hear your favorites in the comments below.

4 comments on “CNN10 Discussion Questions: 9 Ways to Get the Conversation Going”

    • Sandra
    • September 25, 2019

    Is it ever possible to get clips as movies take up a lot of class time. There’s a whole years history in these well selected movies

    • mia
    • January 23, 2020

    Nice show!

    • Sheng
    • September 30, 2020

    In future debates, the microphone of the other should be off. This gives the assigned speaker without interruption. Turn on the microphone when the assigned time slot expired. The method can elevate the level of debate.

    • Lynn Van Der Heyden
    • December 18, 2020

    I what to know if Trump is trying to turn our county into a country like Russia?

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