Highlight Current Events in Your Classroom
Each Friday, Flocabulary brings you the top news stories from the past seven days with The Week in Rap and The Week in Rap Junior. On this page, you'll find subject-wide lesson plans and implementation suggestions to help you make current events a centerpiece of your classroom.
Subject-Wide Lesson Plans
Using Language for Purpose
In this lesson, students will identify and choose between academic and social English in their writing and speech. They will watch and respond to prompts in the Week in Rap for a range of purposes as they gain practice with this important language skill.
How Stories Are Chosen
Use this lesson in conjunction with The Week in Rap to focus on why the specific headlines were selected for the song, discover the criteria used, and then have students in the position of picking the headlines around criteria they develop themselves.
Analyze a News Story
News stories are written in a very clear way. Why are they so easy to read? Students will find out. Using the inverted pyramid as a guide, students will analyze the structure of a news story, and practice finding the main idea while they're at it.
Worth 1,000 Words
Use this lesson in conjunction with The Week in Rap to facilitate a discussion and short research assignment that focus on the role that visual elements, graphics and headlines play in communicating information and opinion in the news.
Debate the News
Capitalize on controversy. Debating a Week in Rap news story can help students clarify their understanding of a topic, develop opinions and understand other views of current events. Debates can range from formal argumentation to a more casual discussion. And in all cases, they encourage interactions and socialization in the classroom. We've provided some guidelines and a worksheet to hold a formal debate as well as tips for more casual opinionated discussions.
A Day in the Life, Internationally
Each Week in Rap includes international news stories. This lesson will ask students to choose a country mentioned, draw out key details from the news article, and use these details to think about how their lives would be different if they lived in that country.
Week in Rap Fridays
Every Thursday night, we post the latest Week in Rap video and email all Flocabulary subscribers to let them know it's up. Preview the video and prepare for discussion on "Flocab Friday" (or "Flocab Monday" of the next week). Use the Flocab lesson sequence for this weekly Flocab event.
Enter The Week in Rap Shout-Out Contest
Ever wonder how schools are chosen for shout outs at the start of The Week in Rap? Each week, there's a contest your students can enter. Week in Rap shout out contests ask students to reflect on the news with writing, math and art. Make a contest entry a regular assignment or ongoing extra credit and maybe you'll earn your school a shout out, too. See the current contest here.
Jigsaw the Interactive Lyrics
Divide the interactive lyrics amongst your students. Click here for a printable worksheet to guide your students' mini research projects that they can share with each other.
Dive Deeper with The Week in Rap Exercise Sequence
With The Week in Rap exercise sequence, students can demonstrate their understanding of the news while building critical thinking, reading, writing, geography, science and math skills. Read more here.
Connect The Week in Rap to Social Studies
Elections in Egypt? Watch the Ancient Egypt video to review the geography. Important Supreme Court ruling? Revisit the three branches of government. Use Flocabulary's social studies videos to connect history to current events.
Connect The Week in Rap to English Language Arts
Because the news is always changing, current events always provides new nonfiction texts for students to read and write about. Whether you're teaching main idea, commas or source evaluation, The Week in Rap has relevant materials you need.
Help Students Process Tragedy in the News
Presenting news to students about tragic events in the world, including acts of terrorism and hate crimes, can be especially challenging. On the Flocabulary blog, three experts in child psychology and mental health share their advice for building healthy, safe and supportive environments. We also offer suggestions for using art for expression in the classroom in the wake of tragic events. Read more about helping students process tragedy here.
Week in Rap Throughout the Week
If you use The Week in Rap regularly, you may find that students are naturally following the news throughout the week. Let their curiosity spark an ongoing current events assignment. Have students read a news source each day, or pick a story from the previous Week in Rap to follow. Ask a few students to give updates.
The Week in Rap in Homeroom or Over the Announcements
Use your homeroom or advisory period to watch and discuss The Week in Rap. Some schools will even play The Week in Rap as part of the morning announcements.
Special Week in Rap Videos
Twice a year, The Week in Rap reports on more than the previous 7 days. Each December, look out for The Year in Rap, where we summarize the top stories from the past year. In May, to celebrate high school graduates, 18 Years in Rap summarizes the top news stories of the last 18 years.
Guess the News Story
Before you watch the video, have students write down a quick summary of the news stories that they think will be included in The Week in Rap. Whoever guesses the most is the winner!