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Current Event Friday Directions

Current Event Fridays


Every other Friday beginning on Friday, September 23, 2016, we will have “Current Event Friday.” The entire class period will be devoted to learning about and discussing current events. The catch is that you will be teaching each other. Each student will take a turn once per making period. I will post a schedule of current event presenters so that everyone will know in plenty of time. I have included an example of a written report and a rubric (checklist) that I will grade the project on. The project is worth a total of 100 points. These projects are meant to inform the entire class about current events. Being informed about the world around you will make you a better citizen of the world! Our first students will present their report on Friday, September 23, 2016. 


Complete a successful Current Event project by following these steps:


ü  Choose a current event, either local/state or national/international (I will assign local or national). You can learn about your current event through the newspaper, television, radio, Internet or a combination of those media outlets. YOUR HOMEWORK IS TO LOOK FOR A CURRENT EVENT TOPIC UNTIL YOU FIND ONE THAT INTERESTS YOU!  The event must have taken place since our last Current Event day- not before! This means you have a two week window to find a current event topic.


ü  You may report on just one day’s story or you may follow for two or more days for a more informative report.


ü  You will write an introduction, summary of your current event, and your opinion and/or reaction about it. Include a discussion question at the end of your report to jump-start the class discussion about your current event topic. Attach a bibliography page citing the sources you used!


ü  On the Tuesday before your Current Event Friday, you must hand in a rough draft of your project including the article you used. I will give it back to you on Wednesday with any suggestions. Feel free to hand in your rough draft earlier than that. You may discuss it with me anytime before your due date!


ü  Complete your final draft of your Current Event project. Practice giving your speech out loud!


ü  Speak to the class about your report on your Current Event Friday.


            Again, your written and oral report must include:

1.     An introduction paragraph

2.     Summary of the event

3.     Your reaction/opinion on the event

4.     A discussion question for the class

5.     Bibliography (on a separate page)


Current Event reports must be at least 300 words in length. They should be a minimum of THREE paragraphs. You may write or type your reports. If you type it, you must use size 12 Times New Roman font, double-spaced. Handwritten reports should be in black or blue pen.




Current event due dates are given out in plenty of time for you to complete wonderful projects. The only reason for your project to be handed in late is if you are absent the day of your presentation date. Any absence before the due date is no excuse for late projects.


If you are absent the day of your presentation date, you MUST hand in your written report the FIRST day you come back to school. You will then give your oral presentation to the class that day OR on the next current event Friday. If you are absent on the last current event Friday of the marking period, you will have to give your presentation to the class the first day you are back in school. If you do not hand in your report the first day you are back to school it is late.


If you choose not to hand in your project on the due date, you will have to complete it by the next current event Friday. You will be penalized 15 points. Each current event Friday after that that you do not hand in your project you will receive a penalty of 15 more points and so on. So, get it in on time!




Citing your sources at the end of your written reports is very important. Your audience must know where you got your information and you must give credit to the person who provided you with your information. Here are examples of the most common types of sources- newspapers, magazines, and the Internet. If you used a different type of source please come to me to see how to cite it.


Newspaper Article


Author. “Title of Article.” Name of Newspaper [Town of Newspaper] Date of Article: page number.




Scarcella, Francis. “Woman gravely injured in rock throwing.” The Daily Item [Sunbury] July 15, 2014:  A2.  


Magazine Article


Author. “Title.” Magazine Name Date: Pages.




Stein, Joel. “9/11 Anniversary: What does it mean for our country?” Newsweek June 28, 2014: 14-16.




Author. “Title of article.” Date of Internet publication. Date you read the article <web address>.




Weise, Elizabeth.”California residents shocked awake by quake.” August 24, 2014. August 24, 2014





There are many great sources of news out there- you just need to know where to look!


·       On television tune in to CNN (Channel 61) and Fox News (Channel 62) or WNEP (Channel 6) or WBRE (Channel 3) for local news as well as many other stations.


·       In print our most accessible newspaper is The Daily Item. I will have copies of these in the room for you to take with you. If you have access to USA Today or Newsweek, those are also great resources.


·       On the Internet, my favorite site is www.usatoday.com. The CNN website is also very reliable at www.cnn.com.


**When choosing a topic, remember:

1)      No house fires.

2)      No car accidents.

3)      No celebrity “news.”

4)      No sports.

**Choose a topic that is relevant and will spark a good discussion. If you think it is boring, don’t choose it as your topic!


Mrs. Witmer

Period 1

September 9, 2016


Space Exploration


            The United States has a long history with space exploration.  President John F. Kennedy challenged this country to go to the moon before he was assassinated.  His dream came true in 1969 when Neil Armstrong became the first man to set foot on the moon.  Since this time, the United States has had many successes and tragedies involving our exploration of space and the bounds beyond the planet we call Earth.  Probes have traveled to the ends of our solar system and beyond and Astronauts have spent years living outside of our atmosphere.  The possibility of living on another planet captures the minds of Americans.  Recently, a group of astronauts finished an experiment called a Mars simulation.  After one year living on a remote mountaintop, they have emerged to discuss their experience. 

            The experiment began over a year ago to test "crew cohesion and performance in isolation."  In other words, what would it be like to work together in a small space with little to no contact with the rest of the world?  Crew members spent their time living in a small structure 8,200 feet above ground in Hawaii.  The landscape outside of their living structure resembles the Martian surface.  The living quarters were extremely small and crew members had to wear suits to leave the small living environment.  Overall, the experiment was a success and crew members successfully completed the year, conducting research on the impact of extended isolation.  The University of Hawaii, with funding from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), completed the experiment.  There are future plans for similar studies in Hawaii to begin in 2017 and 2018.


The idea of traveling to Mars and setting up a colony is exciting.  The knowledge we would gain from such an experience is incalculable.  This study was an important step in the right direction when it comes to reaching out beyond our planet.  Space exploration is an important part of our advancement as the human race; however, I feel that the United States should be more careful about how it spends tax dollars.  There are so many problems in our own country that go unaddressed while we spend millions of dollars on projects that are often not directly helpful to the people of this country.  Many private investors have expressed interest in funding space research and NASA does not always have to pay the bill with US tax dollars.  We need to think carefully about how we invest our resources for the future of our country. 

Discussion Questions:

Would you be able to live in isolation with a small group of people for over a year?  Why or why not?

What are your thoughts on the possibility of traveling to Mars?

Is it the responsibility of the United States taxpayers to fund space research when we have many problems on our own planet?  Why or why not?


(Put sources page on separate piece of paper.)


Sources Used


Griffiths, James.  “Mars Simulation Crew 'Return to Earth' After 365 Days in Isolation.”  August 29, 2016.  August 29, 2015.  http://www.cnn.com/2016/08/28/health/mars-simulation-hawaii/index.html






 Current Event Friday Rubric


Written Report (60 Points)


Mechanics (15 points)


_____  Spelling                                                (3 points)


_____  Title                                                      (2 points)


_____  Bibliography page                               (5 points)


_____  Correct Length and Font                     (3 points)


_____  Neatness                                             (2 points)                                            


Report (45 points)


_____  Event is relevant, important, and within two week window              (5 points)        


_____  Event is the local/state or national/international that was assigned   (5 points)


_____ Completed rough draft was handed in by Tuesday                            (10 points)


_____  Clear and accurate summary or summaries                                       (15 points)


_____  Clear and informed reflection/opinion                                                 (10 points)

            -What do you think about the event?

            -How could the problem be solved?

            -How could we help?

            -Can you relate to the story at all?


Oral Presentation (40 Points)


____ Informed, comfortable speaker about the current event                       (15 points)


_____Eye Contact                                                                                           (10 points)


_____Clear, Loud Voice                                                                                 (10 points)


_____ Valid Discussion Question                                                                   (5 points)





Total Points/Grade: