In order to reinforce the relevance of your classroom subject, and to encourage students to engage with current affairs, have a regular “In the news…” notice pinned up on the door outside your classroom.

I set aside a regular slot each week where I check my favourite blogs and newspaper websites for articles relating to my subject (I collate these using the excellent online service Feedly), then print out the most interesting and stick them up on the classroom door along with a suitable title or question for consideration. I have also written my own program for history teachers which automatically curates history-related news from around the world.

To save time, you can also set up Google Alerts so that you can receive immediate email updates regarding any mention in the news of key topics and individuals relevant for your subject. You can also search Google News directly.

Students will often read these during their break periods of when they are waiting to come into class, and this will generate discussion at the start of lessons.

Taking it further

The same approach can be adopted using TV listings to highlight particularly interesting and useful television programmes that will be broadcast in the coming week.

It is a great idea, as shown in the picture shown here, to re-frame the headline of the piece as a question so that students can vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’. A good starter activity is to read the piece to a class, discuss and vote, and then pass the article around so that each student can sign it during the lesson.