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Gail S Hennessey's picture
Gail Skroback Hennessey taught for over 33 years, teaching sixth grade in all but two years. She earned a BA in early secondary education with a concentration in social studies and an MST in social...
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Using the News in the classroom: Moving things by THINKING it???

With the pressure of testing creating more focus on getting kids ready for tests~ current events may be getting moved to the side-lines. Use news stories as possible Bell ringer activities(or whatever the current jargon is for a short activity for the students to do) especially while you are checking homework~ doing attendance~ at the end of the period~etc.) Find a news story~ write up a brief summary and then include two reaction questions for the students to respond. After 3-5 minutes~ regroup and discuss for a few minutes.

Here is an example:

Have the students read the following news story and answer the two questions. Regroup and discuss.
Imagine being able to move something just by thinking it. Scientists at the University of Minnesota's Institute for Engineering in Medicine are working on a thought-powered helicopter. Wearing a special hat~ electric currents from the wearer's brain were sent to a computer that enabled a model helicopter~ a quadcopter~to actually move! The scientists successfully moved the quadcopter though an obstacle course which included foam rings.
* Can you think of ways such thought technology might benefit our world?
* What might be some things you'd like to be able to move just by thinking about it?
* Photograph from

Gail Hennessey

*Photograph from