Pulitzer Center Update

News Bites and Lesson Plan of the Week: South Africa's Bid to End AIDS

Pharmacy staffer scans pill bottles

A staffer scans a bottle of pills that he then puts into the back of a Pharmacy Dispensing Unit — an ATM that may one day be in shopping malls. Image by James Oatway. South Africa, 2016.

Dear Educators,

This week's News Bite lesson investigates Jon Cohen's reporting on South Africa's efforts to prevent the spread of HIV. We are also very excited this week to feature a lesson written as part of last week's professional development workshop for K-12 and community college educators at the University of Chicago!

News Bite Lesson: South Africa's Bid to End Aids

This week's News Bite lesson plan asks students to use close reading and discussion to analyze how journalist Jon Cohen unfolds an exploration of HIV prevention measures in South Africa. As students engage with the article, they examine how Cohen balances presenting South Africa's achievements with an investigation of the challenges the nation continues to face. Students then create two promotional tools: one that publicizes a solution presented in the article and one that warns against a challenge explored in the article.

Featured Lesson: Syrian Refugee Crisis Project

This week's featured lesson plan was written by Kevin Conlon, a history teacher at Francis W. Parker School in Chicago, IL. The plan outlines an exciting project that asks students to analyze several articles reporting on the challenges facing Syrian refugees, and then use details from those articles to provide a recommendation for the number of refugees that the United States should accept from Syria. Conlon and his colleagues at Francis W. Parker created this project last year, but Conlon adapted this plan as part of last week's professional development workshop at the University of Chicago.

EDUCATION NEWS: Teachers Explore Local Connections to Global Issues at UChicago Summer Teacher Institute

An animated group of secondary and post-secondary teachers gather around a giant poster that reads, “My students need....” The poster had just been flooded with multi-colored post-it notes that captured the responses of the other 45 educators participating in their workshop. This smaller group of educators is tasked with summarizing major themes that emerged from teachers' responses to the prompt.

“My students need to see themselves as agents of change and love," one teacher says. "They need an appreciation of the world outside themselves," another adds. "They need empowerment of their voices" a teacher orates strongly enough for the room of 50 educators to hear. "They need understanding and access."

The teachers were participating in a two-day workshop co-presented by Pulitzer Center and the University of Chicago Summer Teacher Institute. The workshop, attended by K-12 teachers and community college professors from the Chicago region, introduced educators to the power of global reporting and documentary storytelling to engage students in exploring local connections to global issues.

On the first day of the workshop, participants began with an interactive reflection on their goals for their students, and the challenges they face in globalizing their curriculums. They then heard from Pulitzer Center grantees Dominic Bracco, Eli Kintisch, Eleanor Bell Fox, Karim Chrobog, Alexandria Bombach, and Robin Shulman, who shared their multimedia reporting projects exploring human rights, gun violence, climate change, and resource-extraction issues.

On the second day, teachers worked with Robin Shulman, Senior Education Manager Fareed Mostoufi and Outreach Coordinator Lauren Shepherd to explore reporting skills and engage with the Pulitzer Center Lesson Builder. Teachers explored photo analysis exercises, brainstormed how they might report pressing stories in their communities and ultimately began designing lesson plans using Pulitzer Center reporting. By the end of the workshop, several teachers had finished lesson plans and published them to the Lesson Builder community page. Others had collaborated to design projects that would use reporting to connect schools from different parts of Chicago.

If you are interested in working with Pulitzer Center to plan a professional development for teachers, contact us at education@pulitzercenter.org.

Featured Project of the Week: Ending Aids by Jon Cohen

Click here to learn more about Jon Cohen and his reporting on efforts to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States, and around the world.

If you are interested in connecting Cohen to your classroom in-person, or over Skype, please contact us at education@pulitzercenter.org.