Classroom Syllabus

Current Events Syllabus

Mr. John Murray


Rm. 2065

Office Time: Tuesday 3:30-5 or Make Appointment


Course Description


            This course is designed to explore topics that are not necessarily part of the regular curriculum and to increase student’s ability to analyze and do critical thinking pertaining to the various topics. Students will study the world we live in today. To understand our world, it is vital to understand the people of today’s world and their thought processes, which are both based on their pasts. Hence, studying, reading, and discussion of history will be an integral part of our daily routine. We will use periodicals (newspapers & magazines), documentaries, film studies, and the internet to explore today’s world.

            The class will be a forum for discussion and an open exchange of ideas. Students are encouraged to express themselves in a calm and open environment. Obnoxious intolerance of ideas will be punished with jeers from the class and possible disciplinary action from the instructor. There are many controversial issues in today’s world and you may not agree with everything, but you will show empathy towards others and gain a better understanding of those topics.


Course Goals and Objectives


The goal of this course is to enlighten the student body about the world in which they live and draw the families of those students closer to the Harvest Prep community. To do this, Students must develop and hone their critical thinking. Information has become increasingly accessible in the modern world. It is everywhere and hardly a commodity. Where we must live our lives is not in the finding of information, but in the productive use of it.


  1. Students will understand and explain the significance of important local, state, national, and international events.
  2. Students will be able to identify and summarize the key parts of a story after reading an article.
  3. Students will analyze and evaluate important current issues and defend their opinions with evidence.
  4. Students will make connections between current events and their daily lives, including how the events affect them personally and the lessons they can learn from current events.
  5. Students will be able to effectively communicate their ideas and opinions both orally and through writing.


Grading and Assignments


In this course we will be researching and analyzing current events. You will show your knowledge of what you have learned in a number of different forms, but the main way will be your article(s) that will be put into the school newspaper. Each of you will look at a number of different topics about our school, local, state, nationally, and international news; and then write one or more articles per week. These articles, whether they are published or not, will be put into a student portfolio and graded at the end of each semester. All other grades will come from weekly presentations of events, analysis worksheets, and participation.


Course Outline

Aug. 15-19: Intro: Foundations of Current Events and Journalism

Aug. 22-26: Research Methods and Ethics/History

Aug. 29-Sept. 1: Parts of a Newspaper/ Begin your Article

Sept. 6-9: Finding What’s Important Out There/Editing

Sept. 12-16 1st Edition

Sept. 19-23: Local News

Sept. 26-30: 2nd Edition

Oct. 3-7: State News

Oct. 11-14: 3rd Edition

Oct. 17-21: National News

Oct. 24-28: 4th Edition

Oct 1- Nov 4: International News

Nov. 7-10: 5th Edition

Nov. 14-18: Sports and Culture

Nov. 21-25: Thanksgiving Break

Nov. 28- Dec. 2: 6th Edition

Dec. 5- 9: Holiday Traditions

Dec. 12-16: 7th Edition

Dec. 19-30: Winter Brea

Jan. 2-6: Current Event

Jan. 9-13: 8th Edition

Jan. 17-20: Current Event

Jan. 23-27: 9th Edition

Jan. 30- Feb. 3: Current Event

Feb. 6-10: 10th Edition

Feb. 13-16: Current Event

Feb 21-24: 11th Edition

Feb 27- Mar. 2: Current Event

Mar. 5-9: 12th Edition

Mar. 12-16: Travel

Mar. 19-23: 13th Edition

Mar. 26-30: Spring Break

April 2-5: Current Event

April 9-13:14th Edition

April 16-20: Current Events

April 23-27: 15th Edition

April 30- May 4: Current Events

May 7-11: 16th Edition

May 14-18: Current Events

May 21-24: 17th Edition

May 29- June 1: Finals Week






Materials Needed

Please bring your materials (notebook, writing utensil) to class each day. It may be best if you have a flash drive (external memory).


Classroom Policy


Students are asked to treat teachers, guests, and their fellow students with courtesy and mutual respect.  In our classroom, this is my only real policy - one of courtesy and mutual respect.  This is a two way street.  I will treat each of you with the respect and courtesy as a young adult with the understanding that you in return will behave as a young adult and assume age appropriate responsibilities.


Plagiarism and other cheating

Plagiarism is taken seriously in all assignments. You should know what it is and that it is grounds for a zero on work. Plagiarism is to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own, to use (another's production) without crediting the source, to commit literary theft, to present as new and original idea or product derived from an existing source. In other words, plagiarism is an act of fraud. It involves both stealing someone else's work and lying about it afterward. If you feel there might be a chance that you are plagiarizing, ask me before you hand in your work so it can be taken care of.