The Controversial Issues in the News library is designed to help students develop a greater understanding of current events and explore their own capabilities as active members of a community. We post a new issue each month, offering a balanced examination of a bill moving through Congress, a high-stakes Supreme Court case or another hot topic in the news. Issues are framed by a central question, and concise pro/con arguments, allowing students to move quickly from reading about the issue to discussing and debating it with their classmates.

Once students are familiar with an issue, Close Up resources help teachers take their engagement a step further. Through practical skill-building exercises, students expand from the classroom to the community, explore the impact of current issues in their own city and state, and take concrete actions to express their views to leaders and decision-makers.

What kinds of topics does this library explore?

  • Racial Profiling: Should Congress pass legislation to end the use of racial profiling in law enforcement?
  • Syrian Refugees: Should the United States halt its acceptance of Syrian refugees?
  • Voter ID Laws: Should Americans be required to present a photo ID when voting?
  • The Dakota Access Pipeline: Should the Trump Administration approve the route of the Dakota Access Pipeline?

What additional resources are included for teachers?

  • Debate formats to shape productive classroom discussions
  • Assignments to move students from conceptual understanding to practical application of ideas
  • Project outlines for in-depth research and multi-tiered civic action
  • Thematic lesson plans for tying it all together

Controversial Issues in the News is available in both high school and middle school reading levels. For more information, please contact us at or 703-706-3665.

Close Up Foundation. 1330 Braddock Place, Suite 400, Alexandria, VA 22314  |  703-706-3300  or  800-CLOSE UP  |  © CLOSE UP. All rights Reserved
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