Close Up's FREE Educational Resources

 

Close Up’s educational resources help students and teachers investigate current events, research pressing issues using reliable sources, and develop real-world skills for effective community engagement. Below, you’ll find a sampling of our balanced current issue discussions, in-depth policy units, ready-to-use lesson plans, and weekly blog posts—all for free. 

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Pangolin

Humans, Animals, and Viruses

Post | March 23, 2020

The COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak is believed to have started at a wildlife market in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. It is unclear which species transferred the virus to humans, but scientists largely agree on the point of origin.1 The 2002 outbreak of SARS, another type of coronavirus, began under similar circumstances.2 LISTEN: A 13-minute podcast […]


Gender, Identity, and Official IDs

Post | March 13, 2020

In February, Representative Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) introduced the Gender Inclusive Passport Act (H.R. 5962) in the House of Representatives. The legislation currently has 25 cosponsors, all of them Democrats.1 If the bill becomes law, it would create a third gender designation on U.S. passports—unspecified (X)—to join the existing designations of male (M) and female (F).2 […]


Coronavirus

Public Health, Public Policy & Personal Responsibility: Coronavirus and the Common Good

Post | March 4, 2020

Public health officials first encountered COVID-19, popularly called the coronavirus, in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. Thus far, the virus has infected over 89,000 people, killing more than 3,000.1 In the United States, there have been more than 100 cases in 15 states; at least six people have died, all of them in Washington state.2 […]


Universal Basic Income: Pipe Dream or Proactive Policy?

Post | February 28, 2020

On November 6, 2017, businessman Andrew Yang began a presidential campaign centered on a signature policy, Universal Basic Income (UBI).1 If put in place, this UBI or “Freedom Dividend” would give every adult American $1,000 a month, no questions asked.2 The idea captured some voters’ imaginations; although Yang ultimately suspended his campaign after a poor […]


Understanding Ideological Labels

Post | February 20, 2020

During campaigns and elections, candidates use political labels, such as liberal, moderate, progressive, conservative, and libertarian, to position themselves in relation to each other and as a shorthand for their worldviews and policy preferences. This presidential election cycle features candidates from across a wider political spectrum than most elections in recent years. In the United […]


Is It a Crime When Politicians Lie?

Post | February 5, 2020

“There’s a clear difference between politics and a crime,” Michael Levy told the Supreme Court in January,1 when he made arguments in a case about New Jersey’s “Bridgegate” scandal. As the justices considered whether or not a public official commits fraud by obfuscating the “real reason”2 behind a decision, they asked both sides tough questions […]


Primary Voting Begins: Iowa and New Hampshire

Post | January 29, 2020

What Should You Watch for in the Democratic Primaries?  The next month features four nominating contests: the Iowa caucuses (February 3), the New Hampshire primary (February 11), the Nevada caucuses (February 22), and the South Carolina primary (February 29).1 A great deal of polling has been done to determine voters’ favorites in these contests, particularly […]


How Would You Vote in the Senate Impeachment Trial?

Post | January 17, 2020

Editor’s Note: This week, we created a longer post to provide some background on both the process and substance of President Donald Trump’s impeachment and Senate trial. This post includes more substantial teaching strategies, including a role-playing approach, that can be used to explore the issues at the heart of the impeachment and Senate trial. […]


U.S.-Iranian Relations Following the Death of Qasem Soleimani

Post | January 13, 2020

On January 2, 2020, it was announced that an air strike ordered by President Donald Trump had successfully targeted and killed Qasem Soleimani, chief of the Quds Force, at Baghdad International Airport. The Quds Force is regarded as the elite unit of Iran’s military; it handles overseas operations and is classified as a foreign terrorist […]


Should Eligibility for Food Stamps Be More Restrictive?

Post | December 11, 2019

Upon releasing new rules that will make it more difficult for “able-bodied” adults to receive food stamps, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue explained, “Now, in the midst of the strongest economy in a generation, we need everyone who can work, to work. This rule lays the groundwork for the expectation that able-bodied Americans re-enter the […]


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