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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The Death Penalty: A Just Punishment?

Post | December 4, 2019

On November 15, 2019, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals suspended the execution of Rodney Reed and sent his case back to trial, due to new witness testimony that pointed to his innocence and raised concerns about how evidence was handled during the initial trial.1 Since 1977, at least 166 inmates have been released from death […]


Twitter blog post

Political Ads on Social Media

Post | November 25, 2019

On October 30, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced that, effective November 22, Twitter would ban all political advertising on its platform. Dorsey justified the decision by explaining that political ads present “entirely new challenges to civic discourse.”1 Twitter’s sweeping decision was not an arbitrary one; it was the result of a new wave of scrutiny […]


Vaping: Free Market vs. Consumer Safety

Post | November 19, 2019

On September 11, 2019, President Donald Trump told reporters that his administration was considering a ban on flavored vaping products.1 This announcement came after a sometimes-fatal, vaping-related illness began appearing across the United States. On November 18, the Trump administration seemed to reverse course under pressure from constituents2 and corporate donors,3 announcing that no new […]


How the Supreme Court Could Reshape Discrimination Lawsuits

Post | November 15, 2019

On November 13, 2019, the Supreme Court heard arguments in Comcast Corp. v. National Association of African American-Owned Media.1 The Court’s decision will determine how difficult it will be to bring future cases regarding possible racial bias to trial.2 Facts of the Case Byron Allen, an African American, owns Entertainment Studios Networks (ESN), which operates […]


What We Can Learn From the 2019 Elections

Post | November 12, 2019

On Tuesday, November 5, 2019, voters in eight states went to the polls to vote in local and statewide elections. Competitive gubernatorial and state legislative races were held in Kentucky, Mississippi, and Virginia.1 These were the last elections before the 2020 census, which could result in the redrawing of political boundaries in each state. Furthermore, […]


Protestors in front of Supreme Court in Washington, DC

The Supreme Court Will Address DACA. What Will Follow?

Post | October 30, 2019

On November 12, 2019, the Supreme Court will hear arguments about the Trump administration’s efforts to end the immigration policy known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The status of DACA recipients has been in limbo for over two years amidst administration actions and court injunctions. What Is DACA? After Congress failed in its […]


The Harkness Model

Using the Harkness Method to Teach the News

Post | October 24, 2019

A Brief Introduction to The Harkness Method1 The Harkness method is a type of student discussion created at the Phillips Exeter Academy in 1930. At the time, most methods of education involved teacher-led lectures and rote memorization. But a wealthy philanthropist, Edward Harkness, promised a financial contribution of over $5 million (or almost $90 million […]


U.S. soldier facing ISIS fighters in Syria

President Trump Seeks to Further Reduce U.S. Military Presence in Syria

Post | October 18, 2019

On October 6, 2019, President Trump made the surprising announcement that he would pull out most of the 1,000 U.S. troops in Syria, where the United States has been working with the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Force (SDF) to fight the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), al-Qaeda, and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and to […]


President Donald J Trump speaks to reporters with microphones

Understanding the Current Impeachment Inquiry

Post | October 15, 2019

In late September 2019, it was revealed that an officer at the Central Intelligence Agency filed an official complaint with the intelligence community’s inspector general, alleging that President Trump had engaged in an inappropriate phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky on July 25. The whistleblower alleged that President Trump threatened to withhold approximately $400 million […]


President Donald J. Trump

Eliminate Illegal Immigration; Make Immigration Work for the Economy

Post | October 9, 2019

Immigration policy and enforcement continues to be a major area of conflict between Democrats and Republicans. Currently, Congress is considering many bills related to immigration, asylum, migrant detention, and family separation. This week, we will look at two proposals that Republicans are advancing; two weeks ago, we examined two bills that Democrats are advancing. Republicans […]


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