Close Up in Your Classroom

Close Up recognizes that many school districts are revising their educational plans this spring. To support schools during this time, Close Up is making our most frequently used resources free through the end of the school year.

Digital Classroom Training

Close Up staff can provide you with training how to make use of digital learning platforms like Zoom and Google Classroom

This training includes:

  • A guided tutorial on the most useful functions of these platforms in digital classroom settings
  • Specific training on how to apply these platforms to Close Up lessons and resources
  • Collaborative consultation with staff trained specifically in facilitating constructive conversations centered on current issues

Controversial Issues in the News

To help students understand current events and the world around them, Close Up regularly publishes balanced, nonpartisan classroom materials that help teachers and students explore controversial issues and their real-world implications. Policy issue discussions cover a range of topics, including immigration, climate change, and gun control. Click here for instructions on how to access 20 issue discussions.

Classroom Lesson Plans

Close Up has created six ready-to-use lesson plans that draw on our nonpartisan approach and issue-centered methodology, providing your students with vital opportunities to develop and practice the key skills and attitudes of active citizenship. Each lesson plan takes approximately 45 minutes and can be used in conjunction with one another or independently.

Establishing a Classroom Community
Understanding Values and Tensions
Faceoff Debate
Options Matrix Deliberation
Constructing Media Bias
Five Questions to Identify Reliable Sources

Virtual Seminars

Close Up programs help students and teachers engage with policy and media experts, advocacy and NGO leaders, and civics-oriented institutions to gain real-world insights on government and public policy. We are working closely with our educational partners to identify virtual opportunities for students to connect with our DC partners through online seminars (options may include: Domestic Issues Debate, Advocacy Seminar, or National Geographic Explorer Seminar). Email if you are interested in receiving updates about our virtual seminars.

Virtual Classroom Connections

Through platforms like Zoom and Google Classroom Close Up provides lessons and activities which keep your students connected to one another across distance. The Mismatch platform also enables your students to connect with peers from other states, political backgrounds, and cultural identities. To learn more and sign up, click here:

Current Issues Blog

Our Current Issues Blog helps teachers connect news stories to their classrooms and students whether in person or across digital spaces. Teaching the news is time-consuming and complicated; by the time you are able to find and process important issues and identify how to teach them, they are old news. This blog is updated weekly, with links to classroom-ready news items, relevant context, and suggested discussion questions for teachers designed for a full class period of instruction and engagement. Visit our site for more information:

Professional Development

Through professional development, Close Up equips educators with the knowledge and competencies needed to address sensitive topics in the classroom and meaningfully incorporate current issues into their curriculum. By focusing on issued-centered education and nonpartisan instruction, Close Up helps educators facilitate high-quality debates and deliberations, and provides guidance for when discourse breaks down. If your department or district is interested in a training session, please email