Controversial Issues in the News

students sitting together DC Shadow

Designed to help students develop a greater understanding of current events.

Twice a month, we publish a new topic for our Controversial Issues in the News library, which highlights policy issues recently featured in the news. Issues are framed by a central question, historical context, an overview of both sides of the issue, and discussion questions; allowing students to move quickly from reading about the issue to discussing and debating it with their classmates.

What kinds of topics does this library explore?

  • Climate Change: How, if at all, should the United States work to combat climate change?
  • Parkland School Shooting: Which policy options should lawmakers consider to try and prevent school shootings in the future?
  • Immigration: How should the government reform its immigration system?

View a sample of our 2018-19 topics. For the 2019-20 school year, new topics will be added twice a month.

Capitol Hill DC Shadow

What are the additional resources included for teachers?

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


Are Close Up’s resources designed as a supplement or as a full curriculum?
What kind of courses do Close Up's resources supplement?
Are Close Up’s resources designed for a particular grade level?
Are Close Up’s resources nonpartisan?
How are Close Up’s resources aligned with the C3 Framework, Common Core, and state standards?
What makes Close Up’s resources unique?
I’m new to Close Up’s resources and methodology – where is the best place to get started?


For more information, please contact us at or 703-706-3410.