Harper’s Weekly – Weekly Review

Looking for a way to get your students thinking about current events, how the US is not the only place on Earth and have it all in a nice humorous weekly package? Where else will you get a mix of Chinese communists, Australian Aborigines and German polar bears in one paragraph. It’s also all properly referenced so you can easily send students out to the source material (although that didn’t transfer well through the copy and paste).

Check out (email subscribable) the Weekly Review from, fittingly, Harper’s Weekly.

The Chinese government expelled more than five hundred people from the Communist Party for violating the country’s one-child policy, South Asia was suffering from severe food shortages, and the Australian government refused to provide compensation to Aborigines (who until 1967 were governed under flora and fauna laws) who were stolen from their parents as children. Keepers at the Nuremberg Zoo, under criticism for allegedly allowing polar bear mothers to eat and abandon their young, announced that they would hand-rear an at-risk cub but also made clear that they do not want a repeat of the Berlin Zoo’s Knut-mania.

-Harper’s Weekly

The authors vary so does the quality but it’s usually a really interesting and subtly linked variety of news from all over. It’d make for some interesting conversation just talking about why the author might link two items. There’s some sophisticated and subtle (sometimes) work going on here.

Even if this particular use is above your students’ heads or not to their tastes the idea is pretty interesting. The writing style and the way diverse items are woven together is a pretty sophisticated task. We’ve got a class called Core where students read a wide variety of books (Darwin, Nietzsche, Adrienne Rich, Plate etc.). I’d love to see something like this made from the ideas of their works with direct quotes worked in. It’d take a lot of time and effort as well as a pretty extensive understanding of the various works. The upswing would be the variety and creativity that doing something like this would allow.

Comments on this post

  1. terry said on January 29, 2008 at 10:47 pm

    What a cool idea! I have long been a fan of Harpers, but I never thought of using this as an asignment model. Maybe we could talk further about this, Mr. Woodward!

  2. Tom said on January 30, 2008 at 3:03 pm

    Madame Dolson, I am at your disposal.

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