So you’re studying the Civil War — or Shakespeare, or evolution, or “The Bluest Eye.”
Why? What does it have to do with your life and the lives of those around you? Why should you remember it once you’ve turned in that paper or taken that test?
What relevance does it have today? What lessons can you learn from it that can be applied to the world outside of school? What parallels do you see between it and something happening in our culture or the news?
Although your teachers probably pose questions like these already, this challenge invites you to answer them a little more formally.
Essentially, we’re asking you to do what we do every day: connect what’s in The New York Times with what you’re learning in school.
If you simply open NYTimes.com and start clicking around, you’ll see that the task is not that hard. The Times publishes hundreds of articles from around the globe every day. any given day you can quickly find something that confronts the very same themes, questions or issues that you’ve been discussing in school.
But to help, we have a lesson plan with a few practical suggestions, including one on how to search for useful Times content.
Good luck, and, as always, please post questions in the comments and we’ll answer you there. We’re excited to see what you come up with!
1. Choose some piece of academic content: something you’ve been reading, discussing or learning about in school. It may be a work of literature, an event in history, a concept in civics, a phenomenon in science or something else entirely. It can be as small as a single haiku or as large as a world-changing event like the Industrial Revolution.
2. Find something published in The New York Times anytime in 2017 or 2018 that you think connects to your chosen subject in some interesting, meaningful way.
You might think about the questions we raised above: What relevance does your academic content have to our world today? What does it have to do with your life and the lives of those around you? What parallels do you see between it and something happening in our culture or the news?
3. You can pick any article, Op-Ed, image, video, graphic or podcast, or anything else you like, as long as it was published in 2017 or 2018. Our related lesson plan gives you a few suggestions for how to do this.
4. In 500 words or fewer, tell us how and why the two things connect by filling in the form below.
5. The deadline is Jan. 16, 2018, at 11:59 p.m. Eastern.
6. You can work alone or in a group of up to five people.
7. Don’t worry if we’ve used your chosen novel, speech or historical event on The Learning Network for a lesson plan already. Great works, seminal events and important discoveries connect to our lives in myriad ways, so there are many great matches to be made.
8. Since this is a new contest, we’re not exactly sure what we’ll do with the submissions we receive. We’ll definitely publish the winning ideas, but we may also develop full lesson plans from some of them. If we do, we’ll invite those students to help if they like.