These days, we are surrounded by news. It’s delivered to us on the radio, on TV, and even on our social media. At times, all this news can feel overwhelming, especially for our teens. Veritas Current Events is a Christian social studies curriculum for middle and high school students that teaches them to carefully assess the news they see and hear. It’s vital for our students to understand that news is biased and that sometimes, important stories are lost or hidden by other news stories.
I received complimentary access to Veritas Current Events for the purposes of this review; all opinions expressed remain my own.
What is Veritas Current Events?
Veritas provides weekly lesson plans and background information tackling the most significant issues and events of our day around the world. This Christian social studies curriculum gives educators the tools to enable students to understand and apply their faith to the most important issues of our time. These lesson plans can be used either in the classroom or in a homeschool setting.
Veritas seeks to help students:
- strengthen their Christian identity
- reject anti-Christian ideologies
- seek justice and defend the faith
- discover cross-disciplinary integration
During the school year, Veritas Current Events sends out one email per week providing that weeks’ lesson plans, backgrounder, and teacher’s guide. The lesson plan and backgrounder are usually two pages long, while the teacher’s guide is a single page. Your student could view the PDFs and work entirely on their device on these lessons, or you could print the pages to add to a binder / folder for them, which could also include their own essays or projects based on the weekly lesson.
A few of the news stories covered in the last year include:
- “Churches Burn In Canada After Residential School Revelations”
- “Social Media Comes Under Increasing Scrutiny”
- “Church Lockdowns During Pandemic Threaten Religious Freedom”
- “Covid-10 Lab Leak Theory Emerges into the Mainstream”
- “Egyptian Christian Martyred for Building Church”
Each lesson usually highlights a current event that is either getting biased coverage by mainstream media or is getting ignored by mainstream media. Teens are provided with a summary of the event, a few online articles to read about that event, critical thinking questions, and then activities to expand their learning and thinking. These activities often include doing more research on a specific topic and writing essays, short stories, or reflections in response to what is learned. The backgrounder is like an encyclopedia entry that provides teens with more background information about the current event.
The teacher’s guide provides a parent or teacher with some additional structure for the lesson. Learning objectives are laid out, along with a quick overview of the issues, and then discussion and activity options as well as further resources. I found that the lesson plan and backgrounder were easy for my homeschool students to work through on their own. The teacher’s guide would help you expand each weekly lesson into activities to do each day, so that Veritas Current Events could be your entire Christian social studies curriculum for the year.
Why Veritas Current Events was Founded
Veritas Current Events was founded by Esther (a teacher) and Matthew (a lawyer). Their shared interest in news and politics, and desire to serve and strengthen the Church, eventually lead them to start this Christian social studies curriculum. Each lesson clearly shows their exceptional research and teaching skills.
We aim to provide a resource that will help strengthen Christian students in their faith, deepen their understanding of the world, and help them to identify with their brothers and sisters in Christ around the world. ~ Esther and Matthew
Esther and Matthew realized many young people leave their faith when they are in university—when they begin encountering new ideas and ideologies. Even as adults, many of us find our faith shaken by the things happening in today’s world. Veritas offers parents and teachers a way to equip their students to faith these challenges to their faith. The lessons are focused on showing the reasonableness of the Christian view and the errors of ideologies that are truly in conflict. Veritas demonstrates how Christianity is consistent with the legitimate motivations that people carry into politics.
Veritas Current Events also encourages us to be concerned for our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world. Too often, we can get caught up in the problems that surround us here in North America, and ignore the plight of those around the world. Veritas consistently brings attention back to Christians who face persecution today. Esther and Matthew explain, “Helping students understand the plight of their brothers and sisters in Christ not only connects them to the church around the world, but also challenges them with stories of those who choose Christ over their own lives.”
An Easy-to-Use, Christian, Multi-Disciplinary Social Studies Program
As a homeschool mom, I’ve reviewed a lot of different curriculum. Two things that I look for in any curriculum are how easy is it to implement for my students and what skills does it engage. Veritas Current Events delivers easy, practical lessons to my inbox every week. This Christian social studies curriculum not only helps my teens engage in current events, but also weaves together history, geography, sociology, science, political philosophy and Christian teaching.
Many of the lessons are about an event in a specific PLACE, requiring students to have some knowledge of geography (and how big our world is!). The backgrounder helps students see how HISTORY plays a role in today’s events. Each country, each person has a story and a past that affects who and what they are today. Students also see that their FAITH is not something that happens just on Sunday, but can affect each and every day of their lives. All of this and more is pulled from a few current news stories to help give teens the big picture of what is going on in the world today—and the skills to think critically about the news they absorb.
If you’re interested in using Veritas Current Events with your middle or high school student, drop by the website. You can read more about the curriculum as well as view a sample lesson plan. You can also find Veritas on Twitter and Facebook.
How do you talk with your teenagers about world events? Are your middle and high school students aware of current events?