The Economist is a goldmine for lesson plans. Witty captions and cartoons, brilliant data visualizations, and concise articles, make for a dynamic publication. The kind we want our students to be able to consume and produce (when they get older).
The Daily Charts section of The Economist website offers charts, maps, and graphs by subject (No more fish in the sea). When I come across a good visualization, I cut it out from the magazine (or print it out) and put it into a binder. Students can look through the binder for research ideas, debate research, hints about how to make their own visualizations, etc.
The Special Report section can jumpstart your expertise in a world issue (from the environmental waste crisis to the business of sport). All are downloadable PDFs on the website. I find these reports help me add current political and economic issues to my science, social studies, art, and mathematics content.
The Economist is known for its political cartoons. Look through KAL’s Cartoon Gallery to find cartoons relevant to your lesson plans. I’ve mediated great conversations and debates between students about these cartoons.
It’s important for your students to know you read – especially about issues that affect the world. I keep magazines and books around my desk and talk about issues that intrigue me while I’m reading. I hope this helps my students visualize themselves as older readers.
Have you used The Economist in your lesson plans? Are there other magazines you find useful?