I woke to the unusual sound of the radio. My mother stood in the kitchen staring into space. Also unusual. Something was very wrong.
That morning I learned that Bobby Kennedy was shot a few miles from my home. Assassination was a word I learned a few months before.
I knew about Martin and Malcom.
I knew about protests and the Vietnam war.
I knew the world was full of unrest.
I was nine.
My parents had lived most of their lives in uncertain times and I don’t think it occurred to them, to exclude their children from their nightly conversations about the news, no matter the topic. Every evening we got a full dose of politics, opinions and a bit of Walter Cronkite or Roger Mudd.
Times were and are uncertain. This is and will always be our world. And our young ones are aware. As the conflict in Ukraine had worsened into war my nine-year-old students have been asking questions. Looking at maps. Asking why. Many are making connections to what they are learning in our historical fiction unit. World War 2. The allies. This war sounds familiar. Students are thinking and talking about it. World War 3 comes up on the playground.
All of this pointed to the need to bring news into the classroom.
So we are investigating.
Maps. News articles. Who is involved, where is this, and why is this happening.
And all the skills we have been working on when reading history are being used to figure out the answers for the history we are making.
Each day we try to piece together our uncertain times.