Lookout Educator Page

Lookout’s Educator page was created for high school teachers to easily use local current events in their classrooms with the intention of students feeling more informed about and connected to their town and community. Download our free lesson plans via the links below.

Are you a Santa Cruz County high school teacher? If you use Lookout in your classroom, you and your students qualify for free Lookout memberships. This gives you access to all our content, local perks and invitations to local special events. Click this link to sign up now. Questions? Email jamie@lookoutlocal.com.

Lookout Student Journalism Scholarship

Santa Cruz County high school and college students are invited to apply for Lookout’s first ever journalism scholarship. The three winners will receive $500 each!

Showcase your writing skills and uncover the unsung heroes in your community. Apply today and take the first step towards a scholarship and a brighter future! Learn more here.

Media Literacy

In this world of media, whether television, online or social media, the ability to access and analyze information is essential to a healthy democracy. Media literacy will help students ultimately be able to create, reflect and take action, using the power of information and communication to make a difference in the world. Lookout’s media literacy lesson plan is a simple guide on top things to think about when reading information, as well as a vocabulary guide on how to read and interpret news stories.

Media Literacy Guide: How to Read and Interpret News Stories

Current Event Discussion Guide

Lookout’s Current Event Discussion Guides provide reading comprehension and allows high school students to have conversations around a variety of topics that directly affect them and the place they live. Another aspect of the guides is to provide a way for students to think critically about how and what information they absorb, learning media literacy in the process of these discussions. Read the lesson plan and print or share the questions and choose from the list of current events below.

Current Event Discussion Guide: Lesson Plan
Printable: Current Event Discussion Questions

Current event article library

News Quizzes

Lookout’s News Quizzes are a great way to get students interested in local news in an easy and quick way. These quizzes test reading comprehension while getting students more informed on issues and happenings in the community.

‘It’s a mess’: Attempt at illegal Coastal Commission nominations shows decades of state law violations by Santa Cruz County (March 2023)

‘Bay of Life’ enlarges the vision of what we call ‘home’ (February 2023)

Neighbors along Soquel Creek say they had little warning their homes were about to flood (January 2023)

‘It’s not ‘us versus the whales’’: Delayed crab season weighs heavily on Central Coast fishermen (December 2022)

Will West Cliff sidewalk collapse, continued erosion eventually pave the way for a one-way street? (November 2022)

Pressure building on pesticides, Driscoll’s says it will consider organic-only by schools (October 2022)

Cutting through the ‘style differences’: Kalantari-Johnson, Cummings in a battle for what defines progressive (October 2022)

Resource Library

Using local news to supplement your curriculum is a great way for lessons to connect directly to students’ lives. In Lookout’s resource library, you will find articles separated by topics. These can go along with themes of literature you are reading, or connect to larger conversations on climate change, civil rights, mental health and more. This library is updated frequently as we publish new content.

High School Resource Library

More resources:

Suggested: Social Media: Is Your Breaking News Broken?

Suggested: Why Are Conspiracy Theories So Appealing, and How Can We Avoid Falling for Them?

Suggested: Young fact checkers explain how to tell fact from fiction online.