Lesson plan; What were the most important stories of 2022?

Directions: Skim the descriptions and watch some of the videos below, and then discuss the following questions:

  • What do you think is the biggest story of 2022 (that is, the story that people will remember most about the year in the future?)
  • What important stories do you remember from the past year that you think should be added to this list?
  • What do you predict will be some important events of 2023?
  • If you were to choose a story from your own country 2022, what would it be?
  • Choose one of the stories below and write a short summary of what you think was the most important, interesting, and surprising fact. Source: PBS Newshour

Russia invades Ukraine

In February, Russian head Vladimir Putin ordered troops to attack Ukraine, with the stated goals of “demilitarizing” the country and taking control of the eastern and southern regions of Ukraine. The war that followed has resulted in hundreds of thousands of civilian and military casualties, displaced millions and devastated Ukraine’s infrastructure.


Biden chooses Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson for Supreme Court

Also in late February, President Biden chose federal judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to fill the seat of retiring Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer. Justice Jackson was sworn in over the summer. She became the first Black woman to serve on the Supreme Court.


The Jan. 6 committee hosts hearings throughout the year, leading to report on causes and consequences of the attack on the Capitol

In December, the committee investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol completed its investigation after 18 months, more than one thousand interviews and ten public hearings. Members voted to approve their final report and recommended that the Department of Justice charge former President Trump with four crimes, including aiding an insurrection. These recommendations have no legal force, however, and charging decisions are left to the Justice Department.


Queen Elizabeth II dies at 96 after longest rule in British history

In September, Queen Elizabeth II, the longest reigning monarch in British history, died at age 96, after she was placed under medical supervision for failing health. Her son Charles was later crowned king. Elizabeth had been queen for 70 years during a period of massive change for Britain and its role in the world.


Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade

In June, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, a decades-old case that had guaranteed some rights to abortion in every state. The new precedent leaves the decision to states, and in many states abortion was quickly outlawed or significantly restricted.


Inflation surged at the fastest pace in 40 years

The cost of goods and services like grocery and gas rose faster in early 2022 than it had in decades, leading the Federal Reserve to confront the problem by making the cost of borrowing money more expensive. This in turn led to lower house sales and the possibility of recession, though inflation had cooled off somewhat by the end of the year and the economy continued to grow at a rapid rate.


Republicans take back the House, but Senate stays with Democrats after midterm elections

Republicans were hoping to take control of both chambers of Congress in November, counting on high inflation and other economic factors. However, the “red wave” they were hoping for did not materialize and they won just enough votes to take back the House and leave the Senate with Democratic control.


Teacher shortages become critical as many leave jobs

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 44 percent of public schools reported teaching vacancies at the start of the 2022-23 school year, with more than half due to resignations.


Biden cancels student debt for millions of Americans

In August, President Joe Biden announced his long-awaited plan on student debt. Borrowers making less than $125,000 a year would be eligible for $10,000 in federal loan forgiveness. That goes up to $20,000 for those with the greatest need. The move addresses part of the $1.6 trillion in federal loans held by 45 million Americans. Later in the year, however, much of the forgiveness was blocked by courts, at least temporarily.

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