Students Reading Global News

Tuesday, July 9, was our first day of a full “reading the morning news” session with students at TLC’s summer camp. I’ve previously described what a typical morning at TLC will look like, but actually doing a session with students was quite exciting.

The idea is that students spend about 45 minutes reading articles on their own about things going on in the world. I don’t know in advance what the students will read or which article we will talk about (after each student reads a few articles we stop and each student makes a “pitch” to the rest of the group about which article we should talk about).

The article we decided to talk about was a chilling account of how, at a recent soccer match in Sao Paulo, Brazil, a referee was killed, cut into pieces, and beheaded.

The gory details are that the referee gave a player a red card; the player and the referee got into a fight; the referee pulled a knife and stabbed the player (who eventually died en route to the hospital) and the player’s relatives and friends came out from the stands, tied up the referee, and waited for police to arrive.

We found a more detailed account of the event from a Brazilian newspaper, which contained this account:

The one man in custody, 27-year-old Luiz Moraes Souza, stated in a press conference that “the crowd got together, caught him, tied him up there. We waited for the police for more than an hour and a half. We called them, no one appeared. Then they lynched him.”

Jordão da Silva was reportedly stoned and beaten. His body was then quartered and his decapitated head placed on a stake in the field. Souza confessed to assaulting Jordão da Silva but maintains he is innocent and not responsible for his death and dismemberment.


Our discussion led us to the following possible follow-up topics, should we choose to explore this story in more depth at some point:

What is the history of violence in sports and/or of public acts of extreme violence?

What is life like in Sao Paulo, Brazil (population more than 11 million) and why did it take so long for the police to respond?

We also looked to see if the stabbing was front-page news in Brazilian newspapers.  Strangely, it was not — the main story seemed to be why so many people are protesting throughout Brazil — here are the main headlines we found:

brazil protests2

(For more about why people are protesting in Brazil, see my prior blog post on the topic of Big Cities in China and Brazil, where I noted that “Brazil, with the fifth largest population in the world at just under 200 million, has 17 cities with a population of over a million people — as compared to nine in the US.”)

Other articles students found and presented on Tuesday included an article from Sweden titled Heartbeats of choir singers synchronize when they harmonize. The student who found that article plays saxophone and is interested in music.

Another article one student found interesting was about the recent train crash in Quebec, which the student noted was the fourth (!) freight train crash involving crude oil shipments in Canada this year.

Left to their own devices, and given the task of engaging with the world, students found some great articles and started learning about the world — which is the whole point of the camp 🙂


About Steve Goldberg

I teach students at Research Triangle High School (RTHS) about US History. RTHS is a public charter school in Durham, NC, whose mission is to incubate, prove and scale innovative models of teaching and learning. The blog posts here reflect my own personal views and not those of my employer.
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One Response to Students Reading Global News

  1. Right on Steve.

    Excellent work. I look forward to seeing you and your students develop next year.

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