Resources for Educators

Pulitzer Center Lesson Builder

The Pulitzer Center Lesson Builder is a digital tool and a supporting community of educators. They provide free lesson plans for teachers and educators, focused on current events and world issues in the news today. View some of the most popular lessons here!

Sample Lesson Plan Themes

Fighting Words: Poetry in Response to Current Events (Contest & Workshop)  Elementary, Middle School, High School

Jordan Roth

Announcing the Pulitzer Center Poetry Contest!

How can poetry be an effective response to current events and under-reported stories? How can we use poetry to connect global issues to our local and personal contexts? Students are invited to explore these questions and make their voices heard in their entries to the Fighting Words Poetry Contest.


  • 1st place: $100, publication on the Pulitzer Center website
  • 2nd place: $50, publication on the Pulitzer Center website
  • 3rd place: $25, publication on the Pulitzer Center website
  • Finalists: Publication on the Pulitzer Center website

Eligibility: Any current K-12 student in the United States or internationally may enter.

Deadline: Monday, May 20, 2019 11:59 PM EST

Submission guidelines: Go to the Pulitzer Center website and select a story (see workshop guide below for suggestions). Write a poem of any form and length that includes lines from the story. Use “With lines from “STORY TITLE” by JOURNALIST NAME, a Pulitzer Center reporting project” as your epigraph.

Send poem(s) to as a Word document, PDF, GoogleDoc, audio file, or video. If you choose to submit an audio or video file, please include a transcript of your poem as well. Do not include your name in the document.

In the body of your email, please include your full nameschoolgradestate and/or country, and phone number.

Judging criteria: Poems will be judged by the following criteria:

  • Success of the poem on its own terms (craft, linguistic style, emotion, etc.)
  • Successful inclusion of lines quoted from a Pulitzer Center story

Schedule a Workshop to Prepare: Teachers and after-school activity leaders who would like to prepare their students to craft poems for this contest can contact to schedule a workshop for their students facilitated by a Pulitzer Center education team member, or may use the workshop guide outlined below.

You can view last year’s winning poems here.

For more detailed information, visit the full Pulitzer Center’s Lesson Plan here!

Students explore Afropunk as a global social catalyst and consider art and fashion’s relationship to identity, culture, and social movements.


Tyler Hicks/New York Times

Students explore reporting on the Yemeni war and consider: What forms can war take, and how does it affect civilians directly and indirectly? How can journalists report on a conflict well?



Documenting Stories of Resilience: Ballet in Brazil’s Favelas  Middle School, High School

This lesson explores how film is used to tell the stories of young ballerinas in Brazil’s favelas, resulting in art and/or research projects examining resilience.




Video Discussion: Exploring Democracy with Formerly Incarcerated People   Middle School, High School, College

Engage students in a dialogue about democracy with photojournalist Andrea Bruce and members of a re-entry program in Memphis, Tennessee.




Students will consider the relationship between humans and the natural world through evaluating a podcast, exploring photography, discussion, and writing.



Independently and collaboratively, students piece together photo puzzles and investigate the stories behind them, all the while considering: Why is it important to seek out the full story?




Students evaluate two broadcast stories on the battle for land in the Brazilian Amazon in order to craft arguments about how they think land in the Amazon should be used.




By the end of this lesson, students will be able to evaluate how photojournalist Daniella Zalcman communicates interviews with blended photography in order to create their own blended portraits that communicate how their identities are impacted by significant memories.


photographs by Daniella Zalcman