For my classroom, I offer this current events assignment as an extra credit option. I have a "News of the Day" board in the front of my classroom split into four different sections (World, Nation, State, Local). Students will find a newspaper, online, or magazine article that relates in some way to social studies. They will have to summarize, highlight, connect to content, and evaluate the article.
I offer it as extra credit, but you could use this as an assignment for almost any grade level. I have students complete the assignment and cut out or print off their article and I post it on the bulletin board in the appropriate category.
Students like this assignment because they have freedom to choose what they read and gain some extra points throughout the year. In addition, it keeps they up to date on current events throughout their world.