Somehow over a month has past since I initially wanted to respond. Anyway, do you have electronic copies of the articles you use at the beginning of the year?
We used this activity, followed by a study of Matthew 25, followed by this activity with the linked articles below.
Then we asked the students this: what big questions does a group of people in Holland need answered. This is the list the students came up with and the classes choose one as our question for the year.
Big news about energy has been happening in Holland over the last year. You will be put into a group that will read an article about this issue. Discuss the article with your group and be prepared to share what your group says with others in the class. The person with the most white on their shoes today is the group scribe.