For Grades 9-12 , week of Oct. 31, 2011

1. Libya

Events in Libya are transforming the northern African nation. Use your newspaper to answer the questions below about events in Libya. Be sure to cite the stories and sources you used to answer the questions.

Core/National Standards: Citing strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly, as well as inferences drawn from the text.

A. The former leader of Libya recently died. Who was he?
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B. Why did leaders around the world condemn his style of leadership while he was in power?
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C. Why has there been fighting in Libya this year?
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D. How did the former leader die?
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E. Who is in charge in Libya now?
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F. What is the latest big news from Libya?
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2. One Old Cat

A tiger-like skull unearthed from a 2.5-million-year-old rock is the oldest known complete specimen related to modern big cats, according to a new study. The skull found in the Asian nation of China isnit that different from those of modern tigers, scientists said. That would indicate that big cats as we know them didnit change much after they first appeared. The fossil is the most complete specimen found to date connected to big cats, which may have evolved as early as 3.8 million years ago. As a class talk about how animals change over time. Then find a wild animal in the newspaper. Study its features and write a paragraph explaining why you think key features developed as they did.

Core/National Standards: Engaging effectively in a range of collaborative discussions with diverse partners; writing informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts and information.

3. Covered in Bees

Recently, a truck carrying 460 beehives crashed in Utah, releasing 25 million bees in a huge swarm. As crazy as that seems, itis the second time itis happened this year. In July, 14 million bees flew out of truck wreck in Idaho. Bees, which produce honey and pollinate food crops, have been dying off because of colony collapse disorder, a little-understood epidemic. Beekeepers open hives in the spring and find honey, the live queen bee and her brood. But all the adult bees (and their corpses) are missing. As a result, more and more farms have had to get bees trucked in to pollinate crops. More trucking, unfortunately, can lead to more truck accidents. Read about another interesting event in todayis news. After you have read the whole story, determine what the main idea is. Then write a brief summary of the article that explains the important details of that idea.

Core/National Standards: Determining a central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; providing an objective summary of the text.

4. The Zombie Times

As you know, Halloween is this Monday, October 31. Celebrate by writing a newspaper-style account of imagined supernatural events, such as a zombie attack or a ghost sighting. Use real news stories in the newspaper as models for your story and include important features of journalistic writing, such as staying in the third person, and igettingi quotes from eyewitnesses and experts. Have fun and be creative. Share stories with the class.

Core/National Standards: Producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to task, purpose and audience.

5. Good Start

Good writers pay careful attention to how they start their stories. Sometimes a first sentence tells the reader the main idea of the story he or she is about to read. Sometimes it explains the end result of all the events that will be explained in the story. Sometimes it gives an intriguing little detail about an event in the story in order to get you interested in finding out more. Read two different articles in todayis newspaper. After youive read each story, write a sentence explaining what purpose each first sentence serves in the story.

Core/National Standards: Analyzing how a particular sentence, paragraph, chapter or section fits into the overall structure of a text and contributes to the development of the ideas.