Resources for Teachers and Students
, week of
Mar. 03, 2014
1. Made in the USA
Nothing is considered more American than the American flag, but up to now flags at U.S. military bases have not necessarily been 100 percent American-made. The military’s major flag makers are American companies, but flag materials — such as ink and fabric — sometimes have come from foreign countries. No more. Military leaders at the Pentagon have agreed to use only completely American-made flags at military bases, on ships and for burial of military personnel killed in action. It could cost a little more, because it’s often less expensive to buy American flags made, for example, in China. Many products sold in the United States are made in other countries. But some people would like certain products to be American made. In the ads of the newspaper, find a product you think people would want to be American made. Write a paragraph explaining why this would be important to such buyers.
Common Core State Standards: Conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic; writing informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly; citing specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions.
2. Get All Seussical
Children’s writer Dr. Seuss was born Theodor Seuss Geisel on March 2, 1904. Dr. Seuss’s books, including “The Cat in the Hat,” “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” “Green Eggs and Ham” and many others, use rhymes, repetition and rhythm to make reading fun and teach kids how to read. Pick a news story that’s appropriate for younger kids. Alone or with a partner, write a short story or skit that conveys the information to kids in a fun, engaging way.
Common Core State Standards: Demonstrating understanding of figurative language; applying knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts.
3. Football Helmets ‘Terrible’
A study recently compared the value of different football helmets in preventing concussion among children. Its conclusion? “All of them were terrible,” the lead researcher reported to the American Academy of Neurology. Ten of the most widely used brands were examined in the study. Rather than depending on helmets, the study said it would be more effective to teach correct tackling techniques, strengthen players’ neck and shoulder muscles and more rigidly enforce of rules against head-first contact. The dangers of concussions in football have gotten wider and wider attention in recent studies. But all sports have risks of injury. In the newspaper, pick a sport you like. Write out a list of safety rules you would require if you were running the sport at the high school level. For each rule, write a complete sentence giving a reason it is needed.
Common Core State Standards: Conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic; producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task.
4. Teens Cite School Stress
U.S. teenagers report feeling more stress than adults do, according to an American Psychological Association survey, and most of that stress (83 percent) is associated with school. Forty percent of those surveyed reported feeling irritable and angry, and one-third cited stress-caused lack of sleep. Regular exercise is known to help reduce stress, but 20 percent of those responding said they exercise once a week at most. About 46 percent said they turn to video games to help cope. As a class, discuss reasons you and your classmates feel stress at your school. Then brainstorm realistic and practical ways to reduce stress. Draw a series of comic strips for the newspaper, showing ways to reduce stress.
Common Core State Standards: Engaging effectively in a range of collaborative discussions; using drawings or visual displays when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or points;
5. No Chicken Antibiotics
Chick-fil-A is one of the most popular restaurant chains in America, and now it has promised to serve chicken “raised without antibiotics” at all its restaurants within five years. The move comes in response to consumer demand, the Atlanta-based food chain says, noting that in surveys, 70 percent of customers rated it a top issue. Critics of antibiotics say they are an unnecessary additive in food production and could lead to some antibiotics being less effective fighting diseases in humans. In addition, more and more consumers want foods that are “additive free.” Other fast-food chains have adopted policies to curb antibiotic use in healthy livestock to promote growth. When a large number of consumers express wishes for a product, manufacturers often respond. In the newspaper find a popular product in which consumers might want to see a change. Write a paragraph describing the change and how it might be achieved.
Common Core State Standards: Producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task; conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic.
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