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for Grades 9-12

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For Grades 9-12 , week of Apr 17, 2017

1.She’s All-Ivy

Ivy League universities are among the hardest to get into in the world. They have very high standards and attract tens of thousands of applications every year. This spring, however, a New Jersey teenager did something that high school seniors rarely achieve — she got into ALL EIGHT of the Ivies. Ifeoma White-Thorpe of Morris Hills High School in the town of Rockaway now has to choose between Harvard, Yale, Cornell, Columbia, the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton, Dartmouth and Brown. White-Thorpe, a senior and student government president at her school, wants to study biology and pursue a career in global health. She is not the first student to get into all the Ivy League schools, but only four have achieved the feat in the last few years. Choosing a college is one of the biggest education decisions students make. And there are thousands of colleges to choose from. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read stories about a college you might be interested in attending. Use what you read to create a chart showing “Things You Like Most” about the college, as well as “Drawbacks About This College.” Share findings with classmates and discuss.

Common Core State Standards: Conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic; organizing data using concrete objects, pictures, tallies, tables, charts, diagrams and graphs.

2.Roads and Bridges

Since taking office, President Trump has moved to significantly cut back how much money is spent on government services. But in one area he doesn’t want to cut — he wants to spend more. The president wants to spend $1 trillion or more to repair and upgrade the nation’s roads, bridges, highways, airports and power systems. “We have to build roads. We have to build highways,” Trump told a gathering of business leaders at the White House. To improve roads, bridges and other parts of the nation’s “infrastructure,” the president would need the approval of the U.S. Congress. That may difficult to achieve since many Republican senators and representatives oppose spending money on new programs. Improving the nation’s “infrastructure” would have many benefits for communities, businesses and individuals. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read stories summarizing some of those benefits. Use what you read to write a letter to the editor, detailing benefits you think would be most important.

Common Core State Standards: 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

3.Chemical Attack

The Middle East nation of Syria has been torn apart by violence in a civil war between the government and rebel groups. And now Syrians must deal with the aftermath of a chemical attack that killed more than 70 civilians — many of them children. Observers said the chemical bombs were dropped by government planes in effort to knock out rebel forces, and the United States responded by bombing a Syrian airportd. The U.S., allies in Europe and other nations called on the United Nations Security Council to conduct a full investigation of the attack, which experts said likely involved a banned nerve agent. The Syrian government denied dropping the bombs and said the attack was the fault of the rebels. The Doctors Without Borders group said that medics had treated patients with symptoms “consistent with exposure to neurotoxic agents such as sarin.” The civil war in Syria is attracting greater attention all over the world. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read stories about the latest developments. Use what you read to write a short editorial, outlining what you think the United States, the United Nations or other countries should do to help resolve the conflict.

Common Core State Standards: Writing opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information; reading closely what a text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it.

4.No More Uniqlo?

In malls across America, Uniqlo stores are popular with teens and young adults. They feature fashionable and affordable clothing and have attracted a growing number of fans. They also have gotten caught up in the economic and trade goals of President Trump, who wants stores to sell American-made goods as part of his “Buy American, Hire American” beliefs. Uniqlo, which is based in the Asian nation of Japan, doesn’t do that currently, selling goods made in different countries around the world. And if the U.S. insists on that, the head of Uniqlo’s parent company says he “will withdraw from the United States.” Uniqlo currently has 51 stores in the U.S. and had planned to open at least 20 more this year. If Uniqlo were to pull out of the U.S. market, it would damage the business of malls and shopping centers, business experts note. With the growth of online shopping, some stores at shopping centers are not doing as well as in the past. In teams or pairs, use the newspaper or Internet to make a list of stores located in malls in your area. Study the list and read stories about how different stores are doing. Use what you read and personal knowledge, to write a business column analyzing which stores you think are the best “attractions” for malls wanting to attract more shoppers. Share with the class and discuss.

Common Core State Standards: 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.

5.Microsoft Buys LinkedIn

The software giant Microsoft has acquired the business social network service LinkedIn in a $26.2 billion cash deal — by far the largest deal in Microsoft’s history. Microsoft makes software tools; LinkedIn is the world’s largest business-oriented social networking site, with more than 400 million members. People use the service to make work connections with other people in their fields, look for jobs or hire employees. LinkedIn will continue to operate as an independent brand. When companies expand or purchase other firms, the effects are felt by communities, employees and other businesses. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a company purchasing or merging with another company. Use what you read to write a short paper or essay, detailing the effects of the action on individuals, communities or other businesses.

Core State Standards: Producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task; citing specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions.