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Lessons for

Grades 1-4
Grades 5-8

Past lessons
for Grades 9-12

Dec. 11, 2017
Dec. 04, 2017
Nov. 27, 2017
Nov. 20, 2017
Nov. 13, 2017
Nov. 06, 2017
Oct. 30, 2017
Oct. 23, 2017
Oct. 16, 2017
Oct. 09, 2017
Oct. 02, 2017
Sep. 25, 2017
Sep. 18, 2017
Sep. 11, 2017
Sep. 04, 2017
Aug. 28, 2017
Aug. 21, 2017
Aug. 14, 2017
Aug. 07, 2017
July 31, 2017
July 24, 2017
July 17, 2017
July 10, 2017
June 26, 2017
June 19, 2017
June 12, 2017
June 05, 2017
May 29, 2017
May 22, 2017
May 15, 2017
May 08, 2017
May 01, 2017
Apr 24, 2017
Apr 17, 2017
Apr 10, 2017
Apr 03, 2017
Mar. 27, 2017
Mar. 20, 2017
Mar. 13, 2017
Mar. 06, 2017

For Grades 9-12 , week of Nov. 06, 2017

1. What Next in Russia Probe?

The investigation into Russian interference in the last U.S. presidential election has caused heated debate from the White House to Congress to communities across America. And now it’s getting hotter, after charges were filed against two top Republicans last week and a third pleaded guilty. The charges were brought by the office of special counsel Robert Mueller, who was appointed by the U.S. Justice Department to investigate whether the European nation of Russia meddled in the 2016 election and whether that meddling benefited the Republican campaign of President Trump. Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and former campaign official Rick Gates were indicted and a third campaign staffer, George Papadopoulos, pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about Russian contacts. The investigation of special counsel Robert Mueller continues to make news and cause debate. In the newspaper or online closely read stories about the latest developments in the special counsel investigation. Use what you read to write a political column analyzing what you think will be the most important issues and developments going forward.

Common Core State Standards: Reading closely what a text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task.

2. Corn Pops Bias

When is a cartoon not a cartoon? When it’s used for advertising and raises issues of racial insensitivity or bias. The Kellogg’s cereal company found that out late last month when it was called out for the illustration on the box for Corn Pops cereal. The illustration showed a wide range of Corn Pops characters having fun at a mall. But then science fiction writer Saladin Ahmed noticed something disturbing: There was only one dark-colored Corn Pop in the picture — and he was mopping the floor as a janitor. Why is “literally the only brown corn pop on the whole cereal box the janitor?” tweeted Ahmed, who is currently the writer of Marvel Comic’s Black Bolt series. Within hours, Kellogg’s responded, apologizing for the drawing and announcing it was being updated. No word on how the stereotype drawing was approved in the first place. Issues of racial stereotyping and profiling are often in the news — and they often cause protest and debate. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a case involving stereotyping or profiling. Use what you read to write a short editorial, discussing what the community can learn from the case and how it should respond.

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.

3. Advice from a Genius

Albert Einstein was one of the most brilliant men ever, a Nobel Prize winner whose Theory of Relativity transformed the science of physics. Einstein has been dead for 62 years, but two non-scientific notes he wrote made news last month when they were sold for $1.8 million at a special auction. The notes were advice on how to live a happy life, and they were given to a messenger while Einstein was traveling in 1922. The messenger had come to Einstein’s hotel the year he won the Nobel Prize, when the scientist found he had no money for a tip. Instead he hand-wrote two notes about living a happy life, telling the messenger they could one day be worth more than any tip. “A calm and modest life brings more happiness than the pursuit of success combined with constant restlessness,” reads one of the notes. “When there’s a will, there’s a way,” reads the other. Successful people frequently discuss how they found success, or offer advice that can help others be successful. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read stories about advice from successful people. Write the words BE A SUCCESS down the side of a sheet of paper. Use each letter in the words to start a sentence or phrase summarizing advice offered by the people you read about. Share with the class and discuss.

Common Core State Standards: Reading closely what a text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task.

4. No Good Will

At age 93, Robert Mugabe is one of Africa's longest-serving and most powerful leaders. He has ruled Zimbabwe with an iron hand and little opposition since 1980 and has been sanctioned by the United States since the early 2000s for human rights violations. So it came as something of a surprise when the World Health Organization of the United Nations (WHO) named him a “goodwill ambassador” for non-communicable diseases such as heart attacks and strokes. Protests erupted from rights groups that noted Mugabe “has brutalized human rights activists [and] crushed democracy dissidents.” The WHO organization quickly got the message. Days after naming Mugabe a goodwill ambassador, it rescinded the appointment. In many African nations, people are working to gain rights they do not have. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read stories about one situation. Use what you read to write a letter to the editor, suggesting ways the United States or other nations could help people in the nation gain the rights they are seeking. What kind of pressure or influence could outside nations assert?

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.

5. Increased Chinese Aid

The Asian nation of China is growing in influence around the world, and one way to measure that is the financial assistance it gives to other countries. With the United States cutting back on so-called “foreign aid,” China is stepping up to provide more assistance, particularly to developing countries. According to a new report from the AidData organization, China funded more than 4,300 projects in 140 countries with a total value of $354 billion between the years 2000 and 2014. Though the U.S. offered slightly more aid —$394 billion — China outspent the U.S. in five of the 15 years studied. Critics of Chinese assistance and the U.S. cutback warn that Chinese money could undermine the effectiveness of the U.S. and other western countries to use aid to promote political reforms in less-than-democratic nations. In the newspaper or online, find and read stories about China’s growing influence or importance in business, politics or other fields. Use what you read to prepare a multi-media presentation on Chinese influence in world affairs. Use images from the newspaper or Internet to illustrate your presentation. Present to the class and discuss.

Common Core State Standards: Integrating information presented in different media or formats to develop a coherent understanding of a topic; 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.