Resources for Teachers and Students


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Lessons for

Grades 1-4
Grades 5-8

Past lessons
for Grades 9-12

July 09, 2018
June 25, 2018
June 18, 2018
June 11, 2018
June 04, 2018
May 28, 2018
May 21, 2018
May 14, 2018
May 07, 2018
Apr 30, 2018
Apr 23, 2018
Apr 16, 2018
Apr 09, 2018
Apr 02, 2018
Mar. 26, 2018
Mar. 19, 2018
Mar. 12, 2018
Mar. 05, 2018
Feb. 26, 2018
Feb. 19, 2018
Feb. 12, 2018
Feb. 05, 2018
Jan. 29, 2018
Jan. 22, 2018
Jan. 15, 2018
Jan. 08, 2018
Jan. 01, 2018
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

For Grades 9-12 , week of July 09, 2018

1. Voting and Guns

It’s been five months since a gunman killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. But for students who survived the Valentine’s Day tragedy, the pain is still felt every day. This summer, they are trying to put that pain to use by touring 20 states to encourage teens and young adults to register to vote and elect candidates who will stiffen controls on high powered weapons. The students say they don’t want to ban guns or overturn Second Amendment protections for gun ownership, but to convince young people that by voting they can have a voice getting “more sensible” gun reform laws. “Competition in the market of elections is how we can change America for the better,” said Parkland student David Hogg, 18. “The previous generation has not failed us, it’s the lack of voting that failed us. It’s time to change that.” The national tour by Parkland students seeks to keep attention on gun issues by encouraging teens and young adults to vote. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read stories about other efforts to call attention to gun issues. Use what you read to write a letter to the editor calling attention to one effort you think is effective, and explain why.

Common 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.

2. No Internet

Students love the Internet for all the ways it puts information at their fingertips. But in the North Africa nation of Algeria, education leaders felt that was not always a good thing — especially when high-stakes testing was going on. So for this year’s national high school diploma exams, Algeria shut down Internet access to prevent cheating. The high school exams are extremely important in Algeria, because students cannot go to college if they don’t pass. Two years ago, Algeria was embarrassed by a cheating scandal in which exam materials were shared online before and during exams. That led to a ban of mobile phones at exams last year, and the blocking of Internet access in the hours before exams this year. Access was blocked three hours each day for the exam period to ensure “the high school diploma tests run smoothly,” Algeria’s state television said. Use of the Internet and social media is now a significant part of the lives of students and young adults. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read stories describing ways students are dependent on the Internet. Use what you read, and personal experience, to write a personal column describing how the lives of you or your friends would be affected if you had to give up the Internet and social media for a day. Share with your family and discuss.

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. Travel Ban

One of the first — and most controversial — moves by President Trump after taking office was to ban travelers from selected Muslim-majority countries on the grounds they posed a threat to national security. The executive order was argued in the courts and revised, but federal court judges ruled against both the original and revised versions. Now the U.S. Supreme Court has weighed in and declared that issuing such a ban is within the President’s authority if he feels it is necessary to protect the country from terrorists or other risks. The High Court rejected opponents’ arguments that the ban violated the U.S. Constitution and was driven by a religious bias against Muslims. The effect of the Supreme Court ruling on President Trump’s travel ban is now being felt in airports around the world. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read stories about the impact the ruling is having. Use what you read to write a paragraph explaining some of the most significant effects. With family or friends, discuss how the ruling could have impact on how the United States is viewed in the world.

Common Core State Standards: Writing informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly; citing specific textual evidence when writing; responding thoughtfully to diverse perspectives, summarizing points of agreement and disagreement.

4. Water Conservation

All over the country, communities are dealing with water shortages. That’s the bad news. The good news is that Americans are conserving water more than ever in their homes. According to a report by the U.S. Geological Survey, home water use has dropped 27 percent across the nation — from 112 gallons per person each day in 1980 to just 82 gallons per person each day in 2015. The report measured indoor water uses such as drinking, food preparation, washing clothes and dishes, bathing, and flushing toilets, the report said. Outdoor uses included watering lawns and gardens and maintaining pools or natural ponds. Many communities are looking for ways to conserve water. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read stories about different approaches. Use what you read to brainstorm an idea for a short documentary film outlining why water conservation is important and effective ways to do it. Write an outline for your film, including images you would use. Then write the opening scene.

Common Core State Standards: Writing narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events; conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic.

5. A ‘First Baby’

World leaders do many things, but some are much rarer than others. In the Pacific nation of New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has done something just one other elected leader has done in modern history. On June 21, she had a baby. Ardern, who is 37, is New Zealand’s youngest prime minister in more than a century, and she drew international attention when she announced in January that she was pregnant with her first child. She brushed aside the attention, noting that “I am not the first woman to multitask. I am not the first woman to work and have a baby.” Australia’s new “First Baby” was named Neve by Ardern and her partner Clarke Gayford. “Welcome to our village wee one,” Ardern said. “Feeling very lucky to have a healthy baby girl.” When people have their first baby, friends and relatives often offer advice or good wishes. In the newspaper or online, find and read stories or columns about such advice for newborns and their parents. Then write the words FIRST BABY down the side of a sheet of paper. Use each letter to begin a phrase or sentence offering advice or good wishes to a new baby.

Common 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.