1. Teams on the Move
The Oakland Raiders have a rich history in the National Football League, but soon they won’t be the Oakland Raiders any more. The Raiders, who have played in California cities since they were founded in 1960, will move to Las Vegas, Nevada, following approval last month by a vote of NFL team owners. The Raiders are the third NFL team to switch cities in the last two years. The Los Angeles Rams moved from St. Louis, Missouri, to Los Angeles, California, for the 2016 season and the San Diego Chargers will join them in Los Angeles for the 2017 season. Because a new stadium has not been built in Las Vegas, the Raiders will continue to play in Oakland in northern California for at least the next two seasons. The moves of all three teams were driven by a desire to get their host cities to build modern stadiums. When a sports team moves to another city, fans in its old city often feel sad and upset. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read stories about how Oakland Raiders fans are feeling about the team’s move to Las Vegas. Use what you read to write a sports column, capturing the emotions of fans who are left behind by their team.
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.
2. Sanctuary Showdown
President Trump wants to round up and deport immigrants who are in the United States illegally, but not all cities agree with the move. To protect their immigrant populations, some cities have declared themselves “sanctuary cities” and have said they will not support deportation efforts. Now U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions says cities that do not comply with federal immigration laws could lose federal funds as a result. Sessions said he would use the threat of lost funds to crack down on sanctuary cities such as Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia. Sessions said that cities and states hoping to receive federal funds or grants must comply with federal immigration laws or risk losing the money. Sanctuary city leaders say that many illegal immigrants have been responsible, peaceful and contributing members of the community. President Trump’s crackdown on illegal immigrants has cause debate all over the country. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read stories about the different views people have about the effort. Use what you read to write a short editorial, giving your opinion on the effort.
Common Core State Standards: Writing opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information; engaging effectively in a range of collaborative discussions; reading closely what a text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it.
On April 13, 1962, Rachel Carson released a book called “Silent Spring.” Because of this book, which explained the danger of using pesticides like DDT, many people credit Carson with starting the modern environmental movement. As a class, read an article in this week’s newspaper about a way in which human actions have affected the environment. Then discuss whether or not this effect is harmful to plants, animals or the climate. If it is harmful, brainstorm ways that people could accomplish the same goals, in a less harmful way.
Common Core State Standards: Engaging effectively in a range of collaborative discussions; responding thoughtfully to diverse perspectives, summarizing points of agreement and disagreement.
4. Genetically Modified Food?
Most Americans support labeling foods that have been genetically modified, whether they want to eat them or not. An Associated Press/GfK poll found that 66 percent of respondents favored requiring manufacturers to label food products that contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs) or were grown from seeds engineered in labs, while only 7 percent opposed the idea. Last summer the U.S. Congress passed legislation that would require most food packages to carry a label indicating whether the food contains genetically modified ingredients. An executive order signed this year by President Trump, however, may make it more difficult for the U.S. Agriculture Department to write the rules to enforce the law. GMOs have become an issue that concerns many people because there has not yet been a lot of research on their long-term effects. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read stories about GMOs and what is known about them. Use what you read to prepare a short video or film detailing points you think people should know.
Common Core State Standards: Writing narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events; conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic; reading closely what a text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it.
5. Medication Errors
More than 63,000 American children experience medication errors each year outside hospitals and doctor’s offices, a nationwide study has concluded. That translates into one child affected every eight minutes. The study found that most errors occur in the home or school, and most commonly involve medications to reduce pain or fever, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Since this represents only cases reported by parents and caregivers, the researchers from the Center for Pediatric Trauma Research at Nationwide Children’s Hospital suspect the frequency may be even higher than estimated. Medical issues are often in the news because they affect so many people. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a medical issue that would be important to families with children your age. Use what you read to write a letter to the editor, giving your view on why this issue is important for families to know about.
Common Core State Standards: Writing opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information; citing specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions.