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Grades 1-4
Grades 5-8

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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
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Sep. 11, 2017
Sep. 04, 2017
Aug. 28, 2017
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July 31, 2017
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June 26, 2017
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June 05, 2017
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Apr 24, 2017
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Mar. 27, 2017
Mar. 20, 2017
Mar. 13, 2017
Mar. 06, 2017

For Grades 9-12 , week of Nov. 27, 2017

1. $3 Million Penalty

The decision by a Georgia sheriff’s office to body search 900 high school students without a legal warrant has caused big problems for officials in Worth County. The sheriff and two deputies have been indicted, the sheriff has been suspended by the governor and the county is now liable for a settlement of $3 million as a result of a class action lawsuit brought by nine students. The raid at the school last April was ordered in an effort to find drugs, and students said they were subjected to pat down body searches in which their private parts were touched. No drugs were found, and the sheriff’s officers were charged with sexual battery, false imprisonment and violation of oath of office. The students were locked down in the school for four hours during the search and their cell phones were confiscated so they could not call their parents. Both public and private officials can be punished and held responsible for their actions. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about an official who has been punished or held responsible. Use what you read to write a short editorial giving your view on whether the action taken against the individual was appropriate or sufficient for what the official did. Share with the class and discuss whether public officials should be held to a higher standard than private officials.

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; responding thoughtfully to diverse perspectives, summarizing points of agreement and disagreement.

2.‘ Mean Girls’ on Stage

Tina Fey’s talents as a writer and comedian got a huge boost when she wrote and acted in the 2004 movie “Mean Girls.” Now that story about high school cliques and rivals may be headed for Broadway. A musical stage version of “Mean Girls” has opened in Washington, D.C., and if all goes as planned it will open on Broadway in New York City next spring. “Mean Girls” tells the story of a home-schooled high schooler who gets a rude introduction to school social pressure when she enters a public school and meets the snarky, fashion-obsessed clique known as “The Plastics.” The rock-style music of the stage show tells of her experience through songs like “Revenge Party,” “Justice,” “Bossed Up” and “Where Do You Belong?” Issues that affect the lives of teenagers often are explored in movies or TV shows. With a partner, read stories in the newspaper or online about issues affecting teens. Then write a proposal “pitch letter” for a movie or TV show based on one of the issues. Detail why audiences would be interested in the issue, how you would explore it and whether your movie/show would be serious or humorous.

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.

3. ‘Meet a Black Person’

An effort to build relationships between black and white Americans generated excitement — and some controversy — in the state of Georgia this month. In the town of Lawrenceville outside Atlanta, an African American woman invited white neighbors and businesspeople to a networking event billed as an opportunity to “Come Meet a Black Person.” Organizer Cheryle Moses said she got the idea after reading a study that found 75% of white Americans don’t have friends who aren’t white, and 65% of black people do not have friends who are white. The response to the event ranged from people who thought the idea was “phenomenal,” Moses said, to people who felt it put African Americans “on exhibit.” She didn’t feel that way, because getting people together was what she was shooting for. “It’s cool to march and protest if that’s your thing,” Moses said. “But I need to get you one-on-one.” The “Meet a Black Person” event was an attempt to break down barriers between people of different races. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about other attempts to improve relations between people of different races. Use what you read to write a letter to the editor, calling attention to one or more efforts you think are worthwhile. Be sure to support your opinions with facts from your reading.

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.

4. New Concussion Test

The head injuries known as concussions have gotten a lot of attention in recent years because of their long-term effect on football players. Not all concussion victims are athletes, however. Nearly two-thirds of all concussions are experienced by children and teens, and their symptoms sometimes linger for a long time. Just how long may soon be determined by a simple test of a patient’s spit. Researchers from the Penn State College of Medicine say the test measures five molecules found in spit that have been shown to predict long-term concussion symptoms with 85 percent accuracy. That is more accurate than today’s most common concussion test, which is about 65 percent accurate, researchers said. The new concussion test could be a breakthrough in medical care. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about another breakthrough in medical care. Use what you read to prepare an oral report for the class, explaining the most important things the breakthrough could do for patients.

Common Core State Standards: Conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic; citing specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions; reading closely what a text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it.

5. Zimbabwe Upheaval

The African nation of Zimbabwe faces an uncertain future now that long-time leader Robert Mugabe has been forced from office. Mugabe had led Zimbabwe for more than 37 years until he was pushed to resign by the nation’s military and a threat of impeachment. At age 93 he was the world’s oldest head of state and one of the last heroes of Africa’s struggles for independence from colonial control by nations in Europe. Zimbabwe became independent from Great Britain in 1980 but in recent years has experienced problems ranging from economic difficulties to poverty to political corruption. Mugabe was criticized in recent months for seeking to establish his wife as his successor. Changes in leadership in a country often affect relations with other nations around the world. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a nation that has experienced a change in leadership. Use what you read to write a political analysis detailing how the change will affect other nations, which nations will be affected most and whether the change will affect the United States.

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.