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for Grades 9-12

Nov. 12, 2018
Oct. 29, 2018
Oct. 22, 2018
Oct. 15, 2018
Oct. 08, 2018
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Sep. 24, 2018
Sep. 17, 2018
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Sep. 03, 2018
Aug. 27, 2018
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Mar. 26, 2018
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Mar. 05, 2018
Feb. 26, 2018
Feb. 19, 2018
Feb. 12, 2018
Feb. 05, 2018
Jan. 29, 2018

For Grades 9-12 , week of Nov. 12, 2018

1. Change in Washington

The 2018 midterm elections are history, but they have brought significant change to Washington, DC. Democrats have retaken control of the U.S. House of Representatives, breaking the Republican hold on Congress and creating a check on the actions of Republican President Donald Trump. Republicans increased their majority in the U.S. Senate, the other branch of Congress. The change in the House will mean Democrats will now chair the chamber’s various committees and determine what actions or investigations will be undertaken. For the last eight years, Republicans have controlled those chair positions. Much is being written about what Democrat control of the U.S. House will mean in the next two years. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read stories, analyses and commentaries about the change. Use what you read to write a short political column outlining the most positive, and most negative, things that could happen as a result of this change.

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. New Attorney General

The division of power in the U.S. Congress is just one of the changes coming to the federal government. Before the midterms, President Trump vowed to shake up his team of advisers. His first move came just a day after the votes were counted, when he forced Attorney General Jeff Sessions to resign. Sessions had been at odds with the President ever since he stepped aside and recused himself from the Justice Department’s investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Sessions had recused himself because he had contact with Russian officials as part of Trump’s campaign team. The forced resignation of Jeff Sessions has raised questions about the future of the Russia investigation. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read stories about what may happen in the weeks to come. Use what you read to draw an editorial cartoon expressing an opinion about what could happen. Use the newspaper or Internet to see how editorial cartoons are used to visually express opinions. Share and discuss as a class.

Common Core State Standards: Using drawings or visual displays when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or points; responding thoughtfully to diverse perspectives, summarizing points of agreement and disagreement.

3. Kids and Gun Injuries

Gun violence can affect every community, and it often affects children. Exactly how often has just been revealed in research from the Johns Hopkins Medicine organization in Baltimore, Maryland. An average of 8,300 children and teens are treated for gunshot wounds each year in the nation’s emergency rooms, and almost half of the injuries are from intentional shootings, researchers found. Most of the injured were male — about 86 percent — and the hardest hit age group was boys ages 15 to 17. The findings were based on analysis of 75,086 gunshot victims under age 18 who were treated at emergency rooms from 2006 through 2014. Gun violence has prompted nationwide debate over how communities can reduce it. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read stories about ways different communities are addressing the issue. Use what you read to write a paragraph or short paper comparing two or three approaches.

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. Mountain Rescue

Hiking in the mountains in late fall can be extremely dangerous because sudden snowstorms can trap the unprepared. A woman hiking the Pacific Crest Trail in Washington State had that happen to her — but was saved because a fellow hiker was concerned for her safety. Thirty-four-year old Katharina Groene was trying to reach the Canadian border at the end of the 2,650-mile trail when the snowstorm hit in the Glacier Peak Wilderness. But a hiker she had met by chance days earlier — Nancy Abell — worried for her safety and called rescue crews when heavy snow fell in the mountains. Abell, who has done a lot of hiking in the area, gave rescue teams an estimate of where Groene would be on the trail. A helicopter was sent and found Groene’s footprints right where Abell had predicted. Her estimate was “right on,” a rescue official said. “My faith in humanity is definitely restored,” Groene added. Strangers often do things to help people or each other. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about someone helping a person they didn’t know. Use what you read to write a letter to the editor, detailing how the person’s helpful actions could inspire others to help.

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.

5. Big Boost for Arts

The Asian state of Taiwan is just a small island, but it has a huge new claim to fame. It has just opened what it says is the largest performing arts center in the world. The National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts covers 8.2 acres and features a concert hall, an opera house, a playhouse and a recital hall, all under one roof. Just the concert hall and opera house can seat more than 4,200 people. The complex was not cheap or easy to build — it cost $350-million and took eight years of construction, the Associated Press reported. Communities support the arts in many ways. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read stories about ways communities support the arts. Use what you read to write a short editorial urging your community to “Support the Arts!”

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.