Resources for Teachers and Students


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Lessons for

Grades 1-4
Grades 9-12

Past lessons
for Grades 5-8

Sep. 22, 2014
Sep. 15, 2014
Sep. 08, 2014
Sep. 01, 2014
Aug. 25, 2014
Aug. 18, 2014
Aug. 11, 2014
Aug. 04, 2014
July 28, 2014
July 21, 2014
July 14, 2014
July 07, 2014
June 23, 2014
June 16, 2014
June 09, 2014
June 02, 2014
May 26, 2014
May 19, 2014
May 12, 2014
May 05, 2014
Apr 28, 2014
Apr 21, 2014
Apr 14, 2014
Apr 07, 2014
Mar. 31, 2014
Mar. 24, 2014
Mar. 17, 2014
Mar. 10, 2014
Mar. 03, 2014
Feb. 24, 2014
Feb. 17, 2014
Feb. 10, 2014
Feb. 03, 2014
Jan. 27, 2014
Jan. 20, 2014
Jan. 13, 2014
Jan. 06, 2014
Dec. 16, 2013
Dec. 09, 2013
Dec. 02, 2013

For Grades 5-8 , week of Sep. 22, 2014

1. Where the Wild Things Were

Maurice Sendak won worldwide fame for books like “Where the Wild Things Are.” And for most of his spectacular career, the late author/illustrator used Philadelphia’s Rosenbach Museum and Library as a repository for original drawings, manuscripts, proofs and rare editions. All told, about 10,000 of his items delighted generations of museum visitors in the Pennsylvania city, and it was generally assumed the Sendak collection would be a permanent attraction. It has just been learned that won’t be the case. When Sendak died in 2012, his will set up a Maurice Sendak Foundation. The foundation now is reclaiming all items in his collection and will house them a museum and study center to be established at his home in Connecticut. As a result, the picturesque Rosenbach will no longer be “Where the Wild Things Are” but “Where the Wild Things Were.” Museum collections feature a wide range of items. In the newspaper or online, find information about a collection owned by a museum in your community or state. Write a paragraph describing what people could learn by viewing the collection. Then design a newspaper ad that would make more people want to see it. Give your ad an eye-catching headline.

Common Core State Standards: Producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task; using drawings or visual displays when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or point.

2. Tiger Predicts a ‘Full Schedule’

Golf superstar Tiger Woods says he’ll be back next season, after missing some major tournaments this year for health reasons, and doing not so well in those he did enter. Barring “any setbacks or any pain,” Woods said, “I foresee a very full schedule next year.” Exactly what a “full schedule” means is uncertain. In 2012 Woods played in 19 PGA tour events, but last season he played in just 16 and this season, only seven, finishing just three. Star players play a big role in how popular a sport is. In the newspaper, find a story about a star player in a sport you like. Use what you read to write a paragraph explaining how the player’s talents and personality increase the popularity of the sport. Then write a paragraph describe how the popularity would be affected if the player were not able to play for an extended period.

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.

3. Yellow Star on a T-Shirt

The Spanish clothing manufacturer Zara said its new T-shirt called The Sheriff was inspired by western films, but it caused a huge controversy. That’s because the six-pointed yellow star set on horizontal stripes reminded people of the concentration camp uniform that imprisoned Jews were forced to wear by the Nazis during World War II. The Jewish Star of David has six points, and the Nazi camp uniforms had vertical stripes. In the face of a social media outcry, Zara withdrew the product from sale and will destroy the entire stock. “We would not want any of our products or designs to be perceived as disrespectful or offensive,” the company said. The treatment of Jews by the Nazis during the Holocaust was one of history’sgreatest violations of human rights. In many countries, human rights violations continue today. In the newspaper or online, find and read a story about a group whose human rights are being denied or violated. Read the story closely and write a summary of what rights are being violated and how the problem could be addressed or corrected by help from other people or nations.

Common Core State Standards: Reading closely what a text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; citing specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions.

4. Climate Change Imperils Birds

Climate change is likely to alter the U.S. bird population, driving about half of the approximately 650 species to find new places to live, feed and breed — or face extinction. That’s the grim prospect detailed in a report by the National Audubon Society, a leading bird and environmental group. By 2050, the report predicts, 21.4 percent of existing bird species will lose “more than half their current climatic range … without the potential to make up losses by moving to other areas.” By 2080, the reports, an additional 32 percent of species will lose range. Climate change is having effects in many ways all over the world. In the newspaper or online, find and read a story about some effects of climate change. Use what you read to brainstorm an idea for a public service TV ad educating people about the effects. Write an outline for the message and visuals for your ad. Write the opening scene and discuss with the class.

Common Core State Standards: Conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic; integrating information presented in different media or formats to develop a coherent understanding of a topic.

5. Kids Eating Too Much Salt

No matter how carefully Mom and Dad assemble the family diet, you may be absorbing more salt than is good for you. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that more than 90 percent of American children eat more salt than they should — mostly through foods prepared outside the home, imperiling future health. For these children, this totals about 3,800 milligrams of sodium (salt) per day, about 1,000 milligrams more than the government recommends. About 65 percent of the salt is in processed foods, such as savory snacks, cold cuts, cheeses and soups; 13 percent is in fast food and traditional fare, such as pizza, Mexican dishes and sandwiches; and 9 percent is from school cafeteria favorites. “A poor diet in childhood can help lay the foundation for future health problems,” the CDC warns. Reducing salt in your diet can often be achieved by substituting natural foods for prepared or processed foods like chips or snacks. As a class, discuss snack and processed foods you eat regularly. Then use the food ads in the newspaper to find healthy alternatives to those foods. Draw a series of comic strips showing a family discovering natural foods they like to replace salty ones. Replacing salty foods even half the time will improve your health.

Common Core State Standards: Using drawings or visual displays when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or points; engaging effectively in a range of collaborative discussions;