Resources for Teachers and Students


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Lessons for

Grades 1-4
Grades 9-12

Past lessons
for Grades 5-8

May 23, 2016
May 16, 2016
May 09, 2016
May 02, 2016
Apr 25, 2016
Apr 18, 2016
Apr 11, 2016
Apr 04, 2016
Mar. 28, 2016
Mar. 21, 2016
Mar. 14, 2016
Mar. 07, 2016
Feb. 29, 2016
Feb. 22, 2016
Feb. 15, 2016
Feb. 08, 2016
Feb. 01, 2016
Jan. 25, 2016
Jan. 18, 2016
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Jan. 04, 2016
Dec. 14, 2015
Dec. 07, 2015
Nov. 30, 2015
Nov. 23, 2015
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Nov. 09, 2015
Nov. 02, 2015
Oct. 26, 2015
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Oct. 12, 2015
Oct. 05, 2015
Sep. 28, 2015
Sep. 21, 2015
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Sep. 07, 2015
Aug. 31, 2015
Aug. 24, 2015
Aug. 17, 2015
Aug. 10, 2015

For Grades 5-8 , week of May 23, 2016

1. All-Day Breakfast Success

The all-day breakfast option added to McDonald’s menus has been a great success, company officials say. They report that gains in profits have exceeded expectations since favorite breakfast items like Egg McMuffins and hash browns have become available at all hours. Also drawing customers back have been promotional deals, such as the McPick2 option, and the restaurant chain’s decision to commit to cage-free eggs, according to company leaders. The McDonald’s Corporation reported a 35 percent increase in profits during the last quarter, the third straight in which results have been positive. Businesses often come up with new ideas or offerings to increase sales. In the newspaper or online, find examples in the ads and stories. Pick one you think could be successful over the next year and write a paragraph detailing why. Support your arguments with details from the ads, stories or additional research.

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.

2. Anti-Chaw Drive

Chewing tobacco is bad for your health, and the Food and Drug Administration’s $36 million campaign to discourage young people from using “chaw” is being backed up by minor league baseball. Chewing tobacco has been a tradition for generations of ballplayers in the minor leagues, but now minor league stadiums will feature signs that warn “Smokeless Doesn’t Mean Harmless.” The message will be reinforced by advertising and promotions with players. The efforts will focus on rural areas where young males have been found more likely to dip, chew and use chewing tobacco and other smokeless tobacco products. Risks include gum disease, tooth loss and several forms of cancer, the FDA warns. The use of chewing tobacco and other tobacco products is a public health issue affecting both young people and adults. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about another public health issue that affects students or their families. Use what you read to design a poster or public service ad for the newspaper, highlighting the key points people should know about this issue. Be sure to give your poster/ad an eye-catching title. What kind of image would be most effective to draw attention?

Common Core State Standards: Using drawings or visual displays when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or points; conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic; reading closely what a text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it.

3. War Endangers Gorillas

The world’s largest primate, the Grauer’s gorilla, has been declining in number for at least 20 years — and war is part of the problem. The gorilla, formerly known as the eastern lowland gorilla, has experienced a 77 percent drop in population due in large part to long-standing conflict in the eastern jungles of the Democratic Republic of Congo, an international team of conservationists has concluded. Fewer than 3,800 of the animals remain, and the Wildlife Conservation Society fears that “this subspecies [is] on the verge of extinction.” In the war between government and rebel forces, many soldiers target the gorillas as a source of “bushmeat” eaten for food. The gorillas, which can weigh up to 400 pounds, are easy targets for armed soldiers. As recently as 1994, researches estimated that 17,000 Grauer’s gorillas lived in the wild in the area. Gorillas and other primates are endangered around the world due to the loss of habitat, hunting and human activities. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a species of wildlife that is endangered. Use what you read to write a short editorial detailing the risks the species faces and what can be done to protect it.

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.

4. Spanking Bad for Kids

For years, many Americans have seen spanking as an acceptable method for child-raising and discipline, but a new study indicates just the opposite may be true. Reporting on the FiveThirtyEight website, researchers conclude that “there’s no evidence that spanking does any good for children and all evidence points to the risk of it doing harm.” In the study, researchers say spanking can result in “aggression, antisocial behavior … mental-health problems, negative parent-child relationships, impaired cognitive ability, low self-esteem, and risk of physical abuse.” Studies about ways to raise children are often in the news because parenting is something that affects a great many people. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a stories about effective ways to raise children. Use what you read to write a summary of one or two ways in the style of a parenting or advice column for the newspaper.

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.

5. Comcast Buying DreamWorks

DreamWorks Animation has been one of the world’s great entertainment companies, but now it has a new owner. DreamWorks has announced it is selling itself to Comcast’s NBCUniversal for $3.8 billion, providing Comcast with family movie franchises like “How to Train Your Dragon” and helping it compete with Disney in the worlds of movies, children’s TV, theme parks and consumer products tied to entertainment. The sale was announced to DreamWorks’ 1,500 employees in California by its founding chief executive, Jeffrey Katzenberg, who reportedly is receiving $420 million from the sale while stepping aside to be chairman of a new entity, DreamWorks New Media. Movies and TV are big business in the United States and around the world. To get an idea, read the weekly “box office” listings for movie ticket sales in the newspaper or online. Use results from this week’s “box office” to write an analysis of what movie fans are enjoying most, and why. For added fun, create math problems from the statistics to exchange with a classmate.

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.