Subscribe to the Chicato Tribune
Already have an NIE subscription?


Click here for printer-friendly version

Go to
Lessons for

Grades 1-4
Grades 5-8

Past lessons
for Grades 9-12

Nov. 24, 2014
Nov. 17, 2014
Nov. 10, 2014
Nov. 03, 2014
Oct. 27, 2014
Oct. 20, 2014
Oct. 13, 2014
Oct. 06, 2014
Sep. 29, 2014
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

For Grades 9-12 , week of Mar. 26, 2012

1. Honoring Our Vietnam Veterans

The moment was captured in black and white photographs showing a helicopter hovering above a building with refugees desperately climbing up a ladder to escape the communist regime of Vietnam. On March 29, 1973, thousands of troops and refugees left the city of Saigon, when the U.S. made its final withdrawal from the Southeast Asian nation. The Vietnam War had begun in 1961 when President John F. Kennedy sent troops to South Vietnam to help the government repel forces from communist North Vietnam. Three years later, President Lyndon B. Johnson ordered limited bombing raids. By 1965, it was a full-scale war that would last eight years and cost thousands of Americans lives. With the newspaper or online resources, find and discuss a story about Vietnam War veterans or the effects the war had on them. Use the article as a basis to write a short essay or newspaper column on a lesson to be learned from the Vietnam War experience.

Core/National Standards: Posing questions that elicit elaboration and respond to others’ questions and comments; producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task, purpose and audience.

2. Party Politics

Republicans call for lower taxes. Democrats urge health care for all. The Libertarians want the government out of their lives. Green Party members push for peace and environmental protection. The Tea Party declares power should return to the people and states. And the Reform Party insists on fair taxation with no special interest exceptions. Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with who believes what — especially during election years when every party has its own platform to push. Find several newspaper articles about different U.S. political parties, their platforms and candidates. Or find examples online. Working in small groups, develop ideas for your own political party and write a platform of your beliefs. Present your platform to the class and discuss how it would be received by the American public.

Core/National Standards: Producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task, purpose and audience.

3. A Court of Justice

An American soldier faces severe consequences for allegedly shooting 16 villagers in Afghanistan. Several of them were children. After the attack, U.S. military officials had Robert Bale flown out of the Afghan war zone and back to the United States, where he is being held at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, awaiting formal charges. His attorney, John Henry Browne, told the Associated Press that in some ways this case not only puts Bale on trial, but puts the U.S. war in Afghanistan on trial as well. He said there are many legal, social and political issues that contributed to Bale’s mental state at the time of the attack, most notably that Bale was on his fourth tour of military duty in the Middle East when he allegedly went on a solo rampage. There also have been reports in the media that Bale has had financial, family and stress issues that could have pushed him to a breaking point. In the newspaper, find articles about the Bale case and research strategies the prosecution and defense might use. Assign roles for each person in the class and conduct a mock trial. Vote on the verdict at the end of the trial and summarize your class’s finding in the style of a news story.

Core/National Standard: Posing questions that elicit elaboration and respond to others’ questions and comments

4. Living in Danger

Individuals may argue that it is their right to live the way they choose in their own homes. But what happens when that home becomes a danger to those who live in it? The A&E television channel follows the lives of hoarders as they come to grips with their problems. Hoarding is a psychological problem in which people compulsively collect things and refuse to throw anything away. Many of the homes of hoarders face being condemned if the owners don’t clear them out. In Maricopa County, Arizona, firefighters are being trained to fight the types of fires that occur in homes where there is hoarding, according to an Arizona Republic news article. These homes tend to burn hotter, produce more smoke and spread more rapidly. In the newspaper or online, find and read an article involving a mental illness. Write a summary of how it affects the people living with it.

Core/National Standard: Producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task, purpose and audience.

5. Make ’em Laugh!

Laughter is great medicine when it comes to cultural tensions. Just ask Dean Obeidallah, the reigning king of Muslim-American stand-up comedy. An award-winning comedian, he has “used his time in the spotlight to entertain audiences and to dispel stereotypes associated with the Middle East and Arab and Muslim Americans,” according to a Detroit Free Press article. The paper recently interviewed Obeidallah and learned that he went from being an attorney to a comedian and has performed in the Middle East and all across the United States. Find newspaper articles or entertainment listings about comedians coming to your area. Then think about the odd or humorous things about your life and friends. Write your own stand-up routine and perform it for your class.

Core/National Standard: Producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task, purpose and audience.