, week of
Feb. 20, 2017
1. Ecological Disaster?
Global warming and climate change are having significant effects all over the world. And more may coming. According to a United Nations report, climate change will lower crop yields substantially in the years ahead, resulting in more malnutrition and even unrest around the world. If nothing changes to reverse climate change, the report warns, the number of undernourished children under age 5 will increase by 20 to 25 million by the year 2050 and shrinking crop harvests will force mass migrations of people as demand for food grows. In addition, rising sea levels will drive people from low-lying areas and hotter temperatures will result in more heat waves, fires and competition for fresh water. The report was published in the science journal called Nature Climate Change. The effects of global warming and climate change are often in the news. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about one effect that has been reported. Use what you read to write a short editorial describing the effect and what its impact may be over the long term. In your editorial, discuss whether there are steps that could be taken to address the effects.
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.
2. Less Drafty Hospital Gown
A new hospital gown has been developed that remedies a recurring complaint — lack of rear coverage. The Model G gown, first unveiled at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, resembles a wraparound robe and closes the back with adjustable snaps. The product designer explained that the goal of the gown — based on an idea from students at Detroit’s College for Creative Studies — was “fixing the backside … while still allowing the health care team full access to the patient.” About 35,000 will be used at Henry Ford Health System’s six hospitals and 29 medical centers. Changes are constantly being made to the clothing people wear. Some changes are made for practical reasons and some are for looks or appearance. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a change to a kind of clothing. Or find an example in an advertisement. Use what you read to write a paragraph explaining why the change was made, how effective you think it will be and whom it will affect most.
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.
3. Land Mine Increase
Despite a global treaty that bans land mines, casualties from them and other unexploded devices have risen to the highest level in at least a decade, reports the International Campaign to Ban Land Mines. At the same time, the monitoring group says, financial contributions to remove land mines have dropped significantly. Adding to the bad news, the group reports that the number of areas where land mines are known to exist has risen to 64 (from 61 in 2014). The casualty increase was primarily from armed conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Ukraine and Yemen. Armed conflicts are causing casualties in many areas of the world. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about an armed conflict that is now going on. Use what you read to write a letter to the editor, outlining the most important thing you think people should know about the conflict, and why people in the United States should care.
Common Core State Standards: Writing informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly; 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. Kids Getting Wrong Dose
More than four out of five parents give children the wrong dose of liquid medicines, a new study suggests, and that can be a dangerous error. Mistakes using dosing cups sold with the medications often lead to overdoses or underdoses, researchers report in the medical journal Pediatrics. There are several reasons for the errors, the report notes, but probably the most common is that “if a cup is not held at eye level, it is easy to put too little or too much medicine in the cup.” Many mistakes could be avoided by administering drugs with oral syringes that would deliver medicine directly into the mouth, researchers note. Medical or health issues are often in the news because they affect so many people. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a medical issue important to kids or families. Use what you read, to create a multi media presentation for the class, detailing the most important information families should know.
Common Core State Standards: Integrating information presented in different media or formats to develop a coherent understanding of a topic; reading closely what a text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it.
5. Iranians Defying Alcohol Ban
Drinking alcohol is illegal for Muslims under strict Islamic teachings in the Middle East nation of Iran, but this is so openly violated that the country’s first state-run alcoholism center has been opened at the Tehran University Medical School. The rehab and treatment center has become necessary, because of “an increase in alcohol use among Iranians,” one of the physicians at the center said. The nation’s police chief has estimated that 200,000 Iranians are now alcoholics. Iran is often in the news because it is an important nation in the Middle East. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about Iran and the activities of its government. Use what you read to write a paragraph detailing why Iran is in the news, what that is important to Iranians and why it is important to the United States or other 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.
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