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for Grades 9-12

Apr 14, 2014
Apr 07, 2014
Mar. 31, 2014
Mar. 24, 2014
Mar. 17, 2014
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July 29, 2013
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July 08, 2013
June 24, 2013

For Grades 9-12 , week of Apr 14, 2014

1. Headline Poetry

April is National Poetry Month. When writers tell stories that reflect current events, people say their stories are “ripped from the headlines.” Flip through the newspaper and copy down a headline that catches your attention. Then write a poem using that headline as the first or last line. For further fun and challenge, copy down 10 headlines and assemble them into a poem of their own! Read poems aloud, in groups or as a class.

Common Core State Standards: Writing narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events; demonstrating understanding of figurative language; applying knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts.

2. Cat Bites Can Be Serious

If you’ve been bitten by a cat, don’t shrug it off. The Mayo Clinic has reported that a cat bite can lead to serious infection. One in three cat-bite victims have required hospitalization, the study reports, and two-thirds of those required surgery. A cat’s sharp teeth easily puncture the skin, according to VCA Animal Hospitals, leaving tiny but deep wounds that can “trap bacteria under the skin.” More troublesome, cat bacteria can include a strain especially difficult to treat with antibiotics. Health and safety issues are often in the news, because they affect so many people. Find a story about health or safety in the newspaper or online. Read the story closely and design a public service ad for the newspaper that highlights the key points of the story.

Common Core State Standards: Integrating information presented in different media or formats to develop a coherent understanding of a topic; producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task.

3. In at 8 Ivies

A 17-year-old senior at a Long Island high school in New York State has recorded a remarkable record for college acceptances this year — he has gotten in at all eight of the prestigious Ivy League schools. Curiously, Kwasi Enin is not his class’s valedictorian at William Floyd High School, ranking 11th in a class of 647. On his SATs, however, he scored 2,250 out of a possible 2,400 points. A first-generation American from the African nation of Ghana, Enin is not sure which school he’ll attend (Princeton has offered the best aid package thus far), but has already decided to study medicine. Both of his parents are nurses. Choosing what to study in college is an important decision for students. So is deciding what kind of college would be best for you. In the newspaper or online, find news about colleges that might interest you. Then write a letter to the newspaper, outlining what kind of college would be best for you.

Common Core State Standards: Producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task; conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic.

4. Tigerless Masters

For the first time since 1995, the Masters Golf Tournament was played without Tiger Woods last week. Woods, who has won four Masters tournaments and has almost always placed in the top six, first played the Masters as an amateur and finished 41st at age 19. He missed the tournament this year because he is recovering from back surgery. Even before he pulled out, it didn’t look like Woods would be a factor, given the way he’d been playing. In the newspaper this week, find stories about the outcome of the Masters. From what you read, write a sports column imagining what Tiger Woods might have to say to the winner or another top player.

Common Core State Standards: Writing narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events; demonstrating understanding of figurative language; applying knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts.

5. Priest Denounces Toys

A Roman Catholic priest has touched off a controversy in the European nation of Poland after news media quoted him describing toys like LEGO’s Monster Fighters as tools of Satan that lead children to “the dark side.” The Super Express newspaper reported that at a Sunday service in the town of Wolsztyn, the Rev. Slawomir Kostrzewa urged parents to dump these and other “scary” toys that he said undermine harmony and security. As a class, discuss toys that you think are not good choices for younger children. Use points made in the discussion to write an editorial for the newspaper urging caution by parents on some toys. If you like, offer ideas on toys you think are good choices as well.

Common Core State Standards: Engaging effectively in a range of collaborative discussions; responding thoughtfully to diverse perspectives, summarizing points of agreement and disagreement; writing opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.