Yak’s Corner

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Lessons for

Grades 1-4
Grades 9-12

Past lessons
for Grades 5-8

Sep. 19, 2016
Sep. 12, 2016
Sep. 05, 2016
Aug. 29, 2016
Aug. 22, 2016
Aug. 15, 2016
Aug. 08, 2016
Aug. 01, 2016
July 25, 2016
July 18, 2016
July 11, 2016
June 27, 2016
June 20, 2016
June 13, 2016
June 06, 2016
May 30, 2016
May 23, 2016
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May 09, 2016
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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
Jan. 11, 2016
Jan. 04, 2016
Dec. 14, 2015
Dec. 07, 2015
Nov. 30, 2015

For Grades 5-8 , week of Sep. 19, 2016

1. Immigration & the Election

Illegal immigration is one of the big issues in the 2016 race for president. Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton have sharply different positions — particularly on what to do with the 11 million illegal immigrants who are living and working in the United States. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read stories detailing the positions of Trump and Clinton on this issue. Use what you read to write an editorial or letter to the editor, detailing the positions of the candidates and outlining your own views on what you think would be the best approach. Finish by stating which candidate would best deal with the issue as president.

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. Women in Jails

There are far fewer women than men in America’s jails and prisons, but the number of women prisoners has skyrocketed, rising from fewer than 8,000 in 1970 to about 110,000 in 2014. As reported by the Vera Institute of Justice and the Safety and Justice Challenge Program, they include women held for misdemeanors or awaiting trial or sentencing. Most have been charged with low-level offenses, including drug or property crimes (such as shoplifting). A growing number are in jail for such things as violating parole or probation, failing drug tests, missing court-ordered appointments or being unable to make bail or pay court-mandated fees or fines. A vast majority are poor, black or Latino with drug or alcohol problems. Jailing women for offenses that once were overlooked has contributed to a nationwide problem of prison overcrowding. The number of people who are in jail or prison is often in the news because many prisons are overcrowded. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about the operation of prisons, prison overcrowding or the personal stories of inmates. Use what you read to write a paragraph, summarizing the issue in the news and what you think should be done next.

Common Core State Standards: Reading closely what a text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; 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. Disney Offers Bug Repellent

The Zika virus is spread by mosquitoes, and that is a concern to people who are active outdoors. To prevent bites and infections, Disney World in Florida has started giving free insect repellent to visitors and staff as the number of Zika infections rises in the state. No cases have been reported in Disney World’s home city of Orlando and surrounding counties, but the tourist attraction says it plans to use “an abundance of caution” while vigilantly tracking the Zika threat in the state. The spread of the Zika virus has been in the news for months and will continue to be into the fall. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read stories about Zika and what is being done about it. Use what you read to write a letter to the editor detailing what you think are the most important things that need to be done to control the Zika virus.

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.

4. Chipotle to Serve Burgers

Reeling from heavy losses caused by a food safety crisis, Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. is opening its first burger restaurant this fall — in Lancaster, Ohio. Its new Tasty Made food outlets will serve only hamburgers, French fries and milkshakes. When illness had struck some patrons, Chipotle restaurants lost considerable business, even though the source was never determined. The beef used in Tasty Made burgers will come from cows raised with no antibiotics or added hormones, the company says, and buns will be free of preservatives and other artificial ingredients. When businesses have setbacks, they often try new things. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a business trying something new. Use what you read to design an ad for the newspaper, showcasing the new approach and why consumers should pay attention to it. Give your ad an eye-catching headline. Discuss ads as a class.

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; engaging effectively in a range of collaborative discussions.

5. Trampoline Park Injuries

The number of trampoline park injuries has soared, a study in the medical journal Pediatrics reports. Using data from a government injury surveillance system, the researchers in the study were able to estimate that emergency room visits from injuries at indoor trampoline parks have increased from fewer than 600 in 2010 to 6,932 in 2014. The indoor trampoline park — typically a series of connected trampolines, surrounded by padded walls — is becoming increasingly popular. While trampoline park injuries have risen, even more injuries occur on home trampolines, according to the American College of Pediatrics, which “strongly” discourages their use. Safety and health issues often are in the news, because they affect so many people. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a safety or health issue affecting kids or families. Use what you read to write a paragraph proposing a change that would improve public health or safety on the issue.

Common Core State Standards: Producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task; reading closely what a text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it.