, week of
Aug. 31, 2015
1. Toys and Gender Labels
Target stores are removing gender labels from their children’s departments, after customers complained about signs that declared certain toys were for girls. Store toy departments will no longer have the gender labels and also will not use pink or blue paper on shelves. Children’s bedding departments will no longer feature signs indicating merchandise is for boys or girls. Gender labels will remain in the kids’ clothing section, however, because of sizing and fit differences. The move by Target is designed to remove stereotyping based on sex in the marketing of merchandise. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about another effort to remove stereotyping based on sex or another factor. Write a paragraph summarizing the effort and what prompted it.
Common Core State Standards: Writing informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly; reading closely what a text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it.
2. More Guns, More Danger
The more guns there are in a state, the more likely it is that law enforcement officers may be killed, according to a new study. In an article in the American Journal of Public Health, researchers report that the study found that “officers living in states with high gun ownership are more likely to be murdered on the job.” The research was based on FBI data and information on gun ownership from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “The top gun-owning states are also the top states for officer homicide,” the report states, specifying Montana, Alaska and Arkansas, while “the lowest gun-owning states — Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey — are the states with the lowest officer homicide rates.” The National Rifle Association disputed the findings of the study. Gun violence in the United States has gotten a great deal of attention this year, particularly when compared to gun violence in other countries. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read an article on gun violence in the United States. Use what you read to write an editorial for the newspaper, detailing a way to reduce gun violence.
Common Core State Standards: Reading closely what a text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; 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.
3. ‘Sucker Puncher’ Fired, Hired
After NFL linebacker Ikemefuna Enemkpali broke quarterback Geno Smith’s jaw in a locker room fight, the New York Jets promptly released him for what Jets coach Todd Bowles called a “sucker punch” over something “extremely childish.” Enemkpali wasn’t unemployed for long, however. He was signed by the Buffalo Bills, whose coach, Rex Ryan, drafted Enemkpali when he was coach of the Jets. Ryan said he believes Enemkpali “will learn from this … [and] we’ll give him a chance to compete.” Ryan was himself fired by the Jets last December and hired by the Bills shortly afterward. The off-field behavior of NFL players has gotten a lot of attention in the last several years. In the newspaper or online, read about the cases of two or more players whose off-field actions have made news. Use what you read to write a paragraph comparing the incidents and what punishments, if any, the players were given as a result.
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.
4. African Americans & Police
More than three in five African Americans say they or a family member have been treated unfairly by police because of their race, according to a recent survey. More than half of the African Americans surveyed (six in 10 men) say they personally have experienced such treatment, compared to 3 percent of whites. Most blacks polled by the AP-NORC Center for Public Research said they believe police who hurt people are treated too leniently by the criminal justice system, with too few prosecuted for using excessive force. Most whites, nearly three out of four, believe race has nothing to do with how their local police use deadly force. The treatment of African Americans by police has been in the news repeatedly in 2015. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about one case. Then write a paragraph or short essay detailing what communities, legislators and policy makers could learn from the case.
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.
5. A Nazi Train of Gold
When Soviet troops crossed into Nazi Germany in the final days of World War II, a German train filled with gold, gems and valuable art was said to have disappeared near the city of Wroclaw, in what is now part of Poland. Two men now claim to have found the train, but won’t reveal its location until they have been assured 10 percent of the value of its contents. It is believed the train, as long as 500 feet, could have been hidden in an unfinished tunnel. At the end of the war, the Nazis transported and hid gold seized from Jews and others headed for concentration camps to keep it from advancing Allies. Historians have found no conclusive evidence of the Polish train, however. Events from the news often are used as plots for movies, books or television shows. In the newspaper or online, find and read a story about a person or event that you think would make a good plot for a movie. Use what you read to write an outline for your movie and give it a title that would make people want to see it. Then write the opening scene, including dialogue, action and visuals that would set up the story.
Common Core State Standards: Writing narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events; conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic; reading closely what a text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it.