Click here for printer-friendly version

Go to
Lessons for

Grades 1-4
Grades 5-8

Past lessons
for Grades 9-12

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
May 16, 2016
May 09, 2016
May 02, 2016
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
Nov. 23, 2015
Nov. 16, 2015
Nov. 09, 2015

For Grades 9-12 , week of Aug. 29, 2016

1. Ebony & Jet

Ebony and Jet are two of the nation’s oldest consumer magazines targeting African American readers — and now they have a new owner. They have been sold by Johnson Publishing Co. to the private equity firm Clear View Group. The Johnson company’s 71-year history dates back to 1945, when founder John Johnson launched Ebony. The company is holding onto Ebony’s massive photo archive, which it hopes to sell separately. It also still owns Fashion Fair Cosmetics, which markets beauty products. Terms of the magazine deal have not been disclosed, but the agreement includes assuming an unspecified amount of debt by Clear View. Ebony and Jet were pioneering publications for the way they put a spotlight on African American achievements and leaders. Today, African Americans are leaders in many fields and careers. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read about an African American who is a leader in his or her field. Pretend you have been assigned to write a newspaper story about his/her achievements. Write out 10 questions you would like to ask this person. Then write why you think each question would be important for telling the person’s story.

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

2. Yesterday in Politics

Newspapers and the Internet are tremendous resources for election news. In a big race like a presidential election, reporters give daily updates of what candidates are doing and saying. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read stories about the campaigns of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Write out the three most important things each did or said yesterday. Compare lists and discuss as a class. Are the candidates talking about the same issues? Why or why not?

Common Core State Standards: Engaging effectively in a range of collaborative discussions; conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic; reading closely what a text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it.

3. Ancient Papyruses on Display

In the African nation of Egypt, the Egyptian Museum in Cairo is displaying 4,500-year-old papyruses detailing the daily life of the builders of the Pyramids. The papyruses are Egypt’s oldest, dating back to the Fourth Dynasty when the king was Khufu (Cheops), for whom the Great Pyramid at Giza was built as a tomb. On display are six of the 30 papyruses discovered in 2013 inside caves near Suez by a team of Egyptian and French archaeologists. The papyruses depict workers hauling building material to Giza from an ancient Red Sea port. Artifacts like the Egyptian papyruses shed light on how people lived in ancient times. In the newspaper, find and closely study a photograph of an indoor or outdoor scene showing items people use in their lives today. Pretend you are an archaeologist from the future and write an analysis of what the items in the photo would tell future generations about the way we live.

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

4. Pub Blocks Cell Phone Use

A new cocktail bar in Brighton, England, has taken a stand against cell phones. It has installed a cell signal blocker to keep people from using them when visiting the pub. “Mobile phones have killed pubs,” said the owner. “When you go out socially, you don’t need social media.” The Gin Tub blocks cellphones with a Faraday shield built into its ceiling and had to get an exception to Britain’s Wireless Telegraphy Act, which otherwise outlaws blockers. For those who must use a phone, the pub has placed throwback rotary phones at its tables. Cell phones and smart phones have transformed the way people communicate, gather information and entertain themselves. They also have become a barrier to face to face communication and interaction between people. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read stories about the benefits and drawbacks of cell phones. Use what you read to write a consumer or advice column, offering tips for effective use of cell phones or smart phones.

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.

5. ‘A-Rod’ Retires a Yankee

Because sitting on the bench was “very painful and embarrassing,” former baseball superstar Alex Rodriguez has announced his retirement as a player. Rodriguez called it quits after 13 years with the New York Yankees, but he’s not leaving the team. He’ll get the $27 million still owed him under his contract as a special adviser and instructor this season and next. “A-Rod,” a three-time American League Most Valuable Player, had more than 3,000 hits and nearly 700 home runs in his career. He was hitting only .204 this season, when he announced his retirement. Alex Rodriguez had a long career in baseball and had a lot of significant achievements. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a person who has had a long and successful career in another field. Use what you read to write a paragraph or short essay detailing the qualities, skills and character the person needed to be successful over a long period.

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.