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SL.CCS.1/2/3/4 Grades 6-12: An essay of a current news event is provided for discussion to encourage participation, but also inspire the use of evidence to support logical claims using the main ideas of the article. Students must analyze background information provided about a current event within the news, draw out the main ideas and key details, and review different opinions on the issue. Then, students should present their own claims using facts and analysis for support.


‘Boston Strong’ spirit and strict security mark Monday marathon, shadowed by 2013 blasts

Find marathon coverage and share one or more quotes that touch your emotions.
Can you spot a photo or editorial page cartoon about Boston’s event? Tell what theme it brings to mind.
Now look for any other example of achievement, determination or civic pride.

The Boston Marathon, a yearly event taking place Monday, is expected to draw 36,000 athletes – 9,000 more than usual. Entrants include many of the 5,633 runners still on the course last April 15 when the race was halted because two homemade bombs went off near the finish line. The blasts killed three spectators and hurt 264, including more than a dozen who lost limbs.

This week’s runners include an African man who won the 2013 race, Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia, and others determined to give new meaning to a slogan that’s now well-known: "Boston strong." Some are running to raise money -- such as "Today" show co-host Natalie Morales, who solicited pledges from viewers and friends to benefit two charities that aid the bombing victims.

Not surprisingly, race security is heavy and strict. Because last April's two pressure-cooker bombs were in backpacks, spectators can bring only clear bags. Even purses are banned. Boston Police are aided by 14 other law enforcement agencies from Massachusetts and beyond, including bomb squads, aerial surveillance and trained dogs. Authorities blame the 2013 attack on two young brothers motivated by extremist beliefs. One died after a gun battle with police near Boston, while the other was caught four days after the marathon and awaits a federal trial on 30 charges.

2013 marathon winner says: "I want to show that I am not scared. . . . I want to show that for the Boston people.: -- Lelisa Desisa, who returned from Ethiopia to run again

Second-time entrant says: "People who don’t run say, 'Oh, you almost finished it.' But it's not about the distance. It's about the race." -- Brian Cotter, 26, of Washington, D.C., who was three blocks from finishing in 2013

Police commissioner says: "I'm confident it will be the day it's always been, which is a great family day. . . . It's Patriots’ Day. It’s what it means to be a Bostonian." – William Evans

Front Page Talking Points is written by Alan Stamm for, Copyright 2014
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