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Grades 1-4
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for Grades 9-12

Sep. 01, 2014
Aug. 25, 2014
Aug. 18, 2014
Aug. 11, 2014
Aug. 04, 2014
July 28, 2014
July 21, 2014
July 14, 2014
July 07, 2014
June 23, 2014
June 16, 2014
June 09, 2014
June 02, 2014
May 26, 2014
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Apr 28, 2014
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Mar. 31, 2014
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Jan. 27, 2014
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Jan. 06, 2014
Dec. 16, 2013
Dec. 09, 2013
Dec. 02, 2013
Nov. 25, 2013
Nov. 18, 2013
Nov. 11, 2013

For Grades 9-12 , week of Sep. 01, 2014

1. Handheld Allergies

The growing use of mobile and handheld devices could lead to a spike in allergic reactions, physicians fear. The reason? Many of these devices contain nickel, to which 10 to 20 percent of Americans are allergic, according to estimates from the U.S. Centers for Disease Prevention and Control. The United States has no restrictions on nickel’s widespread use in consumer products and some have caused problems. Fitbit, which makes devices that measure physical activity, has recalled millions of its wristbands in response to complaints of adverse skin reactions such as blistering, redness and dryness. Consumer safety and health are often in the news, because people want to know if the products they buy have any risks. In the newspaper or online, find a story about a consumer safety issue. Read the story closely and do additional research with the Internet. Then design a public service ad for the newspaper or TV, highlighting key points that people should know about the product.

Common Core State Standards: Using drawings or visual displays when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or points; integrating information presented in different media or formats to develop integrating a coherent understanding of a topic; conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic.

2. Obama: Climate Change Hurts Economy

Further delay in addressing climate change is not only bad for the environment, but also for the American economy, President Obama has warned. Rising temperatures could cost Americans the equivalent of $150 billion a year, his Council of Economic Advisers has predicted, “because of the permanent damage … resulting from the delay.” The President is considering new executive actions to lessen the impact of climate change in the face of what he considers inaction by the U.S. Congress. Republicans have said his call for more extensive regulation of carbon emissions would slow the economy and cost jobs, but the new report said long-term costs of delay would be higher than any possible short-term costs. Global warming and climate change are having effects all over the world. In the newspaper or online, find a story about one situation and effects described by scientists. Write a paragraph summarizing the effects and what could be done to address them.

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.

3. How to Brush Your Teeth

Experts are divided over the best way to brush your teeth. Researchers report in the British Dental Journal that at least five techniques have been recommended, but “there’s no evidence,” the lead author contends, “to suggest that any of them is more effective than a simple scrub.” According to the report, the American Dental Association favors holding the brush at a 45-degree angle to the gum and making short back-and-forth movements; another often-recommended technique calls for large, sweeping circles with the brush at right angles to the tooth surfaces. Opinions also range widely over how often and how long people should brush. Teens and their families pay close attention to health stories because health issues affect everyone. In the newspaper or online, find a health issue that is important to students your age. Then explain the issue in a series of comic strips for the newspaper. Give your strip a name that would make people want to read it.

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.

4. Daughter to Co-Star with Depp

Johnny Depp’s 15-year-old daughter, Lily-Rose, will perform alongside him in Kevin Smith’s new movie “Yoga Hosers.” Another 15-year-old will be in the cast, and she too has a film connection. Harley Quinn Smith is the daughter of the filmmaker. “Yoga Hosers” is the second film in Smith’s “True North Trilogy.” The first film, “Tusk,” premieres in September at the Toronto Film Festival in Canada. With a comic book plot, “Yoga Hosers” features two bored, yoga-loving teen girls joining up with Johnny Depp’s character to battle an evil presence threatening their lives. Movies are a popular entertainment for people of all ages. In the movie ads in the newspaper, find a movie you have seen. Or think about one you have seen in the past. Think like a film critic and write a review of the movie for the newspaper. Be sure to support your opinions with facts about the movie, the script or the acting.

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. Americans in Debt

More than one in three Americans has debts and unpaid bills reported to collection agencies, the Urban Institute organization has reported. This includes consumers who fall behind on credit cards or hospital bills and those whose debt for mortgages, auto loans or student loans has gone unpaid. A study by the think tank organization found 35.1 percent of people with credit cards have been reported to collection agencies for debt averaging $5,178. About 140,000 collections industry employees recover about $50 billion annually. Debt, unemployment and job opportunities all are part of the story of the U.S. economy. In the newspaper, find a story about economic conditions, debt or jobs. Write a paragraph summarizing the situation. Write a second paragraph predicting what will happen next, based on what you have read.

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.


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