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Lessons for

Grades 1-4
Grades 5-8

Past lessons
for Grades 9-12

Nov. 24, 2014
Nov. 17, 2014
Nov. 10, 2014
Nov. 03, 2014
Oct. 27, 2014
Oct. 20, 2014
Oct. 13, 2014
Oct. 06, 2014
Sep. 29, 2014
Sep. 22, 2014
Sep. 15, 2014
Sep. 08, 2014
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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May 12, 2014
May 05, 2014
Apr 28, 2014
Apr 21, 2014
Apr 14, 2014
Apr 07, 2014
Mar. 31, 2014
Mar. 24, 2014
Mar. 17, 2014
Mar. 10, 2014
Mar. 03, 2014
Feb. 24, 2014
Feb. 17, 2014

For Grades 9-12 , week of Nov. 24, 2014

1. Ban on Women Drivers

In the Middle East nation of Saudi Arabia, it’s illegal for women to drive. Now, however, the king’s advisory council, the Shura, has recommended that the ban be lifted — partially. The Shura’s recommendation — which is not a mandate — would permit a woman to drive if she is older than 30, has a male relative’s permission and is off the road by 8 p.m. And one more thing: Behind the wheel, a woman driver may not wear makeup. Saudi Arabia’s laws are based on a strict interpretation of Islamic law, and no other nation in the world has had such a ban. The laws in some other nations are quite different from those in the United States. With the newspaper or Internet, find examples of laws from other nations that are different from American laws. Write a paragraph or short essay, comparing two or more foreign laws with those in this country.

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. White House Changes

President Obama has accepted responsibility for the Democrats’ collapse in the midterm elections, admitting that his administration had failed to sell his policies to the public. “It’s not enough to build a better mousetrap,” he said. “We’ve got to sell it. We’ve got to reach out.” Promising a “gut check” as he enters the final two years of his presidency, he said the election losses were the result of a poor communications effort in the White House. He hinted at staff changes, noting in a TV interview that “We will be bringing in new folks.” In the newspaper, find news about President Obama’s plans for the last two years of his presidency. Write an analysis of the plans and how they will be affected by Republican control of both the U.S. House and Senate.

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. ‘I Am Not Malala’

Not everyone is favorably impressed by teenage Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai. The All Pakistan Private Schools Federation, which claims to represent 150,000 schools, declared an “I Am Not Malala” Day, and urged the government to ban her memoir “I Am Malala” because it offends the religion of Islam and the “ideology of Pakistan.” The 17-year-old has been hailed all over the world for her advocacy for education and girls’ rights after being shot in the head by a Taliban gunman in 2012. Some Pakistanis have joined in lionizing her, while others portray her as a western puppet who is maligning her native country and her religion. Due to threats of danger, Malala and her family have moved to the European nation of Great Britain. Malala Yousafzai’s efforts to promote the rights of girls have inspired debate all over the world. In the newspaper or online, find a story about an issue you would like to inspire debate about. Write a short editorial for the newspaper explaining why it is important to call attention to the issue. Discuss issues as a class.

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; engaging effectively in a range of collaborative discussions.

4. Ebola Warnings, in Song

Some of Africa’s top performers have joined together to present a new song that is packed with information about what people can do to help stop the spread of the Ebola virus. Written by two of the performers and distributed to radio stations across the continent, the five-and-a half-minute song is based on ideas sketched out by New York University professor Carlos Chirinos. The song by Kandia Koras and Sekou Kouyate includes warnings such as “Avoid shaking hands” and “Don’t touch the bodies of the sick or dead” along with encouragements like “Trust doctors” and “Wash your hands.” In the newspaper or online, find and read stories describing other efforts to help West Africans deal with Ebola. Get creative and write a song, rap or rhyme, based on what you have read.

Common Core State Standards: Demonstrating understanding of figurative language; applying knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts.

5. Divers vs. Lionfish

Invasive Pacific lionfish are threatening the native fish population and endangering the reefs around the island of Curacao in the Caribbean Sea south of the United States. The problem has inspired a program to eradicate the invaders — and tourists are being recruited to help. The nonprofit Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF) is planning to train participants in its 2015 field survey trip to spear lionfish to reduce their number. REEF staff and instructors will lead dives and hold seminars about the effect of this invasive species. Habitats all over the world can get out of balance when an invasive species is introduced. With the newspaper and Internet, do some research about an invasive species affecting your community or state. Then use what you find to brainstorm a public service TV commercial to publicize the problem and urge the community to take action.

Common Core State Standards: Integrating information presented in different media or formats to develop a coherent understanding of a topic; writing narrative s to develop real or imagined experiences or events; conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic.


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