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Front Page Talking Points

FOR THE WEEK OF NOV. 24, 2014

Common Core State Standard
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.

Here comes the holiday shopping frenzy – with resistance to Thanksgiving Day sales

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1.gifFind a gift-shopping quote or viewpoint you agree with. Tell why.

2.gifNow find a Thanksgiving week event that sounds like fun. Describe it.

3.gifDoes the paper also report on people in need and groups helping them? Share an example if you spot one.

Once upon a time, the end-of-year holiday shopping season didn't start with a national controversy over stores open on Thanksgiving. But that era has gone the way of typewriters, phone booths and penny candy (ask a grandparent). Now we're about to see a yearly frenzy known as "Black Friday," which spills into the day before at some retailers. Critics say that predawn sales on the Friday after Thanksgiving and on the holiday itself undercut family celebrations on a day set aside for giving thanks, not giving credit cards to clerks.

Deep discounts for a limited time on popular toys, video games, phones and TVs can be hard to resist. Kmart kicks off gift sales at 6 a.m. Thanksgiving Day and stays open 42 hours straight. Most Walmart stores also will open all day on the holiday, with deals starting at 6 p.m. "Retailers are looking to capture their piece of the pie as early as possible," Dennis McGovern, manager of a 58-store outlet mall in Sparks, Nev.

A backlash comes from store workers who want a full holiday, as well as from some shoppers who’d rather not be forced to choose between early bargains and a leisurely holiday meal. Petitions, boycott drives on social media and other protests are aimed at Best Buy, Macy's, Old Navy, Toys "R" Us, Target and other major retailers with Thanksgiving sales. Stores staying shut until Friday include Costco, Nordstrom, Barnes & Noble, Marshalls, HomeGoods and TJ Maxx.

Why it’s called "Black Friday:" The phrase refers to the black ink that accountants use to record profits, rather than red ink for losses

Mall manager says: "Some retailers still respect the fact that people want some time with their families. We don’t get that many days in the retail environment that we get that." – Regina Harmon of Foothills Mall in Tucson, Ariz., opening early Friday

Best Buy executive says: "Customers have shown that they want to shop on Thanksgiving evening, and we want to be there to serve those customers." – Jeff Shelman, spokesman for the electronics chain

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