, week of
Mar. 23, 2015
1. McDonald’s Cutting Antibiotics
McDonald’s is making a major change in the food it serves. The restaurant chain has announced it will require suppliers to stop using antibiotics in chickens, because antibiotics can cause bacteria and other germs to become resistant to drugs that are necessary for treating human illnesses. The suppliers may still use one antibiotic that keeps chickens healthy, but isn’t used in humans. McDonald’s has also discontinued serving milk from cows treated with a particular artificial growth hormone. Many cattle, hog and poultry producers give their livestock antibiotics and growth hormones to help them grow faster and ensure their health. The use of antibiotics and growth hormones in livestock has sparked public health debate across the country. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about the debate. Use what you read to write a summary of the key points of the story. Cite information from the text in your summary.
Common Core State Standards: Reading closely what a text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; citing specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions.
2. Racist Songs Shut Fraternity
The University of Oklahoma has severed ties with its chapter of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, and the fraternity’s national organization has suspended its members because of what the university’s president called members’ “absolutely reprehensible and disgraceful” actions. Videos that have become public show fraternity members singing a song laden with anti-black slurs and at least one reference to lynching, with members vowing that the fraternity will never admit African Americans. The chapter’s house has been shuttered on the University of Oklahoma campus, and members of the chapter were ordered to remove personal belongings. The University of Oklahoma case drew national attention as an example of negative attitudes about racial relations. In the newspaper or online, find and read a story that reflects positive attitudes about racial relations. Use what you read to write an editorial detailing what the positive example found in your story could teach the fraternity at the University of Oklahoma.
Common Core State Standards: Writing opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information; closely reading what a text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; citing specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions
3. The Apple Watch
With the new Apple Watch, you not only can tell time, you can make calls, message, navigate, play music, get information, make payments, board planes, check in at hotels, monitor fitness and access your home or car without having to dig a phone out of your pocket. Apple’s first new gadget in five years essentially makes your iPhone hands-free. One industry observer calls it “the perfect storm of a tiny screen, voice recognition accuracy and artificial intelligence.” Critics argue that with prices starting at $349 the watch is too expensive for most users. The Apple Watch is an example of technology being used to create a new product. In the ads and stories of the newspaper, find another new high-tech product. Read up on the product and write a paragraph summarizing its features, benefits and shortcomings (if any).
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; conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic.
4. Oprah Studios Leaving Chicago
After 26 years, Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Studios will close its doors in a few months in Chicago, Illinois, and relocate to West Hollywood in California. She’s making the move, she has explained, because it’s time to end the back-and-forth between Chicago and California, and just go. Winfrey, who achieved her first success as a local talk show host in Chicago, told the Hollywood Reporter newspaper she’s spent more time in the Chicago building than in any other building on Earth “but it’s time to downsize … and move forward.” California is the center of the entertainment industry in the United States, so it makes sense for Oprah to move her studio there. Other areas or cities are central to other industries. In the newspaper or online, read stories about an area that is key to an industry or business. Use what you read to develop an idea for a TV commercial explaining why the area is important to the industry. Include images you would use and what the first scene would show.
Common Core State Standards: Writing narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events; conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic; integrating information presented in different media or formats to develop a coherent understanding of a topic.
5. Women in Boardrooms
The European nation of Germany has passed a law requiring companies to give women more representation on their corporate boards, joining a trend in Europe to improve female representation in the top tiers of industry. Beginning next year, German firms — which are some of the world’s biggest — must give women at least 30 percent of supervisory seats. Around the world, women still trail men in the number of corporate offices they hold, the number of seats they have on business governing boards and in the pay they receive for equal work. But pressure has been growing for legislative solutions, leading to the new German law. March is Women’s History Month, a time when people celebrate the achievements of women and the challenges they still face. Use the newspaper and Internet to read about one achievement by women and one challenge still faced by women. Use what you read and images from the newspaper to design a poster comparing the achievement and the challenge.
Common Core State Standards: Conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic; reading closely what a text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; using drawings or visual displays when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or points.