Activities  Home  K-4  5-8  9-12   Geo Quiz   Vocabulary Quiz   NewsVideo   Cartoons   Talking Points  Science Webcast 


Learn to Teach With the E-Edition. It's Easy!

The Palm Beach Post e-edition is educational, efficient, and easy to use. It makes learning fun for students by reaching them where they live - in an increasingly digital world. And, it can be easy and fun for you, too. Check out our online teacher tutorial. It gives you step-by-step directions for using the e-edition tools. We'll even give you suggestions for learning activities that meet state standards. Easy! Educational! Efficient! A triple winner!

Get details and access

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.


U.S. elections are this week's hottest topic

Election news resembles sports coverage in a way. Both use similar language (tight contest, come from behind, neck-and-neck, down to the wire) and also often assume familiarity with the topic. Your class can be a "test lab" to see whether political reports are clear and give enough background for readers below voting age.
Newspapers go beyond telling who won and lost elections. Challenge students to find references to broader subjects -– such as campaign spending, attack ads, the Iraq war, the president, early buzz about candidates to succeed him -- in articles, columns, editorials and cartoons.
Ask future voters to discuss election turnout, which was expected to be about 45 percent or lower in most states. Just over half (55 percent) of voting-age Americans cast ballots in the 2004 presidential election. Invite pupils to suggest ways to boost participation and reasons to do so.

Americans who are 18 or older on Tuesday can use their power to make democracy work. They have an opportunity – or a responsibility, to put it another way – to vote for men and women who’ll represent them in Congress, in state Capitols, on city councils and on township boards. Election Day also involves state ballot proposals about gay marriage, taxes, hunting, affirmative action, minimum wage levels, abortion and other hot-button issues.

There are big political stakes for national leadership, even though the next president won’t be picked until 2008. This midterm election (which refers to the middle of a president’s four-year term in office) fills all 435 U.S. House seats and 33 of the 100 U.S. Senate spots. Republicans now have a majority in both parts of Congress, but stay tuned – that could change.

This paper’s front page and home page Wednesday morning will show whether Democrats gained control of at least one house of Congress by winning 15 additional House seats or six more in the Senate. The party with a majority of seats fills leadership positions – such as Speaker of the House – and all committee chairmanships in any chamber it controls. That affects legislation, hearings and political maneuvering for 2008.

Impact on Congress: If Democrats win a majority in the House or Senate, it will be harder for President Bush to earn passage of legislation he wants. Also, if the party balance changes in the House, Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California becomes the first female House Speaker – placing her just behind the vice-president in the presidential line of succession.

State issues to watch: Voters around the country will set state policies with choices on 79 initiative questions -- the third-largest number since 1902, when ballot proposals first were put before voters in this country. Labor unions and their allies pushed proposals to increase the minimum wage in six states. Christian conservatives campaigned for gay marriage bans in eight states.

Accuracy concerns: Many voters will touch a screen to cast ballots, rather than using a punch card or filling out a form to scan. Officials insist the new technology is secure and reliable, but questions persist about electronic voting equipment that lacks a backup “paper trail.” Skeptics say votes may be changed or lost, or voters could cast multiple ballots. This could come about through hacking or other program manipulation, through technology failure or because election workers are confused by changes. About one-third of voters will use new equipment.

Front Page Talking Points is written by Alan Stamm for, Copyright 2014
We welcome comments or suggestions for future topics: Click here to Comment

Front Page Talking Points Archive

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

E-cigarettes spark discussions about health benefits and teen use

Safety campaign combats distracted driving with dramatic ad, new website and #justdrive tag

White House posts climate change details at new website as part of push for action

Even President Obama is caught up in the NCAA basketball tournament’s March Madness

‘Cosmos’ science series on TV aims to show how ‘we’re all connected’

Sweeping changes will make the SAT more relevant and useful, College Board says

‘My Brother’s Keeper’ is Obama’s name for effort to help at-risk young men

This season of wicked weather brings above-normal ice coverage on all Great Lakes

Warm days make the last week of Olympic action in Russia seem like the Spring Games

Complete archive