, week of
Sep. 10, 2012
1. Having It All Who says people can’t do what they love, even if what they love is two different things? Ed Hochuli is a partner and trial attorney in a Phoenix, Arizona, law firm, where he specializes in civil cases. On most days you will find him in his office or a courtroom. But between August and January, you will find him in NFL stadiums around the country. Hochuli is one of the NFL’s top referees. He started as a youth league ref and worked his way up through the ranks of high school, small college, the Pac-10 and finally the NFL. This year, however, Hochuli won’t be on the field until a union dispute between NFL representatives and referees is settled. Find a newspaper article about NFL referees. Write a summary of the news.
Common Core/National Standard: Producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task, purpose and audience.
2. Fall TV
Fall is the time when the TV networks present new shows and hope viewers will be interested enough to watch them. Take a look at today's TV listings in the newspaper. Notice how shows are arranged on the schedule. Pick one network and analyze what audience or age group the shows would attract during the evening. Then use your imagination to make a schedule from all shows on TV to create programming for a network of your own. Add shows you would like to see created, if they don’t already exist. Underneath your schedule, write a brief description of your shows and to whom they would appeal.
Common Core/National Standards: Responding to visual and written texts; investigating practical situations such as scheduling, networking, organizing and classifying.
3. 11 Years Later
On December 7, 1941, the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by the naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan. President Franklin D. Roosevelt called it “a date which will live in infamy,” and few could imagine such a day would ever happen again in our country. But on September 11, 2001, it did. Terrorists hijacked four commercial airplanes in an orchestrated effort to attack and demoralize the United States. Two of the airplanes flew into the World Trade Center towers in New York City, and one of the planes flew into the Pentagon military headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, near Washington, D.C. Another plane bound for what was believed to be the White House or the Capitol Building in Washington, was taken back by passengers on the plane and crashed into a Pennsylvania field. Find a newspaper article this week about the 11th anniversary of the September 11 attacks. As a class, discuss the long-term ramifications of the attacks on the United States.
Common Core/National Standard: Engaging effectively in a range of collaborative discussions.
4. A Centuries Old Problem
If you think drinking and driving is a problem only for the 20th and 21st centuries, you would be wrong. On September 10, 1897, cab driver George Smith ran his taxi into a building in London, England, and was arrested for drinking and driving. There weren’t fancy blood tests or Breathalyzers available at that time, but he admitted he was drunk. The first test for drunken behavior was the Drunkometer, which involved a balloon that was blown up and then attached to a tube containing purple liquid made up of potassium permanganate and sulfuric acid. If the purple fluid became yellow, the person had been drinking. The Breathalyzer, which was developed in 1954, used the Drunkometer’s basic idea, but it also calculated a person’s blood alcohol level immediately. Find a newspaper story about drinking and driving. Or find one online. Create posters and flyers for your school to raise awareness about the dangers of drinking and driving.
Common Core/National Standard: Using drawings or visual displays when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or points.
5. On My Honor
Harvard University doesn’t have a student honor code. It’s never needed one in its 400-year history. That may change after 125 students were accused of improperly collaborating on a take-home final exam this spring, according to an Associated Press story. Even though it doesn’t have a written honor code, Harvard does take strong actions against student misconduct. Cheating and plagiarism, for example, can result in students’ being kicked out of school. The article on the Harvard case raised the question of whether an honor code would have prevented the cheating. Find a newspaper story about the Harvard incident. Read the article and then write an opinion essay on the effectiveness of written student honor codes.
Common Core/National Standard: Writing arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts.