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



Additional Resources for Your Classroom



Find over 300 resources that include teacher guides, student supplements, teacher training modules and so much more.

Click here to access instructional material


For Grades 9-12 , week of Oct. 10, 2016

1. Debate No. 2

The second presidential debate between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump was held Sunday, October 9 at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. The third — and final — debate between the candidates will be held Wednesday, October 19 at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas. Debates can have great influence shaping how voters view candidates. In the newspaper or online, closely read stories about the first and second debates between Trump and Clinton. Use what you read to write a political opinion column outlining what impression each candidate has given voters in the two debates — and what each needs to do in the final debate to increase the chance of success on Election Day November 8.

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.

2. ‘Star Trek’ at 50

When it comes to science fiction, the “Star Trek” movies and television shows are among the most popular ever created. And this year “Star Trek” celebrates a milestone — the 50th anniversary of its debut as an NBC-TV show in 1966. The space adventure was not an immediate success — it was canceled after two seasons and only restored for a third season after devoted fans organized a letter-writing campaign. Since then, the “Star Trek” adventures have remained popular through syndicated TV reruns and a series of movies. Part of its popularity has been that its stories offer more than simple science fiction. The show and movies have tackled Earthly issues ranging from racism to diversity to gay rights. The latest movie, “Star Trek Beyond,” was released this summer and generated more than $335 million in U.S. ticket sales. Science fiction stories are created by taking real life science or technology and imagining how they might be changed or “advanced” in the future. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a scientific discovery, an invention or a use of technology. Think like a science fiction writer and brainstorm a way to turn the information in the story into science fiction. Write a paragraph summarizing your idea, as if it were going to be made into a movie.

Common Core State Standards: Writing narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events; conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic; reading closely what a text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it.

3. 30% Fewer Elephants

Africa’s elephant population has plunged faster than anyone predicted, raising questions about the possibility that the species could become extinct. And the reason, everyone agrees, is “almost certainly … poaching for ivory,” according to a new study. An 18-country census by the nonprofit research group Elephants Without Borders estimates only 352,271 elephants remain in the wild in sub-Saharan Africa, a decline between 2007 and 2014 of at least 144,000, or about 30 percent. The study links the drop to a “substantial increase” in poaching, “especially in eastern and western Africa.” Poachers illegally kill elephants for the ivory in their tusks. Illegal poaching of elephants, rhinos and other endangered species is an issue important to people all over the world. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read stories about efforts to stop or reduce poaching. Use what you read to write an editorial giving your view on what are the best approaches, and how they could be used more widely to protect endangered species.

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.

4. Burger King vs. Chipotle

In the ongoing war of the fast-food chains, Burger King has added a Whopperito item to its menu, taking another shot at the Chipotle Mexican Grill chain. The Whopperito features beef, tomatoes, lettuce and pickles served inside a flour tortilla, with a Mexican queso sauce replacing mayonnaise. Burger King, which earlier this year started selling an Egg-Normous breakfast burrito, tested the Whopperito in some locations in June. The idea came from a franchise owner with outlets in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Businesses often try new things to gain an advantage over competitors. In the newspaper or online, read stories or view ads of a business trying something new. Do additional research and write a paragraph summarizing what the business is doing and why. Include a prediction of how successful you think the effort will be.

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.

5. Refugee Kids & School

Nearly two-thirds of the 6 million school-age children classified as refugees have no school to attend, the United Nations reports. Only about 50 percent of refugee children have access to primary education and even fewer adolescents (22 percent) attend secondary school. Most of the not-in-school refugee children live in seven countries — Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lebanon, Pakistan and Turkey. As an example of how war affects the education of refugees, the report notes that 94 percent of Syria’s children attended school in 2009, but only 60 percent do this year. When children in other countries face problems or hardship, people in this country look for ways to help. In the newspaper or online, closely read stories about children needing help somewhere in the world. Use what you read to devise a plan your community could try to help these children. Summarize the details of your plan in a written proposal, and indicate why you think it would work.

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.