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. 17, 2016

1. Election Advice

Election Day is just three weeks away in the race for president, and Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump are locked in a fierce battle for support. On Wednesday, October 19, they will meet in the third, and final, debate of the campaign. Many political experts say the third debate is the last opportunity for the candidates to “close the deal” with voters who have not decided whom to support. In the newspaper or online this week, read stories about how the candidates are doing and what voters they need to win over in the closing weeks of the campaign. Use what you read to write a short editorial, outlining what each candidate needs to do at the third debate — and why.

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. 17 Questions on Calif. ballot

Speaking of the election, California voters will have some interesting questions to answer on Election Day. And while most observers expect California to vote Democratic for president, that doesn’t mean there won’t be suspense. Seventeen voter-generated initiatives are on the state’s ballot (along with some local referenda in the largest cities). Among the initiatives are ballot questions that would end the death penalty, legalize recreational marijuana, impose a tax surcharge on the wealthy and limit prescription drug costs. Voters will be exposed to close to $100 million in TV advertisements, urging yes or no votes. In elections, voters are often asked to decide on ballot questions about policy as well as about candidates for office. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a ballot question that will be decided in this year’s election in your state or community. Use what you read to write a paragraph detailing what the ballot question would do, how it came to be on the ballot, and what outcome is expected by political experts.

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.

3. Serena Backs Athlete Protest

Tennis superstar Serena Williams has joined the growing list of athletes protesting the killing of black men by police officers. The protest got its start nationwide when San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand for the National Anthem. In a Facebook post, Williams quoted the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., saying “there comes a time when silence is betrayal” and asserting “I won’t be silent.” The protest by athletes in support of the “Black Lives Matter” movement has drawn attention all over the country. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read stories about athletes who are joining or supporting the protests during the playing of the National Anthem at sporting events. Use what you read or previous knowledge, to write a political or sports column giving your view on which famous athletes would have the most impact if they joined the protest. Give a reason for each athlete you cite in your column.

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. Comic Book Aids Survivors

A comic book has been created to raise funds for people affected by the June 12 attack on the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, in which 49 people died and 53 were wounded. DC Comics and IDW Publishing will release “Love Is Love,” a 144-page comic book, and proceeds will go to the Equality Florida group and its fund for the massacre survivors. Selling for $9.99, the comic book will feature more than 100 stories, each about two pages long. The project was organized by writer Mark Andreyko. Many people believe that love can overcome many problems or obstacles. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story that details the power of love in this way. Use what you read to write a letter to the editor, explaining how love broke down obstacles or problems in this case, and how that could inspire others.

Common Core State Standards: Producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task; reading closely what a text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it.

5. Chicago Adding 970 Cops

The city of Chicago, Illinois is expanding its police force by 970 “to increase the department’s authorized strength,” but the police chief has warned that the move is only part of the answer “to the violence we now have in the city.” Over a two-year period, the chief announced, the department will add 516 patrol officers, 82 field training officers, 20 detectives, 112 sergeants and 50 lieutenants. Chicago’s current police force of about 12,500 officers has had a brutal year. The city’s homicide total is already ahead of the number for all of 2015 and is on track to reach a staggering 700 deaths by year’s end. Homicides and violent crime are uncommon in most communities, but they are a growing problem in some cities. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read stories about what cities are trying to do to reduce violent crime. Use what you read to write an analysis of what approaches are being tried, and which seem to be working best.

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.