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Lessons for

Grades 1-4
Grades 5-8

Past lessons
for Grades 9-12

Aug. 25, 2014
Aug. 18, 2014
Aug. 11, 2014
Aug. 04, 2014
July 28, 2014
July 21, 2014
July 14, 2014
July 07, 2014
June 23, 2014
June 16, 2014
June 09, 2014
June 02, 2014
May 26, 2014
May 19, 2014
May 12, 2014
May 05, 2014
Apr 28, 2014
Apr 21, 2014
Apr 14, 2014
Apr 07, 2014
Mar. 31, 2014
Mar. 24, 2014
Mar. 17, 2014
Mar. 10, 2014
Mar. 03, 2014
Feb. 24, 2014
Feb. 17, 2014
Feb. 10, 2014
Feb. 03, 2014
Jan. 27, 2014
Jan. 20, 2014
Jan. 13, 2014
Jan. 06, 2014
Dec. 16, 2013
Dec. 09, 2013
Dec. 02, 2013
Nov. 25, 2013
Nov. 18, 2013
Nov. 11, 2013
Nov. 04, 2013

For Grades 9-12 , week of Aug. 25, 2014

1. For U.S. Soldiers, Cornrows Now OK

The United States military is loosening its rules for hairstyles to allow some styles popular with African American women. U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said all military branches, except the Marine Corps, will now permit cornrows, braids and other styles that were previously forbidden. Hagel ordered a policy review after the 16 women in the Congressional Black Caucus of the U.S. Congress protested new Army regulations banning large cornrows, twists and dreadlocks. The U.S. military regulates clothing and hairstyles to promote discipline and focus in military operations. Dress codes are common in schools, and in some careers there are guidelines for “recommended” dress. With family or friends, discuss the positive and negative aspects of dress codes for students or non-military workers. Then write a short editorial for the newspaper, outlining an appropriate dress code for a school or business. Give specific reasons why you think different parts of the code are important.

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. Ebola ‘Emergency’ Declared

The World Health Organization has declared the Ebola outbreak of disease in West Africa a “public health emergency of international concern,” and is calling for all countries — including those unaffected — to implement a coordinated response. A panel of health experts, meeting in Geneva, Switzerland in Europe, unanimously recommended the action after hearing reports from the African nations of Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria, where the total of those affected has topped 17,000, and almost 1,000 people have died. Travel restrictions and other measures are in force in West Africa, and WHO recommends that governments elsewhere “be prepared to detect, investigate and manage” Ebola cases. With the newspaper and Internet, research the Ebola virus, symptoms of the disease and what is being done to combat it. Write a paragraph or short essay summarizing key developments.

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.

3. Amputee Jumps from Plane

Urging handicapped veterans to “get on with life,” a veteran who is a quadruple amputee jumped from an airplane in Maine as a stunt to raise funds for a veterans center and museum. Army Staff Sgt. Travis Mills, who lost all four limbs to an explosive in the U.S. war in Afghanistan, was joined by Maine’s First Lady, Ann LePage, who transcended her fear of heights, she says, because Mills challenged her. Mills’s message to other wounded veterans: “Hey, I’m wounded. I have scars. But I don’t need a violin playing behind me with sad music to make me feel like a sob story.” Travis Mills’s jump is an action that could inspire others. In the newspaper, find another newsmaker who has done something that could inspire others. Write a letter to the editor of the newspaper, describing how this person’s action is inspiring.

Common Core State Standards: Producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task; citing specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions.

4. Sports Head Injuries

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has agreed to a significant change in the care and safety of all current and former athletes in all sports. The preliminary settlement in a class-action suit brought by former athletes includes a medical monitoring fund and a new national protocol for dealing with head injuries. The settlement doesn’t provide financial compensation for injuries, but allows individuals to sue for damages. Some plaintiffs’ lawyers have criticized the agreement, but one said that “enhance[ing] concussion management” makes it “a very important day for student athletes.” Growing awareness of the long-range effects of concussions has prompted these developments. And they come at a time of year when football is getting great attention. In the newspaper or online, find a story about sports or concussion safety. Read the story closely and use what you read to outline a public safety TV ad highlighting key points. Include visuals you would use in the ad in your outline.

Common Core State Standards: Reading closely what a text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; integrating information presented in different media or formats to develop a coherent understanding of a topic; conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic.

5. Can Dogs Be Jealous?

Scientists are divided over a theory that that states that jealousy is not strictly a human emotion. Dr. Christine Harris, a San Diego psychologist studying human jealousy, had noticed that when she petted one of her two border collies, the other would intervene. Studying the matter further, she has concluded, in a paper published in a journal from the Public Library of Science, that animals show a “primordial” form of jealousy. It is not as complex as the human emotion, which requires complex thinking about oneself and others. Those are beyond a dog’s abilities. But while research continues, one animal expert advises, “it may be important to avoid situations where [dogs] feel ignored.” Scientists study animal behaviors to see how behavior patterns develop and to compare them to human behaviors. In the newspaper, find a photo or a story about an animal that interests you. Think like a scientist and write a proposal to study the behavior of this animal. Detail what studying the behavior could teach you about the animal — or about humans.

Common Core State Standards: Producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task; citing specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions.