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Lessons for

Grades 1-4
Grades 5-8

Past lessons
for Grades 9-12

Feb. 23, 2015
Feb. 16, 2015
Feb. 09, 2015
Feb. 02, 2015
Jan. 26, 2015
Jan. 19, 2015
Jan. 12, 2015
Jan. 05, 2015
Dec. 15, 2014
Dec. 08, 2014
Dec. 01, 2014
Nov. 24, 2014
Nov. 17, 2014
Nov. 10, 2014
Nov. 03, 2014
Oct. 27, 2014
Oct. 20, 2014
Oct. 13, 2014
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Sep. 29, 2014
Sep. 22, 2014
Sep. 15, 2014
Sep. 08, 2014
Sep. 01, 2014
Aug. 25, 2014
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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

For Grades 9-12 , week of Feb. 23, 2015

1. Democrats Choose Philadelphia

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania has been chosen as the site of the 2016 Democratic national convention. It will be held the week of July 25, right after the Republicans hold their national convention in Cleveland, Ohio. At the conventions each party will choose its candidates for president and vice president in the 2016 election. The Democratic National Committee said it chose Philadelphia over Columbus, Ohio, and New York City because of its “deep rooted place in American history.” But the decision probably has more to do with logistical things such as fund-raising to underwrite the event, availability of hotel rooms and a venue with enough seating and skyboxes to accommodate delegates and news media. The 2016 election is more than 20 months away, but possible candidates for president are “testing the waters” to see if they could win wide support. In the newspaper or online, find a story about a possible 2016 candidate for president. Read the story and write a summary of what the person is doing to “test the waters” and what his/her prospects are.

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.

2. Be Nice to Parents

“One of the consequences of China’s urbanization,” an official has said, is that “young people have moved away … from their aging parents in villages.” So China’s government has taken unusual action. A law called “Protection of the Rights and Interests of Elderly People” requires adult children to go home “often” to visit their parents and occasionally send them greetings. Employers must give employees enough time off to do this. In addition, nine clauses in the new law address the obligation of children to tend to “the spiritual needs of the elderly.” Caring for elderly parents is an issue for people in every community. In the newspaper or online, find and read a story about issues that adult children face when doing this. Pick one or two issues you think are the most important and write a paragraph explaining your reasoning.

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. Inequality in the Executive Suite

Women own or manage more than 30 percent of the world’s businesses but only 5 percent of the biggest enterprises, the United Nations’ International Labor Organization has reported. The agency estimates that without action to promote gender equality in management, it would take 100 to 200 years to achieve parity between men and women in business leadership. In the newspaper or online, find and read a story about a woman leader in business. Pretend you are a business reporter and have scheduled an interview with the woman. Prepare five questions to ask her about how to increase the number of women running large businesses.

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. Jon Stewart

Jon Stewart’s decision to leave “The Daily Show” on Comedy Central has sparked wide speculation about who might replace him. Stewart — who remains as host until later this year — has provided viewers an unlikely source of political news and analysis, through biting and freewheeling humor. He is the second high-profile personality to leave Comedy Central recently: Stephen Colbert left to take over the CBS late-night spot after David Letterman retires in May. Hosting a comedy show takes a special kind of talent. In the newspaper or online, closely read stories about the search for a new host for “The Daily Show.” Then write a paragraph or short essay detailing the qualities the new host should have. Include names of people who have these qualities and whether you think they would be good choices for “The Daily Show.”

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.

5. Ecosytems Under the Ice

At the bottom of Antarctica’s thick ice caps, it is dark and very, very cold. It would not seem a place likely to support life, but it has viable ecosystems, researchers report in Nature magazine. Scientists have pulled thousands of different types of micro-organisms from Lake Whillans, which is buried under the Antarctic ice sheet near the Earth’s South Pole. The setting, they note, is similar to that of icy moons around the planets Jupiter and Saturn, leading to speculation that perhaps life could exist elsewhere in our solar system. To survive in cold surroundings far from the energy of a light source, organisms must utilize the chemistry of the lake’s water, rock and sediment particles, the scientists note. Scientists study ecosystems on Earth to gain knowledge about our Earth and other planets in the solar system. In the newspaper or online, find a story about another study of an ecosystem. Read it closely and write a summary of what scientists hope to learn by studying the ecosystem.

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; conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic.