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Grades 1-4
Grades 5-8

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for Grades 9-12

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For Grades 9-12 , week of Mar. 19, 2012

1. Landing That Job

The American economy has struggled in recent years, but there has recently been an upturn in the national job market. For the third straight month, employers added at least 200,000 jobs to the American economy. According to an Associated Press article, 142.1 million people said they had a job in February – the highest employment rate since January 2009. President Obama said he expects the job market to continue to grow, and a recent study by the Georgetown University Center on Education said the highest growth career fields are expected to be in business, nursing, accounting, information technology, health care administration and education. The study showed that most jobs will require some education after high school. Find and discuss job openings listed in the newspaper. Pick one and write out what qualifications and experience you would need to get that job.

Core/National Standard: Posing questions that elicit elaboration and respond to others’ questions and comments; producing clear and coherent writing.

2. March Madness

The "March Madness" of the NCAA college basketball tournament has started. Look through the sports section in today's newspaper and create two math problems based on the statistics you find about the Men's Division I tournament and two from statistics in the Women's Division I tournament. Solve your problems on a separate sheet of paper. Then exchange problems with a classmate and complete each other's problems.

Core/National Standard: Formulating questions and problems and gathering and interpreting data to answer those questions.

3. Women’s History Month

On March 22, 1972, the U.S. Senate passed the Equal Rights Amendment and sent it out to the states to be ratified. It needed to be approved by three-fourths of the nation’s states, or 38 states. It failed to pass, and as a result there is no constitutional amendment specifically protecting the rights of women. The 1972 vote was not the first time such an amendment was proposed. The first time occurred in 1923, and the amendment didn’t pass then, either. Despite the absence of an Equal Rights Amendment, many women have fought and gained rights cherished by women today. Women now hold public office, receive top education degrees and run major companies and organizations. In honor of Women’s History Month, find a newspaper article about a powerful woman. Using the article and online resources, write a brief biography of the woman.

Core/National Standard: Producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to the task, purpose and audience.

4. The Power of YouTube

If you want to get people’s attention, try YouTube. Invisible Children, a non-profit group, filmed a short video to expose the practices of Joseph Rao Kony, the leader of the Ugandan guerrilla movement called the Lord’s Resistance Army. In the video, called “Kony 2012,” you will meet Jacob Acaye, a former child soldier. Acaye was snatched from his village when he was just 11 by Kony, and he was forced to become a soldier. He managed to escape and is now studying to become a lawyer. Kony is wanted by the International Criminal Courts and accused of mass kidnapping, abuse and murder. The video has now been viewed more than 9.9 million times. Find newspaper articles about “Kony 2012.” Or find examples online. Watch the video on YouTube and write an opinion piece reacting to it.

Core/National Standard: Producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to the task, purpose and audience.

5. Mood Music

Scientists wanted to know if the music we listen to affects the way we visually perceive things. In a recent study people were asked to bring in 15 minutes of happy music and 15 minutes of sad music, according to a report in Scientific American magazine. The participants sat down in front of computers on which happy or sad faces were embedded into visually mixed-up gray backgrounds. Researchers found that people listening to happy music saw happy faces on their screen, even if there weren’t any, and people listening to sad music saw sad faces. In the newspaper or online, find a story or ad involving a kind of music you like. Write a review of this music, and detail how it makes you feel.

Core/National Standard: Producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task, purpose and audience.