, week of
Mar. 03, 2014
1. Death of a ‘Marlboro Man’
An actor who portrayed the “Marlboro Man” in cigarette advertising in the late 1970s has died at age 72 of s smoking-related illness. The official cause of death for Eric Lawson was respiratory failure due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). A smoker since age 14, Lawson appeared in ads for Marlboro cigarettes. Although he later appeared in anti-smoking commercials, he continued smoking until he was diagnosed with COPD. “He couldn’t stop,” his widow recalls. At least two other people who pitched Marlboro cigarettes in ads have died of smoking-related disease — David Millar, from emphysema and David McLean from lung cancer. Smoking cigarettes has been linked to lung cancer and other illnesses, yet many people continue to smoke. And many young people choose to start smoking. As a class, discuss reasons young people choose to smoke. Then divide into teams and create a series of public services ads for the newspaper to persuade students your age not to smoke cigarettes. Choose celebrities to be spokespeople for your ads, if you like.
Common Core State Standards: Engaging effectively in a range of collaborative discussions; using drawings or visual displays when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or points.
Artist Michelangelo Buonarroti was born on March 6, 1475. Michelangelo is best known for painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in the European nation of Italy. The ceiling painting, which is more than 130 feet long, is broken up into sections that depict various scenes from the Bible. Challenge your own artistic creativity by re-creating “scenes” from the newspaper in art form. Pick several articles and make a drawing or collage that represents them. You can have a separate section for each article, or one larger piece of art that incorporates them all.
Common Core State Standards: Using drawings or visual displays when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or points.
3. Hunting for Dolphin
Environmentalists, wildlife enthusiasts and other critics — including the U.S. ambassador to Japan, Caroline Kennedy — have protested the annual Japanese “drive hunt” of dolphins, calling the practice inhumane. The drive hunt is a form of fishing off the coast of the Asian nation in which dolphins are herded together by boats into an area they cannot escape. Hundreds are captured or killed each year. The Japanese government has defended the regional practice, insisting it’s no more inhumane than any other kind of fishing. Critics note that dolphins are mammals not fish, and are known for their intelligence. Dolphins that are not killed for their meat in the Japanese hunt are sold to aquariums or “dolphinariums.” As a class, discuss whether you think “drive hunts” should be used to capture or kill dolphins. Do more research on the practice and write an editorial for the newspaper giving your view on drive hunting. In your editorial, address whether the United States should do anything to influence Japan’s decisions about the practice.
Common Core State Standards: Engaging effectively in a range of collaborative discussions; responding thoughtfully to diverse perspectives, summarizing points of agreement and disagreement; writing opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.?
4. Racists Deface Statue
As the nation celebrated Black History Month in February, a noose was hung on a statue of James Meredith on the University of Mississippi campus, along with a Confederate emblem. Meredith was Ole Miss’s first black student, admitted amid violence in 1962 after intervention from President John F. Kennedy. Almost one student in four at Ole Miss now is from a minority, and Meredith is considered a hero of the civil rights movement. Witnesses report that those defacing the statue screamed racial slurs. Police and federal agents are conducting what the school calls a “rigorous” investigation, and three white students from the state of Georgia were identified after the university’s alumni association offered a $25,000 reward. They initially refused to be questioned by investigators. The civil rights movement sought to end racial discrimination but the Ole Miss incident demonstrates prejudices still exist. With the newspaper, Internet and other resources research how other universities have handled racial incidents in recent years. Closely read what you find and write a report detailing how you think Ole Miss should handle its case, based on what other universities have done.
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. Apple Founder on a Stamp
Postage stamps issued next year by the United States Postal Service will honor Apple computer co-founder Steve Jobs, rock stars Michael Jackson and James Brown and basketball great Wilt Chamberlain, among others, according to documents leaked to the Washington Post newspaper. Guitar star Jimi Hendrix and longtime TV host Johnny Carson also will be honored, and the Postal Service will re-issue its best selling Elvis Presley stamp. Jobs, who died in 2011, would be the first person from America's computer industry to be honored on a stamp. The financially strapped Postal Service is trying to raise revenue by issuing stamps attractive to younger collectors. If you were issuing stamps to appeal to young people, whom would you choose? Pick a person from the newspaper, and design a stamp to honor this person. Then write a paragraph explaining why the person would be a good choice to appeal to young people.
Common Core State Standards: Using drawings or visual displays when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or points; producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task.