Resources for Teachers and Students
, week of
June 18, 2018
1. What Next with North Korea?
The meeting between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un this month rewrote the history of relations between the United States and the Asian nation. By meeting Kim in the Asian Republic of Singapore, Trump became the first American president to sit down face to face with a North Korean leader. The agreement they signed was also a fresh start in relations between the two nations — and a dramatic change in tone that previously had featured threats and name-calling by both men. Trump agreed to stop military exercises with U.S allies located near North Korea and Kim agreed to start taking steps to end North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. Still to be worked out are when that process will start and how the U.S. and other nations will verify that North Korea is ending the production of nuclear weapons. The meeting with Kim Jong Un was a dramatic move by President Trump, but experts are debating how effective it will be in the long run. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read commentary and opinion pieces about the impact of the meeting. Use what you read to write a short editorial, analyzing what you think must happen for the meeting to be a long-term success.
Common Core State Standards: Writing opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information; reading closely what a text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it.
2. Sad, Special Moment
Each year’s Tony Awards ceremony is an event of great emotion for the theater community in New York City and the world. This year, it had an added emotional punch when students who survived a mass school shooting in Florida sang a moving tribute song in a surprise appearance. Students from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School drama department sang “Seasons of Love” from the musical “Rent,” leaving many in the audience in tears. On February 14, 17 of the students’ classmates were killed and 17 others injured at their high school when a teen gunman opened fire. The song focuses on resilience and strength and includes the lyrics “It's time now to sing out / Tho' the story never ends / Let's celebrate / … A year in the life of friends.” Songs can often capture the emotions of events or situations in powerful ways. As a class, discuss events or situations that have been important to you personally or as a member of the community. Pick one and choose a song you know that captures the emotions you feel about the situation. Think like a music critic, and write a “review” of this song and why it is effective expressing the emotions you feel. Share and discuss as a class.
Common Core State Standards: 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.
3. What a Winner!
A New Jersey man returning a bottle of orange juice to save money, bought a lottery ticket with the cash he got back. It earned him way more than the $2.50 he saved on the juice when his wife found a cheaper price at another store. Tayeb Souami’s Powerball lottery ticket earned him $315 MILLION! Souami, who lives in the town of Little Ferry, had the only winning ticket for the Powerball drawing. A former accountant for a food importing company, Souami said he planned to use his winnings to pay off his home, pay for his daughter’s college education and pay off his own college loans. What would you do if you won a big prize in a lottery? In the newspaper or online, find and read stories about what other lottery winners did. Then write a personal column telling what you would do if you won a big lottery prize.
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. Medicine Breakthrough
The process known as “3D printing” got its start (and name) from the use of inkjet printers to make three dimensional items layer by layer. Today the computer-based technique is used in a wide range of career fields, and especially in medicine. Doctors and medical experts are using “3D printing” to create personalized implants, to design tools for use in surgeries and, increasingly, to make digital models of body organs to help surgeons plan operations better. The use of “3D Printing” models have helped surgeons plan heart and bone surgeries and to cut the time and risks of operations, according to a report in the Washington Post newspaper. “It’s fantastic for patients,” said one surgeon who uses the 3D technique. “It’s an example of scientists and doctors working together to do something that’s really cool.” The growing use of “3D printing” in different fields is an example of technology being used in new ways to help people. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about another new use of technology. Use what you read to prepare a short oral report detailing how the technology is being used and why that is an improvement for people who are using it.
Common Core State Standards: Conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic; citing specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions.
When families have a new baby, many companies give mothers or fathers time off to adjust and care for the new addition. In the European nation of Norway, a company has taken the idea of maternity leave (for moms) and paternity leave (for dads) to a new level. The pet supply company called Musti Group is offering “pawternity” leave to employees when they get a new puppy or kitten. The leave consists of three paid days and is designed to give employees and their pets a chance to adjust to each other. “Depending on the needs of each pet, the first days spent together can be rather intense, and sleepless nights are more than familiar to recent pet parents,” company CEO David Rönnberg said in a statement released to the UPI news organization. “Paying attention to a pet’s needs and spending time with them supports their learning, builds trust and helps prevent behavioral disorders in the future.” Families often need time to adjust to a new pet, and the pet needs time to adjust to the people. In the newspaper or online find and closely read stories about such pet-family adjustments. Then use what you read and prior knowledge to brainstorm an idea for a children’s story about a family adjusting to a new pet. Write an outline for your story and give it a title that would appeal to younger children. Share ideas as a class.
Common Core State Standards: Writing narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events; reading closely what a text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it.
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