Click here for printer-friendly version

Go to
Lessons for

Grades 1-4
Grades 9-12

Past lessons
for Grades 5-8

July 22, 2024
July 15, 2024
July 08, 2024
June 24, 2024
June 17, 2024
June 10, 2024
June 03, 2024
May 27, 2024
May 20, 2024
May 13, 2024
May 06, 2024
Apr 29, 2024
Apr 22, 2024
Apr 15, 2024
Apr 08, 2024
Apr 01, 2024
Mar. 25, 2024
Mar. 18, 2024
Mar. 11, 2024
Mar. 04, 2024
Feb. 26, 2024
Feb. 19, 2024
Feb. 12, 2024
Feb. 05, 2024
Jan. 29, 2024
Jan. 22, 2024
Jan. 15, 2024
Jan. 08, 2024
Dec. 18, 2023
Dec. 11, 2023
Dec. 04, 2023
Nov. 27, 2023
Nov. 20, 2023
Nov. 13, 2023
Nov. 06, 2023
Oct. 30, 2023
Oct. 23, 2023
Oct. 16, 2023
Oct. 09, 2023
Oct. 02, 2023

For Grades 5-8 , week of July 22, 2024


A flawed software update from the cybersecurity company CrowdStrike caused global disruptions last Friday. The update, intended for Microsoft Windows systems, led to widespread computer crashes, affecting airlines, hospitals, 911 services, and retailers. CrowdStrike, known for its security software used by major corporations and government agencies, inadvertently sent out an update that caused computers to endlessly reboot. This led to severe disruptions in many industries: flights were grounded, surgeries were canceled, and emergency services were hampered. The incident, which is being described as one of the worst technical failures, highlights the vulnerability of modern tech infrastructure. CrowdStrike has issued a fix, but the full recovery could take time. The company faces criticism over its testing processes and potential liabilities for such massive disruptions. The stock price of CrowdStrike dropped 11 percent following the incident. If you were in charge of the response from CrowdStrike, what would you say to reassure the public after this event? Write a speech or press release from this perspective.


In Italy, Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni won a lawsuit against journalist Giulia Cortese. The court found Cortese guilty of defaming Meloni and ordered her to pay 5,000 euros (about $5,500) plus court costs. The case started because Cortese made negative comments about Meloni on Twitter, including an insulting remark about her height. Cortese said the experience has been stressful and that it feels ridiculous to clog up the courts with such cases. This lawsuit is part of a larger trend where Meloni has sued several critics, raising concerns about press freedom in Italy. Critics argue that these lawsuits are used to intimidate journalists and limit their ability to criticize the government. Press freedom groups have noted that Italy has been moving down in global press freedom rankings and are worried about the increasing number of defamation lawsuits against reporters. Using books in your classroom or the internet, look up the definition of defamation and how defamation law works in the United States. Then, write a paragraph that compares what happened in Italy with how you think it would’ve played out if this case took place in the United States.


Angel City FC, a women's soccer team based in Los Angeles, is set to become the world's most valuable women's sports team. This comes after Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger and his wife Willow Bay agreed to buy the team, valuing it at $250 million. This deal breaks the previous record of $120 million set by the San Diego Wave. Iger and Bay are excited to join Angel City as owners and plan to invest in the team's growth. They will provide $50 million to help fund the club's future. Bay will also take full control of the club's board, which includes founding members like Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian, actress Natalie Portman, and entrepreneur Julie Uhrman. Founded in 2020, Angel City has many well-known investors, including retired athletes like Billie Jean King and actresses like Jennifer Garner. Since starting play in 2022, the team has gained many fans, sponsors, and season-ticket holders, playing in packed stadiums. In 2023, they generated the highest revenue of any women's team in the world and led the National Women’s Soccer League in attendance and sponsorship. Angel City plays its home games at BMO Stadium, which it shares with the men's team Los Angeles FC. Write an article that summarizes why Angel City’s valuation is an important moment in the history of women’s sports.


Sue Mi Terry, a former CIA employee and senior official at the National Security Council, has been charged with secretly working for South Korea's intelligence service. The U.S. Justice Department says she accepted luxury items and expensive dinners in return for supporting South Korean government positions in media, sharing confidential information, and helping South Korean officials connect with U.S. government officials. The indictment states that Terry admitted to the FBI she provided information to South Korean intelligence, including passing notes from a private meeting with Secretary of State Antony Blinken about U.S. policy toward North Korea. She also received over $37,000 for a public policy program she managed. Terry's lawyer claims the allegations are false and that she has always been independent and critical of the South Korean government. Terry worked for the U.S. government from 2001 to 2011 before joining think tanks, such as the Council on Foreign Relations. She is accused of not registering as a foreign agent and of not disclosing her ties to South Korea when testifying before Congress. If you were writing an article about this, make a list of who you would interview, what questions you would ask, and what sources you would use to find information for your story.


Insurance companies are setting up controlled fires to show how dangerous wildfires can be and to push for better building standards to protect homes. They want new homes in certain areas to be built with materials and designs that can resist wildfires. They want homes to have fire-resistant materials and landscaping that won't catch fire easily. At a recent conference, they demonstrated this by burning two small buildings—one with traditional materials and one with fire-resistant materials. The traditional building burned down, but the fire-resistant one did not. If homes aren't built this way, they might not get insurance, which is necessary to buy a house with a mortgage. Climate change is making wildfires worse, causing insurance companies to lose money. In 2023, insurers lost $33 billion from home and auto insurance. In places like California, big insurance companies have stopped offering new policies and have canceled some old ones. They are also asking for higher rates to cover the increased risk of wildfires. Write an opinion article on whether you think builders should have to create homes with fire-resistant materials and elements in areas at risk for wildfires. Use research to back up your assertions.