, week of
Oct. 24, 2016
1. Top Election Issues
Election Day in this year’s race for president is just two and a half weeks away. In an effort to win support before voters go to the polls on November 8, Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton are talking about issues they think could persuade people to vote for them. As a class, closely read stories this week about issues each candidate is talking about. Pick one issue that you or your family care about that is being stressed by one candidate. Use what you read to write a paragraph explaining why the candidate is talking about it, how it could help increase support and why you care about it.
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.
2. Great Wall of Anger
A crumbling 700-year-old section of the Great Wall of China was repaired recently, but people are not happy with the job. Residents say that the way sand and other materials were used make the wall look more like an elevated bike path than one of the Asian nation’s most historic landmarks. “It really was an ugly repair job,” the head of the Liaoning Provincial Antiquities Bureau said. The Great Wall is one of China’s most famous landmarks and a source of pride for the Chinese people. Every community or state has landmarks that are a source of pride. In the newspaper or online, find and read about a landmark in your community or state that people admire and take pride in. Use what you read to write a poem called “Our Landmark,” explaining what this landmark means to people and how it makes them feel. Your poem does not need to rhyme, but it should include active verbs and colorful adjectives. Draw a picture to go with your poem, if you like.
Common Core State Standards: Demonstrating understanding of figurative language; applying knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts; using drawings or visual displays when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or points.
3. Housing for the Homeless
In the city of Portland, Oregon, 400 housing units are being built for homeless people, thanks to a partnership between five major hospitals and a health plan that serves low-income residents. The partners donated a combined $21.5 million to build the apartment units, which are expected to be completed by 2018. The units will be divided among three complexes located in areas of the city that have the most homeless people. One of the complexes would include a medical facility for the mentally ill, treatment for drug addiction and care for people who are dying. To solve problems or make communities better, organizations often work together. In the newspaper or online, closely read a story about organizations teaming up to solve a problem. Use what you read to write a letter to the editor explaining how organizations’ teaming up makes communities stronger.
Common Core State Standards: Producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task; reading closely what a text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it.
4. Snake on a Train!
A bullet train in the Asian nation of Japan made an unscheduled stop recently when a passenger noticed a foot-long rat snake wrapped around another passenger’s armrest. It had apparently been there, unobserved, for about 50 minutes. The train crew asked whether anyone had lost a pet snake, and when no one came forward they made an unscheduled stop to remove it. It is believed the snake had been brought on accidentally in someone’s luggage or with maintenance equipment. Rat snakes are constrictors that hunt by wrapping themselves around prey. They are not dangerous to humans, but are disturbing when found on a train! When people have close contact with wildlife, they often don’t know what to do. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about someone having a close encounter with a wildlife species. Use what you read and other resources to design a poster listing rules and advice that could keep people safe when having contact with the species. You may use images from the newspaper or Internet for your poster.
Common Core State Standards: Integrating information presented in different media or formats to develop a coherent understanding of a topic; using drawings or visual displays when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or points.
5. Ocean Area Protected
President Obama has created the Atlantic Ocean’s first U.S. marine monument, which will preserve an expanse of underwater canyons and mountains off the New England coast. The Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument protects an area roughly the size of Connecticut from oil and gas drilling, as well as from most commercial fishing. Fishing interests already have voiced concern about the area located about 130 miles off Cape Cod in the state of Massachusetts. As a result, the size of the reserve was reduced from the original plan presented a year ago. Lobster and red crab fishing will be allowed in the new monument area for seven more years before being phased out. The new marine monument off the coast of New England is an example of people taking action to protect a natural environment. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about another effort to protect an environment. Use what you read to write a short editorial for the newspaper, giving your view on why people should support — or oppose — the effort.
Common Core State Standards: Writing opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information; citing specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions.