Resources for Teachers and Students


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Grades 1-4
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for Grades 5-8

July 08, 2024
June 24, 2024
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June 03, 2024
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Sep. 18, 2023

For Grades 5-8 , week of July 08, 2024

1. DEBATE DISTRESS

Top Democratic leaders are upset with President Biden not just for his shaky debate performance, but for how he's handling it afterward. Some lawmakers are so worried that they want him to consider stepping down. They think Biden's struggling could hurt their chances in the upcoming elections. People in Congress are frustrated that Biden isn't talking enough with them or with Democrats in tough races. They're concerned the White House is protecting Biden from hearing reasons why he might need to quit. Some lawmakers are privately sharing concerns about Biden's health and how it could affect the whole Democratic Party. Read accounts of the presidential debate online from at least 3 different sources. Then, write a paragraph that compares and contrasts the different perspectives on Biden’s debate performance and explains why they might take different approaches in reporting on this subjective issue.

2. WEST COAST ART

San Francisco's arts scene is slowly recovering after the pandemic, but it's still facing challenges. Attendance at museums like SFMOMA and cultural venues like Davies Symphony Hall and the War Memorial Opera House has improved, although it hasn't returned to pre-pandemic levels yet. The city's arts organizations are struggling with fewer tourists and office workers downtown, which affects foot traffic and revenue. Despite these difficulties, institutions like the Fine Arts Museums have seen visitor numbers surpass pre-pandemic levels, while others like SFMOMA have faced declines, partly due to their downtown locations. Financially, many organizations are tightening budgets and reducing performances. Leaders in the arts community are calling for more support from the city to help them bounce back stronger. Efforts like Mayor London Breed's $15 million investment in cultural revitalization and programs to activate downtown spaces are aimed at attracting more people and supporting local arts. Despite challenges, there's optimism and a concerted effort to make San Francisco a vibrant cultural hub once again. Why do you think art scenes have struggled since the pandemic to regain business? What creative ways can you think of to get people to go back to museums and other art institutions? Write a paragraph about your thoughts and ideas.

3. TEACHERS UNDER ATTACK

In Malvern, Pennsylvania, middle school students created fake TikTok accounts pretending to be their teachers, posting hurtful and offensive content. They used real photos of teachers and made up stories about them, including inappropriate jokes and insults. Over 20 teachers were targeted, feeling shocked and upset by the personal attacks on social media. The school district tried to address the problem, but legal limits on disciplining students for off-campus behavior made it challenging. Teachers are now advocating for better online safety education and policies to protect educators from cyberbullying. If you were able to interview people affected by this story, who would you want to interview? Write at least 10 questions you would ask them to write a story about the incident.

4. NEW TREATMENT FOR ALZHEIMER’S

The FDA approved a new drug from Eli Lilly called Kisunla for treating Alzheimer’s disease. It's meant to slow down memory and thinking problems in people with mild cognitive issues or early Alzheimer’s. Kisunla works by targeting a substance in the brain associated with Alzheimer’s. This approval gives doctors and patients another choice for treating this disease, which affects millions of older Americans. The drug showed in tests that it could reduce Alzheimer’s progression by about 35% over 18 months compared to a fake treatment. However, it also has serious potential side effects like brain swelling and bleeding. The drug will cost around $32,000 for a year’s supply, and Medicare plans to cover it. Write an article that summarizes this story and, using research, explains how Alzheimer’s affects people in the United States.

5. ELECTION ACROSS THE POND

On July 4th this year in the United Kingdom, instead of celebrating Independence Day like in the U.S., people voted in an important election. They will chose a new prime minister and members of Parliament. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak became the first sitting prime minister to lose his own seat in Parliament. The Labour Party, led by Keir Starmer, took over from the conservative majority for the first time in about 20 years, making it one of the countries in Europe to resist a pull toward the far-right. Using your newspaper or online, research Kier Starmer’s platform and policies that he ran on. Then, write a paragraph that shares about who this new prime minister is and what changes he says he will make in the coming years for the U.K.