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Grades 1-4
Grades 5-8

Past lessons
for Grades 9-12

Nov. 13, 2017
Nov. 06, 2017
Oct. 30, 2017
Oct. 23, 2017
Oct. 16, 2017
Oct. 09, 2017
Oct. 02, 2017
Sep. 25, 2017
Sep. 18, 2017
Sep. 11, 2017
Sep. 04, 2017
Aug. 28, 2017
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July 31, 2017
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June 26, 2017
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June 05, 2017
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Apr 24, 2017
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Apr 03, 2017
Mar. 27, 2017
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Mar. 13, 2017
Mar. 06, 2017
Feb. 27, 2017
Feb. 20, 2017
Feb. 13, 2017
Feb. 06, 2017

For Grades 9-12 , week of Nov. 13, 2017

1. Texas Shootout

When a gunman opened fire inside a small Texas church last week, neighbor Stephen Willeford felt he had to get involved. He grabbed his rifle and without even putting on shoes ran to the church to confront the shooter, Devin Patrick Kelley. They exchanged gunfire in a scene that seemed like something out of a movie about the Wild, Wild West, and Kelley was hit twice. Then the situation became a high-speed chase. When Kelley sped off in his pickup truck, Willeford got another bystander, Johnnie Langendorff, to give chase in his. They pursued Kelley at speeds up to 95 miles per hour until Kelley’s truck veered off the road and crashed. He was found dead inside with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. A total of 26 people were killed by Kelley at the church in what police said was an outgrowth of a family dispute. Investigators are still trying to figure out why Devin Patrick Kelley opened fire in the church, and how he was able to buy firearms despite a mental health and criminal record. In the newspaper or online find and closely read stories about background checks for people who want to buy guns, and whether they are effective. Use what you read to write a short editorial giving your view on the effectiveness of background checks in preventing gun violence, and what steps — if any — would make checks more effective.

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. Shutting Down Trump

A rogue employee of the Twitter social media service decided to go out in style on the employee’s last day of work last week. He/she deactivated perhaps the most famous Twitter account in the world — @realDonaldTrump. The President’s account was only down for 11 minutes before the lapse was noticed and corrected. But now the unnamed employee may face criminal charges for computer hacking. The nation’s Computer Fraud and Abuse Act gives law enforcement authorities the power to go after anyone who accesses a computer “without authorization” or in ways that exceed the level of clearance they've been given. President Trump uses Twitter extensively to communicate with the nation. Supporters say his “tweets” give him a way to communicate directly with the public, while critics say he uses Twitter too much, or without careful thought. In teams or pairs, follow news about the President’s Twitter communications for several days or a week. Use what you read to write a political column analyzing the most important things he said on Twitter, and the “tweets” you think were distracting or ineffective for a President.

Common Core State Standards: Writing informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly; citing specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions.

3. Do-It-Yourself Birth

In the medical world, nurses have to be ready for anything. But a Pennsylvania nurse got more than she expected when it came time to deliver her baby. She didn’t make it to the hospital where she works and had to deliver the baby herself in her car outside. Nurse Katie Michael wanted to deliver at her hospital in the city of Harrisburg in central Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, she and her husband George got caught in rush hour traffic and the baby was already coming when they reached the hospital. She knew she’d have to handle the delivery herself, and by the time the emergency staff could reach her, daughter Ella Katherine had arrived. Born at 7 pounds 8 ounces, Ella is a healthy and happy girl, the family reports. Medical professionals perform amazing feats every day, both inside and outside hospitals. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a medical professional doing something amazing or unusual. Use what you read to write a thank you letter to the professional, as if you were the person who benefited.

Common Core State Standards: Reading closely what a text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task.

4. Looted Art Displayed

Before and during World War II, Nazi leaders and supporters looted or confiscated artworks now worth millions of dollars from Jewish families or art galleries. Now, 72 years after the war ended, more than 400 looted works that were hidden away have gone on display at museums in Bonn, Germany and Bern, Switzerland. The exhibits feature paintings by famous artists like Pablo Picasso, Claude Monet and August Rodin, many works that were thought to be lost or destroyed and some that were entirely unknown to the art world. They were among a collection of more than 1,400 works of art that were discovered in an apartment rented by the son of Hildebrand Gurlitt, an art collector who dealt in works for the Nazis. The works are now owned by the Kunstmuseum Bern museum. Art exhibits can shed light on the history of individual artists or the eras in which they worked. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about an art exhibit that explores history in some way. Use what you read and additional research to write a paragraph or short paper summarizing how the exhibit helps people understand some aspect of history better.

Common Core State Standards: Writing informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly; citing specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions.

5. Radical Rule for Health

Like the United States, the European nation of Great Britain has growing health problems connected to smoking and obesity. Now one county has taken a radical step to battle them. A local health committee in the county of Hertfordshire has announced that obese people or those who smoke will not have access to routine or non-urgent surgeries provided by the National Health Service unless they “improve their health.” Obese people will have nine months to reduce their body mass index and smokers must go eight weeks or more without a cigarette to become eligible for routine surgeries paid for by the National Health Service. “We understand that some of our patients will have to make changes and they will be supported to do so,” noted one local doctor who helped develop the new rules. Issues involving health or fitness get a lot of attention in the news because they affect so many people. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a health or fitness issue affecting teens or their families. Use what you read to design a public service ad for the newspaper highlighting key points families should know.

Common Core State Standards: Using drawings or visual displays when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or points; reading closely what a text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it.