, week of
Oct. 22, 2018
Plastic pollution is a problem around the world, and especially for oceans and beaches. Now the island nation of Jamaica is doing something about it. The nation in the Caribbean Sea has announced that starting January 1 single-use plastic bags, straws and Styrofoam will be banned, and a program is being set up to offer money for recycled plastic bottles. According to a World Bank report, 420,000 tons of plastic waste entered the Caribbean Sea in 2010, and the total is expected to rise to 790,000 tons a year by 2025. “We have very, very serious environmental problems,” noted one Jamaican official. Fighting pollution is a problem for nations all over the world. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a nation taking steps to reduce some kind of pollution. Use what you read to write a short editorial giving your view on how effective you think the effort will be, and whether it is something the United States could learn from.
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.
The start of a new sports season is always a time of excitement for fans. This month the spotlight is on the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League. Their regular seasons have just gotten under way, and fans are closely watching the early games to determine which teams and players will be leaders. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read stories about the coming NBA or NHL seasons. Use what you read to write a sports column predicting which teams or players will be league leaders this season. Give your column an eye-catching headline that will make people want to read it.
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.
It won’t make it in time for Halloween, but an asteroid that looks like a human skull is paying another visit to Earth. The orbiting chunk of rock will pass Earth November 11 at a distance of about 25 million miles, America’s NASA space agency said. Nicknamed the “Great Pumpkin” when it passed Earth near Halloween in 2015, the asteroid is believed to be a “dead comet” that has lost its ice after many orbits of the sun. Astronomers and other scientists closely follow events in space to gather information about planets, our solar system or the universe. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a space event that interests scientists. Use what you read to write a paragraph or short paper explaining why scientists are interested in this event.
Common Core State Standards: Writing informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly; citing specific textual evidence when writing.
4. Homeless Crime
In the United States, homelessness is a problem on the streets of many cities. In the European nation of Hungary, it is now also a crime. A new provision added to the nation’s constitution bans sleeping on the streets, gives police the authority to remove sleepers and allows them to seize their possessions. It also would force violators into public work programs or face fines and/or prison. The measure was passed by Hungary’s parliament in June, and supporters say it “serves the interest of society as a whole” because homelessness is a wide problem. Critics and officials of the United Nations say it is “cruel, inhuman [and] degrading treatment” of homeless people, who are among the nation’s most vulnerable citizens. Dealing with homelessness is a problem facing many communities. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read stories about ways communities are addressing homelessness. Use what you read to write a letter to the editor offering an idea for dealing with homelessness that would benefit the public and also show compassion for the homeless.
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.
5.Keep on Clipping!
For any person, living to be 107 years old is a remarkable achievement. Even more remarkable is going to work every day at that age. Yet that is what Anthony Mancinelli does as a barber in the town of New Windsor, New York. He still works five days a week, eight hours a day, cutting hair at a local salon. He is the oldest working barber on Earth, according to the Guinness World Records organization. Mancinelli has been cutting hair since he was 12 years old and never misses a day of work. “I have some customers, I cut their father, grandfather and great-grandfather — four generations,” Mancinelli told the New York Times newspaper. He’s “just amazing,” said a co-worker. Senior adults are staying active longer and longer today. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read stories about seniors staying active in a positive way. Use what you read to brainstorm a public service ad for TV encouraging people to remain active when they get older. Write a script for your ad, including images you would use. Share with the class.
Common Core State Standards: Writing narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events; conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic.