, week of
Feb. 04, 2019
1. Another Shutdown?
The longest shutdown of the federal government is over, and 800,000 workers are back to work and getting paid. They cannot rest easy that things are back to normal, however. Many fear they could be furloughed from their jobs or asked to work without pay all over again on February 15. That is the deadline President Trump and congressional leaders set when they agreed to re-open the government on January 25 without approving money for a border wall on the nation’s southern border with Mexico. A special committee of congressional leaders has until that date to come up with a plan to deal with border security and the wall, or face the possibility that the President would let the government shut down again. The President has been pushing for $5.7 billion for building the wall, but Democrats who control the U.S. House have resisted. President Trump has said he will shut the government or declare a national emergency to build the wall if he is not satisfied with the proposal that congressional leaders come up with. The committee working to come up with a solution to border security is made up of both Republicans and Democrats from both the U.S. House and U.S. Senate. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read stories about what they may propose. User what you read to write a short editorial analyzing what you think will happen, and what you think SHOULD happen. Share with the class and discuss.
Common Core State Standards: Writing opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information; responding thoughtfully to diverse perspectives, summarizing points of agreement and disagreement.
2. ‘Stayin’ Alive’ CPR
People who have learned CPR can save lives when a person’s heart has stopped due to an accident, heart attack or electrical shock. In the state of Arizona, a man saved the life of an unconscious woman this month — even though he’d never learned CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). He did remember an old episode of the TV show “The Office,” however, in which characters applied CPR chest compressions to the beat of the song “Stayin’ Alive.” Cross Scott sang the song aloud while he pressed the chest of the woman, whom he had found unconscious in her car. It worked, and the woman awoke and survived. Heart experts say CPR should be applied to the chest at 100 to 120 beats per minute to be successful, and “Stayin’ Alive” has 106. Other songs that can help people get the right number of beats are “Just Dance” by Lady Gaga, “Crazy in Love” by Beyoncé, “Dancing Queen” by Abba and the dance party hit “La Macarena.” In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about other skills and tips that could help people save the lives of others in an emergency. Use what you read to design a poster showcasing one of these skills and how it could make a difference. Give your poster an eye-catching title and detail any steps people should know when applying the life-saving skill.
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.
3. A Powerful Family
In the Asian nation of India, the Gandhi family has been influential in politics since the nation first became independent. Indira Gandhi was the first and only female prime minister in the nation’s history, and now another Gandhi woman, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, is stirring up Indian politics in advance of national elections this spring. Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, 47, has taken a key position within the Indian National Congress party that has long been the strength of her family. The party was central to the success of Indira Gandhi and also for her father Jawaharlal Nehru, who was the nation’s first prime minister after India won independence. It also helped Indira Gandhi’s son Rajiv follow her to become prime minister. In this year’s elections, the party is attempting to deny Prime Minister Narendra Modi a second term. Experts say the participation of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra could make it a more heated contest than expected. Her brother Rahul Gandhi is the current head of the National Congress party. With more than 1.3-billion people, India is the largest democracy in the world. As a result, its election this spring will be closely watched by other nations. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read stories about India’s election. Use what you read to write a political column examining the most important issues in the election, and how they compare to top issues in the United States.
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.
4. Calling Out Leaders
When world leaders met at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, a 16-year-old Swedish girl gave them a pointed lecture about climate change. Greta Thunberg, in fact, stood up before some of the world’s most powerful people and told them they were to blame for the climate crisis. “I told them that they belong to that group of people who are most responsible and that the future of humankind rests in their hands,” she said later in a CNN interview. “They didn't know how to react.” Thunberg has inspired students around the world to march and demand action from political leaders on climate issues. Her message for those leaders? “I want you to feel the fear I feel every day, and act as if your house is on fire. Because it is.” Teens and young adults are getting more and more involved in efforts to get governments to address climate change. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read stories about this activism. Use what you read to create a multi-media presentation detailing efforts by teens and young adults to address climate change. Pick images to illustrate your report and present it to the class.
Common Core State Standards: Integrating information presented in different media or formats to develop a coherent understanding of a topic; conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic; citing specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions.
write a political to influence government leaders
5. High-Tech Helmets
As head of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis has embraced technology as a way to better serve church members. Now technology is going to make life better for the military soldiers who help protect the Pope. The Pope and leaders at the church’s Vatican headquarters have announced that the metal helmets of the colorful Swiss Guard will be replaced by modern, cooler versions made with 3-D printing. Crafted from a thermoplastic on 3-D printers, the new helmets will be nearly identical to the metal ones but much cooler during the hot summer months in Rome, Italy, where the Vatican is located. They also will weigh less: about 1.2 pounds compared to 4.4 pounds for the metal ones. The use of 3-D printing techniques is re-inventing the way things are manufactured. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a new way 3-D printing is being used. Use what you read to write a short consumer column analyzing the advantages of 3-D printing.
Common Core State Standards: Producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task; conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic.