, week of
Feb. 26, 2018
The movie “Black Panther” broke records around the world for ticket sales in its opening weekend. Now supporters of African-American movies hope it will break down barriers that black filmmakers have faced for many years. With an almost all-black cast, and a story line focusing on a successful, high-tech nation in Africa, “Black Panther” is the kind of film Hollywood has shied away from in the past due to fears that black-oriented films would not appeal to broad audiences. But the movie based on a Marvel Comics superhero has shattered that myth with a total of more than $426 million in ticket sales in its first four days around the world. Ticket sales were as strong in other nations as they were in the United States and white viewers were just as enthusiastic as black ones in audiences. “Black Panther” is a groundbreaking film that is sparking a lot of discussion about movie-making. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read reviews and commentaries about the impact of “Black Panther.” Use what you read to write a commentary of your own discussing the most important ways “Black Panther” could affect future movie-making.
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.Students Are Angry
When a mass shooting at a Florida school left 17 students and adults dead, survivors were shocked, saddened and stunned. Now they are angry and they are taking action to push for gun control measures that would block the high-powered weapons like the one that took their classmates. Students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School confronted state legislators in protests at Florida’s state capitol last week and have announced they will organize nationwide marches for gun control on March 24 in Washington, DC and other cities. “We are losing our lives while the adults are playing around,” junior Cameron Kasky said on the “State of the Union” program on the CNN news network. Students said they will use social media and the Internet to raise awareness about the issue and to target politicians who oppose greater gun control and better background checks for gun buyers. They plan to create a “badge of shame” for such politicians. The protests by students from Florida and other states has given new urgency to the debate over ways to address gun violence. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read stories about the impact students are having on the nation’s debate on the issue. Use what you read to write an editorial for the newspaper, detailing steps you think should be taken to address gun violence. Share ideas as a class and discuss.
Common Core State Standards: Producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task; engaging effectively in a range of collaborative discussions.
3.A Political Carnival
The holiday known as Carnival is one of the most fun-loving celebrations in the South American nation of Brazil. This year, however, it included some pointed political commentary, thanks to a little known samba school. With music and samba dancing, the Paraíso de Tuiuti school took aim at targets ranging from Brazil’s president to workers’ rights and to modern day slavery. “I am slave to no one,” the dancers sang. The performance caused wide debate and controversy across Brazil, which has had to deal with many problems in recent years, including political conflict, impeachment of a president, street violence and political corruption. Performers like the Brazilian samba school often use their performances to call attention to issues. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read stories about music, movie or TV stars who are speaking out about issues. Use what you read to write a paragraph examining how one performer’s actions raised awareness about an issue — and with whom.
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.Less Risky Business
Teenagers experiment with many things while in high school, but new research indicates they are being smarter about it by avoiding “risky behaviors.” Public health surveys have found that today’s teens are having sex, becoming pregnant, smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol and using marijuana at lower rates than young people before them. For example, a study released this year by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that number of high-school teens who are having sex dropped markedly over the last 10 years, with especially steep drops in the last two years. The dropoff includes significant declines among younger students, African Americans and Hispanics, the study said. Researchers said falling rate of sexual activity among 9th- and 10th-graders was “especially encouraging.” Avoiding “risky behaviors” is an important health and safety issue for teens and younger students. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about another health or safety issue that is important to students. Use what you read to write a friendly letter to a younger student, outlining the most important things he/she needs to know about the issue. 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.Local Refugee Help
Refugees who flee war-torn nations like Rwanda, Afghanistan, Syria and the Congo often struggle to find jobs when they reach other countries. In the city of Durham, North Carolina, a local restaurant has made a commitment to help as many refugees as it can. The owners of the new Sushioki restaurant want to employ as many refugees as possible, giving them stable, flexible and good-paying jobs. Four of Sushioki's 12 employees are refugees from Rwanda, Congo and Afghanistan. “This [is] an opportunity to allow refugees in this area to have gainful employment,” said co-owner Jeff Carter. Refugees face great obstacles all over the world. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about refugees in the United States or another country and the challenges they face. Use what you read to design a poster calling attention to the challenges these refugees face, and what individuals or organizations could do to help.
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.
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