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For Grades 9-12 , week of Aug. 02, 2021

1. Teacher Power

Teachers are leaders in schools around the world. Now one is going to be leader of a nation. Pedro Castillo of the South American nation of Peru has been declared the winner of Peru’s presidential race following a six-week delay in which his opponent challenged the results of a runoff election. Castillo, the head of a rural teacher’s union, had won the runoff by just 44,000 votes out of 19 million cast — a margin of less than 1 percent. Losing candidate Keiko Fujimori had sought to have 200,000 votes thrown out, but Peru’s election tribunal rejected her challenges. The 51-yer-old Castillo has never held political office. He campaigned as an advocate for the poor, the nation’s workers and social justice. His opponents mocked him for wearing a straw hat and his work part time as a farmer while teaching in a multi-grade classroom in the highlands of the Andes Mountains. Pedro Castillo’s unexpected win in Peru’s presidential race will have a huge effect on politics and government there. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read stories about his victory, or about an unexpected political development in another country. Use what you read to write a political column analyzing the impact of the unexpected development. Make comparisons to American politics if you like.

Common Core State Standards: Writing opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information; citing specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions.

2. Surprise Gold

At every Olympics, teen athletes surprise the experts with outstanding performances. One of the biggest surprises at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan came from a 17-year-old swimmer from the state of Alaska in the United States. Lydia Jacoby shocked the swimming world by winning a gold medal in the 100-meter breaststroke and defeating the defending Olympic champion in the process. By finishing first, Jacoby became the first Alaskan swimmer to win an Olympic gold and one of the youngest American swimmers to ever earn top honors. Jacoby defeated South Africa’s Tatjana Schoenmaker, who finished second and earned a silver medal, and defending gold medal winner Lilly King, who finished third and won the bronze. “I was definitely racing for a medal,” Jacoby said after her win. “I knew I had it in me. I wasn't really expecting a gold medal, so when I looked up and saw the scoreboard, it was insane.” Coming from a small swim club in a state that has had few Olympic athletes, Lydia Jacoby said her success “shows everyone that you can do it no matter where you're from.” In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about another person whose success could inspire and be an example for others. Use what you read to write a letter to the editor, detailing how this person could be an inspiration and role model.

Common Core State Standards: Producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task; reading closely what written and visual texts say and to making logical inferences from them.

3. Great Whites

Great white sharks are considered one of the most fearsome predators at the top of the food chain in the world’s oceans. They can grow to be 21 feet long, weigh 5,000 pounds, swim at speeds up to 30 miles per hour and detect a single drop of blood in 25 gallons of water. Adult great whites feed mostly on seals, dolphins, otters and other sea mammals and rarely attack humans. But when these “apex” hunters turn up in new waters, it causes alarm among beachgoers, surfers and others who enjoy coastal areas. In the state of California, great whites are expanding their territory, with “teenage” members of the species swimming hundreds of miles farther north than in the past and within feet of people swimming in coastal waters. Scientists believe their numbers are increasing as well, the Washington Post newspaper reports. That has prompted the state to spend $3.75-million to monitor the great white population and determine if the sharks pose greater public safety risks than in the past. “There are many questions about what is happening and why it is happening,” one shark expert said. “And as the teenage population of the white shark continues to grow, what and where are they going to eat?” Scientists believe global warming of ocean waters may be one reason great white sharks are expanding their territory in California. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about how global warming may be affecting the behavior of another wildlife species. Write a short editorial analyzing how the change in behavior could affect the population of the species, the environment and humans.

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.

4. College Relief

The coronavirus epidemic has made attending college more difficult over the last two years. Not only have students had to deal with isolation and remote learning; they have fallen behind on tuition payments and other expenses. In the city of Atlanta, Georgia, two historically black colleges have stepped up to help students struggling with financial issues. Clark Atlanta University and Spelman College have announced they are clearing account balances for students enrolled over the past year. Clark said it is clearing debts from the spring of 2020 to the summer of 2021, while Spelman did the same for students enrolled during the 2020-2021 academic year. Both institutions will use federal relief funds to cover the costs. Clark and Spelman aren’t the only historically black colleges and universities to provide relief from tuition and other costs. Delaware State, South Carolina State and Wilberforce University in Ohio have taken similar action. Providing debt relief is giving students at Clark Atlanta University, Spelman and other colleges a fresh start as they go back to school this fall. In the newspaper or online find and closely read stories about how students have reacted to getting this kind of help. Use what you read to write a personal column about how getting a fresh start can change people’s lives — in college or in life.

Common Core State Standards: Conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic; writing opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.

5. ‘WheeStroll’

There’s an old saying among creative types that necessity is the mother of invention. What that means is that people often invent new products or devices when there is something people need. In the state of Maryland, the husband of a teacher had a huge need when his wife had a baby this spring, and a group of high school students worked together to find a solution. The students found a way to attach a car seat and a stroller to a wheelchair so that 37-year-old Jeremy King could take his son Phoenix on walks by himself. King has to use a wheelchair to get around after surgery for a brain tumor. When his wife Chelsie gave birth to their first child this spring, Jeremy worried he would not be able to take Phoenix for strolls or help with parenting, the Washington Post newspaper reported. Chelsie, who teaches middle school drama at the Bullis School in the community of Potomac, sought the help of colleague, Matt Zigler, who teaches a class called “Making for Social Good” in which students build products that have a positive impact on society. The students launched a project they called “WheeStroll,” and in just four months, they came up with two prototypes: a device that uses metal tubing to attach a car seat to the front of a wheelchair and a device that uses 3D printing to attach an actual stroller to the wheelchair. People often create new inventions to meet the needs of individuals or the general public. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read stories about a problem or need that could be addressed by a new product or invention. Use what you read to write a proposal for an invention that could address the problem. Give as much detail as possible on how it would work.

Common Core State Standards: Producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task; reading closely what written and visual texts say and to making logical inferences from them.

For Grades 9-12 , week of Aug. 02, 2021

1. Teacher Power

Teachers are leaders in schools around the world. Now one is going to be leader of a nation. Pedro Castillo of the South American nation of Peru has been declared the winner of Peru’s presidential race following a six-week delay in which his opponent challenged the results of a runoff election. Castillo, the head of a rural teacher’s union, had won the runoff by just 44,000 votes out of 19 million cast — a margin of less than 1 percent. Losing candidate Keiko Fujimori had sought to have 200,000 votes thrown out, but Peru’s election tribunal rejected her challenges. The 51-yer-old Castillo has never held political office. He campaigned as an advocate for the poor, the nation’s workers and social justice. His opponents mocked him for wearing a straw hat and his work part time as a farmer while teaching in a multi-grade classroom in the highlands of the Andes Mountains. Pedro Castillo’s unexpected win in Peru’s presidential race will have a huge effect on politics and government there. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read stories about his victory, or about an unexpected political development in another country. Use what you read to write a political column analyzing the impact of the unexpected development. Make comparisons to American politics if you like.

Common Core State Standards: Writing opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information; citing specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions.

2. Surprise Gold

At every Olympics, teen athletes surprise the experts with outstanding performances. One of the biggest surprises at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan came from a 17-year-old swimmer from the state of Alaska in the United States. Lydia Jacoby shocked the swimming world by winning a gold medal in the 100-meter breaststroke and defeating the defending Olympic champion in the process. By finishing first, Jacoby became the first Alaskan swimmer to win an Olympic gold and one of the youngest American swimmers to ever earn top honors. Jacoby defeated South Africa’s Tatjana Schoenmaker, who finished second and earned a silver medal, and defending gold medal winner Lilly King, who finished third and won the bronze. “I was definitely racing for a medal,” Jacoby said after her win. “I knew I had it in me. I wasn't really expecting a gold medal, so when I looked up and saw the scoreboard, it was insane.” Coming from a small swim club in a state that has had few Olympic athletes, Lydia Jacoby said her success “shows everyone that you can do it no matter where you're from.” In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about another person whose success could inspire and be an example for others. Use what you read to write a letter to the editor, detailing how this person could be an inspiration and role model.

Common Core State Standards: Producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task; reading closely what written and visual texts say and to making logical inferences from them.

3. Great Whites

Great white sharks are considered one of the most fearsome predators at the top of the food chain in the world’s oceans. They can grow to be 21 feet long, weigh 5,000 pounds, swim at speeds up to 30 miles per hour and detect a single drop of blood in 25 gallons of water. Adult great whites feed mostly on seals, dolphins, otters and other sea mammals and rarely attack humans. But when these “apex” hunters turn up in new waters, it causes alarm among beachgoers, surfers and others who enjoy coastal areas. In the state of California, great whites are expanding their territory, with “teenage” members of the species swimming hundreds of miles farther north than in the past and within feet of people swimming in coastal waters. Scientists believe their numbers are increasing as well, the Washington Post newspaper reports. That has prompted the state to spend $3.75-million to monitor the great white population and determine if the sharks pose greater public safety risks than in the past. “There are many questions about what is happening and why it is happening,” one shark expert said. “And as the teenage population of the white shark continues to grow, what and where are they going to eat?” Scientists believe global warming of ocean waters may be one reason great white sharks are expanding their territory in California. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about how global warming may be affecting the behavior of another wildlife species. Write a short editorial analyzing how the change in behavior could affect the population of the species, the environment and humans.

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.

4. College Relief

The coronavirus epidemic has made attending college more difficult over the last two years. Not only have students had to deal with isolation and remote learning; they have fallen behind on tuition payments and other expenses. In the city of Atlanta, Georgia, two historically black colleges have stepped up to help students struggling with financial issues. Clark Atlanta University and Spelman College have announced they are clearing account balances for students enrolled over the past year. Clark said it is clearing debts from the spring of 2020 to the summer of 2021, while Spelman did the same for students enrolled during the 2020-2021 academic year. Both institutions will use federal relief funds to cover the costs. Clark and Spelman aren’t the only historically black colleges and universities to provide relief from tuition and other costs. Delaware State, South Carolina State and Wilberforce University in Ohio have taken similar action. Providing debt relief is giving students at Clark Atlanta University, Spelman and other colleges a fresh start as they go back to school this fall. In the newspaper or online find and closely read stories about how students have reacted to getting this kind of help. Use what you read to write a personal column about how getting a fresh start can change people’s lives — in college or in life.

Common Core State Standards: Conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic; writing opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.

5. ‘WheeStroll’

There’s an old saying among creative types that necessity is the mother of invention. What that means is that people often invent new products or devices when there is something people need. In the state of Maryland, the husband of a teacher had a huge need when his wife had a baby this spring, and a group of high school students worked together to find a solution. The students found a way to attach a car seat and a stroller to a wheelchair so that 37-year-old Jeremy King could take his son Phoenix on walks by himself. King has to use a wheelchair to get around after surgery for a brain tumor. When his wife Chelsie gave birth to their first child this spring, Jeremy worried he would not be able to take Phoenix for strolls or help with parenting, the Washington Post newspaper reported. Chelsie, who teaches middle school drama at the Bullis School in the community of Potomac, sought the help of colleague, Matt Zigler, who teaches a class called “Making for Social Good” in which students build products that have a positive impact on society. The students launched a project they called “WheeStroll,” and in just four months, they came up with two prototypes: a device that uses metal tubing to attach a car seat to the front of a wheelchair and a device that uses 3D printing to attach an actual stroller to the wheelchair. People often create new inventions to meet the needs of individuals or the general public. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read stories about a problem or need that could be addressed by a new product or invention. Use what you read to write a proposal for an invention that could address the problem. Give as much detail as possible on how it would work.

Common Core State Standards: Producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task; reading closely what written and visual texts say and to making logical inferences from them.

For Grades 9-12 , week of Aug. 02, 2021

1. Teacher Power

Teachers are leaders in schools around the world. Now one is going to be leader of a nation. Pedro Castillo of the South American nation of Peru has been declared the winner of Peru’s presidential race following a six-week delay in which his opponent challenged the results of a runoff election. Castillo, the head of a rural teacher’s union, had won the runoff by just 44,000 votes out of 19 million cast — a margin of less than 1 percent. Losing candidate Keiko Fujimori had sought to have 200,000 votes thrown out, but Peru’s election tribunal rejected her challenges. The 51-yer-old Castillo has never held political office. He campaigned as an advocate for the poor, the nation’s workers and social justice. His opponents mocked him for wearing a straw hat and his work part time as a farmer while teaching in a multi-grade classroom in the highlands of the Andes Mountains. Pedro Castillo’s unexpected win in Peru’s presidential race will have a huge effect on politics and government there. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read stories about his victory, or about an unexpected political development in another country. Use what you read to write a political column analyzing the impact of the unexpected development. Make comparisons to American politics if you like.

Common Core State Standards: Writing opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information; citing specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions.

2. Surprise Gold

At every Olympics, teen athletes surprise the experts with outstanding performances. One of the biggest surprises at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan came from a 17-year-old swimmer from the state of Alaska in the United States. Lydia Jacoby shocked the swimming world by winning a gold medal in the 100-meter breaststroke and defeating the defending Olympic champion in the process. By finishing first, Jacoby became the first Alaskan swimmer to win an Olympic gold and one of the youngest American swimmers to ever earn top honors. Jacoby defeated South Africa’s Tatjana Schoenmaker, who finished second and earned a silver medal, and defending gold medal winner Lilly King, who finished third and won the bronze. “I was definitely racing for a medal,” Jacoby said after her win. “I knew I had it in me. I wasn't really expecting a gold medal, so when I looked up and saw the scoreboard, it was insane.” Coming from a small swim club in a state that has had few Olympic athletes, Lydia Jacoby said her success “shows everyone that you can do it no matter where you're from.” In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about another person whose success could inspire and be an example for others. Use what you read to write a letter to the editor, detailing how this person could be an inspiration and role model.

Common Core State Standards: Producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task; reading closely what written and visual texts say and to making logical inferences from them.

3. Great Whites

Great white sharks are considered one of the most fearsome predators at the top of the food chain in the world’s oceans. They can grow to be 21 feet long, weigh 5,000 pounds, swim at speeds up to 30 miles per hour and detect a single drop of blood in 25 gallons of water. Adult great whites feed mostly on seals, dolphins, otters and other sea mammals and rarely attack humans. But when these “apex” hunters turn up in new waters, it causes alarm among beachgoers, surfers and others who enjoy coastal areas. In the state of California, great whites are expanding their territory, with “teenage” members of the species swimming hundreds of miles farther north than in the past and within feet of people swimming in coastal waters. Scientists believe their numbers are increasing as well, the Washington Post newspaper reports. That has prompted the state to spend $3.75-million to monitor the great white population and determine if the sharks pose greater public safety risks than in the past. “There are many questions about what is happening and why it is happening,” one shark expert said. “And as the teenage population of the white shark continues to grow, what and where are they going to eat?” Scientists believe global warming of ocean waters may be one reason great white sharks are expanding their territory in California. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about how global warming may be affecting the behavior of another wildlife species. Write a short editorial analyzing how the change in behavior could affect the population of the species, the environment and humans.

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.

4. College Relief

The coronavirus epidemic has made attending college more difficult over the last two years. Not only have students had to deal with isolation and remote learning; they have fallen behind on tuition payments and other expenses. In the city of Atlanta, Georgia, two historically black colleges have stepped up to help students struggling with financial issues. Clark Atlanta University and Spelman College have announced they are clearing account balances for students enrolled over the past year. Clark said it is clearing debts from the spring of 2020 to the summer of 2021, while Spelman did the same for students enrolled during the 2020-2021 academic year. Both institutions will use federal relief funds to cover the costs. Clark and Spelman aren’t the only historically black colleges and universities to provide relief from tuition and other costs. Delaware State, South Carolina State and Wilberforce University in Ohio have taken similar action. Providing debt relief is giving students at Clark Atlanta University, Spelman and other colleges a fresh start as they go back to school this fall. In the newspaper or online find and closely read stories about how students have reacted to getting this kind of help. Use what you read to write a personal column about how getting a fresh start can change people’s lives — in college or in life.

Common Core State Standards: Conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic; writing opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.

5. ‘WheeStroll’

There’s an old saying among creative types that necessity is the mother of invention. What that means is that people often invent new products or devices when there is something people need. In the state of Maryland, the husband of a teacher had a huge need when his wife had a baby this spring, and a group of high school students worked together to find a solution. The students found a way to attach a car seat and a stroller to a wheelchair so that 37-year-old Jeremy King could take his son Phoenix on walks by himself. King has to use a wheelchair to get around after surgery for a brain tumor. When his wife Chelsie gave birth to their first child this spring, Jeremy worried he would not be able to take Phoenix for strolls or help with parenting, the Washington Post newspaper reported. Chelsie, who teaches middle school drama at the Bullis School in the community of Potomac, sought the help of colleague, Matt Zigler, who teaches a class called “Making for Social Good” in which students build products that have a positive impact on society. The students launched a project they called “WheeStroll,” and in just four months, they came up with two prototypes: a device that uses metal tubing to attach a car seat to the front of a wheelchair and a device that uses 3D printing to attach an actual stroller to the wheelchair. People often create new inventions to meet the needs of individuals or the general public. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read stories about a problem or need that could be addressed by a new product or invention. Use what you read to write a proposal for an invention that could address the problem. Give as much detail as possible on how it would work.

Common Core State Standards: Producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task; reading closely what written and visual texts say and to making logical inferences from them.