Resources for Teachers and Students
, week of
Dec. 10, 2018
1. Surge in Greenhouse Gases
Greenhouse gases contribute to global warming by trapping heat in the Earth’s atmosphere. One of the most significant greenhouse gases is carbon dioxide, which is produced when people burn fossil fuels such as oil, coal, gasoline and natural gas. That is a growing problem around the world, and global warming may speed up as result, according to a new report from an international team of scientists. Greenhouse gas emissions are accelerating like “a speeding freight train,” the scientists warn in a report released by the Global Carbon Project. Worldwide, carbon dioxide emissions are expected to increase by 2.7 percent in 2018 due to increased use of gasoline and oil, the scientists report. That is on top of a 1.6 percent increase last year. The gains more than offset decreases achieved in greenhouse gas emissions by less use of coal and more use of alternative energy sources like wind and solar. The scientists say if the increases are not addressed, the Earth could face severe environmental problems by the year 2030 — 10 years sooner than predicted earlier. Global warming is having an impact all over the world. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about the impact on one area of the world. Use what you read to write an editorial analyzing the impact in this area and detailing what the effects in that area could teach the rest of the world.
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.
2. Mystery Skeleton
Whatever happened to the man in the thigh-high boots? It’s a mystery that’s captured the attention of the European city of London, England. And it dates back 500 years. It came into the spotlight when archaeologists working on a sewer project found the skeleton of a man dressed in the extra-tall boots face down in the mud at the bottom of the River Thames. The boots were in remarkably good condition, considering that they date back to the end of the 15th or beginning of the 16th century. Because they were expensive in their time, they raise questions about how the man died. Did he have an accident and fall into the river? Did he commit suicide? Was he murdered? There won’t be answers until further study, but the skeleton bones already have provided clues about what the man did. His teeth had an unusual groove in them, as if from repeated action “like passing rope between his teeth as a fisherman might,” the archaeologists said. Discoveries of bones, fossils or artifacts from the past offer clues to how people or animals lived in earlier times. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a discovery that sheds light on the past. Use what you read to write a paragraph summarizing what was discovered, how it was discovered and why it is important.
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. December Tornadoes
In the United States, tornadoes usually occur in warm weather months in southern and midwestern states. But In the midwestern state of Illinois this month, rare weather conditions led to an outbreak of 26 tornadoes that left more than two dozen people injured. The total was the largest ever for a single day in Illinois in December. The tornado outbreak was caused by two supercell thunderstorms that developed over the state. The storms both featured rotating updrafts that help tornadoes develop. Severe weather often is in the news during the winter months. In teams or pairs, use the newspaper or Internet to find and closely read stories about severe weather hitting communities. Use what you read to create a TV news program, telling the story of the events described in the stories you read. Structure your program so that the most important story is told first, the second most important told second, and so on. Choose images from the news to go with your program. Then write text to go with each story.
Common Core State Standards: Reading closely what a text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; writing narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events; conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic.
4. NBA in Africa
The National Basketball Association takes pride in the fact it has fans all over the world — and attracts players from all over the world. To draw top players from the continent of Africa, the NBA has announced it will open its first training center for African basketball players. The center in the nation of Senegal will offer basketball training along with academic and leadership programs for African teens. Located in the Sali region, the center will feature two indoor basketball courts, a weight room, an activity center, conference rooms, dormitories and classroom facilities. The center will be run as a partnership between the NBA Academy Africa program and Senegal’s Sports for Education and Economic Development Project. The new NBA training center in Senegal is an example of an organization offering services or programs to help people in Africa. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about another outreach effort seeking to help people in Africa. Use what you read to write a letter to the editor summarizing the outreach effort, how it could be effective and how it could be a model for other programs.
Common Core State Standards: Citing specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions; producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task.
5. Flower Fight
Most people love fresh flowers, but in a community in California they are causing pain and anger. The reason? The town of Colma near San Francisco has allowed a private garden business to plant flowers all over a plot of land that used to be a cemetery for thousands of people. Relatives of those buried under the fields say the flowers hide gravesites and prevent relatives from paying respects to ancestors. They want the flower business to leave and have asked California’s Cemetery and Funeral Bureau to investigate. As many as 25,000 San Franciscans were buried at the site when a San Francisco cemetery was relocated to Colma. The actions of businesses often draw attention or cause controversy in communities. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a business drawing attention this way. Use what you read to write a business column for the newspaper, giving your view on how the business should handle the situation or how the community should respond.
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.
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