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Speaking of News

Teaching News is Elementary

 

Program Content for March 27, 2015

Each week, this lesson will share some classroom activity ideas that use the newspaper or other NIE resources.  You are encouraged to modify this lesson to fit the needs of your students.  For example, some classrooms may be able to use this as a worksheet and others might need to ask and answer the questions in a class discussion. 

Please be sure to preview all NIE content before using it in your classroom to ensure it is appropriate for all of your students.

Materials you will need for this lesson: The Seattle Times e-Edition

Article: “Solving the Math Problem”

Page: NW Thursday B1 and B4

Date: Thursday, March 26, 2015

 

Pre- Reading Discussion Questions: 

 

Look at the title on page B1 and images on page B4. What do you think this article will be about? What do you think is happening in the photograph on page B4?

 

Vocabulary: 

 

Read the following quotes and determine the meaning of the word based on how it’s used in the sentence:

 

I came across it on one of those daily event calendars and it diverted my attention from some of the challenging issues that had been on my mind, a shooting, some stats on income inequality, and so on.

 

(Changed the direction or took attention away from something)

 

 Math Buddies started as a pilot project last fall to address some issues volunteers in the library’s homeworkhelp program were seeing.”

 

(done as a test to see if a larger program, study, etc., should be done)

 

“The program’s benefits are expected to go beyond academics. The librarians visit schools, community centers and other venues recruiting teens.”

 

(venues: places where events are held)

(recruiting: to persuade (someone) to join you in some activity or to help you)

 

Journal Writing Prompts: 

 

“The program’s benefits are expected to go beyond academics. The librarians visit schools, community centers and other venues recruiting teens. They don’t look for the top math students, because the teens will be working with elementary-level math. Instead, they look for students who live near the library. ‘We want the kids to see positive role models from their neighborhood.’”

 

In what ways do you think the program’s benefits will go beyond academics, such as math? Why is it important that the benefits are beyond academics? Why is it important for kids to see positive role models from their neighborhood? What positive role models do you have? Why are these people important to you?

 

Discussion Questions:

 

Review the excerpt and discuss the following questions:

 

“The high-school students, who go through a training program, assess the skills of the younger kids then engage them in games designed to shore up particular skills. Watanabe said, ‘The games make you think about math in creative ways and make you talk about math.’”

 

What type of games have made you think of math in creative ways? Why is it important to use math in creative ways? What type of game could you make that would allow you to use math creatively?

 

Small group discussion and activity: 

 

And they want the teens to sharpen their own skills by helping younger kids. The older students should be better at math and also learn leadership skills. Watanabe also cited studies that show that giving back and mentoring have positive effects on teenagers. The community gets better students and better citizens.

 

What does it mean to mentor? Why do you think mentoring and giving back have positive effects on teenagers? How do you think the community improves when teenagers mentor and give back? How would you like to help a younger student when you are a teenager? Write about a time an older student or adult mentored or helped you. Why was this experience important? What did you enjoy about it? What did you learn from it?

Copyright © 2015 The Seattle Times Company

 

Program Content for March 20, 2015

Each week, this lesson will share some classroom activity ideas that use the newspaper or other NIE resources.  You are encouraged to modify this lesson to fit the needs of your students.  For example, some classrooms may be able to use this as a worksheet and others might need to ask and answer the questions in a class discussion. 

Please be sure to preview all NIE content before using it in your classroom to ensure it is appropriate for all of your students.

 

Materials you will need for this lesson: The Seattle Times e-Edition, paper, colored pencils or crayons.

Article: “Got the munchies? Order a snack”

Pages: NW Wednesday B5

Date: Wednesday, March 18, 2015

 

 

Pre- Reading Discussion Questions: 

 

Look at the title and images on page B5. Have you ever ordered a snack before? What types of food can you identify in the photo? Does the food in the photo look like it would make a good snack?

 

Vocabulary: 

 

Read the following quotes and determine the meaning of the word based on how it’s used in the sentence:

 

A new genre of home delivery service is taking aim at boring snacks, promising novelty, nutrition (sometimes), and a sense of surprise.

 

(genre: kind, category, or sort, especially of literary or artistic work)

(novelty: the quality or state of being new, different, and interesting)

 

 “These companies offer varying degrees of customization, allowing clients to choose some or all of the items in their box.”

 

(customization: to change (something) in order to fit the needs or requirements of a person, business, etc.)

 

Critics see snack subscriptions as a cynical marketing ploy, a way to have customers pay to taste items the companies are testing.

 

(cynical: selfish and dishonest in a way that shows no concern about treating other people fairly)

(marketing ploy: something that people who are selling a product use to make people want to buy the product)

 

 

Journal Writing Prompts: 

 

“And snacks are easy. They’re things you can open up and eat. You know that people are going to enjoy them. Pickles, you got to be a pickle person. Everybody loves snacks. Everybody loves popcorn.”

 

What type of food person are you and why? Describe your favorite snack or other type of food and what about it appeals to you. Is it the taste, the texture, or the way it looks? Do you associate it with a special memory or event?

 

Discussion Questions:

 

Review the excerpt and discuss the following questions:

 

“Boxes range roughly from $6 to $60, and are delivered weekly or monthly. Many of them include full-sized bags of treats, not sample sizes. These companies offer varying degrees of customization, allowing clients to choose some or all of the items in their box.”

 

Do you think the prices for the snack boxes seem reasonable or do you think they are overpriced? Would you pay that much money to have snacks delivered to your home – why or why not? What do you think you are paying for in the above prices – the food, the customization, or the convenience? Do you think that meal-delivery services are just a novelty and the novelty will wear off in time?

 

Small group discussion and activity: 

 

A lot of people just want that surprise every month”, says David Watkins, founder of Minneapolis-based Karepax, which bundles offbeat snacks such as Japanese corn-flavored gummies or pig-shaped pound cake from Thailand with independent comic books.

 

Design an idea for a “snack in a box” that comes with a prize. What would you name your product? How would you design the bag or other container for your snack? Would you have a logo? What kind of snack food would you include in your box? What would the prize be? Draw a picture or your “snack in a box” and share it with your class.

 

 

Program Content for March 13, 2015

Each week, this lesson will share some classroom activity ideas that use the newspaper or other NIE resources.  You are encouraged to modify this lesson to fit the needs of your students.  For example, some classrooms may be able to use this as a worksheet and others might need to ask and answer the questions in a class discussion. 

Please be sure to preview all NIE content before using it in your classroom to ensure it is appropriate for all of your students.

Materials you will need for this lesson: The Seattle Times e-Edition, paper, pencils, crayons, colored pencils or markers, posterboard.

Article: “’Star Trek’ tricoder a reality among wireless wonders”

Page: Business A8

Date: Thursday, March 5, 2015

 

Pre- Reading Discussion Questions: 

 

Look at the title and images on pages A8 and A9. What do you think a Star Trek tricoder is? What do you picture when you think of “wireless wonders?” What do you think is special about the bicycle in the photograph?

 

Vocabulary: 

 

Read the following quotes and determine the meaning of the word based on how it’s used in the sentence:

 

The pervasive creep of the Internet from computers and phones to all kinds of objects is the theme of this year’s edition of the Mobile World Congress wireless show.

 

(existing in every part of something : spreading to all parts of something)

 

 For those who couldn’t join the tens of thousands in Barcelona for the four day event, here is a look at some of the quirkiest innovations on display.

 

(a new idea, device, or method)

 

“The car company unveiled two electric bikes— one for regular city travel and one for commercial use for messengers or delivery — that connect to smartphones through Bluetooth, as well as physically via a mounted dock.”

 

(to show or reveal (something) to others for the first time)

 

Journal Writing Prompts: 

 

“Presto pizza: Pizza Hut has two new ways to make sure nobody waits too long for a pie.

   Italian inventors La Comanda have reduced the distance to your favorite pizza to a simple trip to your fridge. There, you just reach up and slap the magnet-held timing device, holding the round button down a few seconds, and presto! The pizza is on its way to you.”

 

What do you think of Pizza Hut’s idea to make pizza delivery quick an easy? How could you improve upon this idea? Or what other innovative ideas do you have to order a pizza without calling or going in to the restaurant?

 

Discussion Questions:

 

Review the excerpt and discuss the following questions:

 

“An associated smartphone application plans your route and the bike indicates when you need to turn by vibrating the right or left hand grip. If both vibrate, look out: It means a car is close behind.

   The bikes can be connected to a Bluetooth heart-rate monitor that can increase the bike’s motor power to let you rest if overexerted. They can also be programmed to let you cool down during the final stretch of your journey.”

 

What are the pros and cons of the vibration notification feature? What are the benefits of having a heart rate monitor? What other features do you think a bicycle connected to a smartphone should have? Would you like to ride a bicycle like this? Why or why not?

 

Small group discussion and activity: 

 

But Oral-B has at least spiced it up a bit by making an enhanced electric toothbrush that works with an application on your smartphone.

   The app times your brushing, with a graphic display showing which areas of the mouth to focus your efforts on. It warns you if you are brushing too hard.

   A new version will allow you to program a plan recommended by a dentist, for example, to whiten teeth or protect damaged gums.

 

Invent a toothbrush. What features of the toothbrush described above would you copy? Which are unnecessary? Draw a picture detailing the features, including cost, to share with the class.

Copyright © 2015 The Seattle Times Company

 


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