Monday, October 21, 2013

Week 7: Controversial Issues.  Locate and blog about any article related to state or local issues. Make connections between this issue and the fourth, fifth, or sixth grade social studies core curriculum. Are all current events appropriate for this age-group?

32 comments:

  1. The New York Times, Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013
    Felony Counts for 2 in Suicide of Bullied 12-Year-Old
    By Lizette Alvarez

    Summary:
    A twelve-year-old girl commits suicide after more than a year of cyber bullying by two girls: a fourteen-year-old and her former best friend, a twelve-year-old. The older girl was upset that the victim had once dated her boyfriend, and she sent messages to the victim saying “nobody” liked her, she wanted to “fight” her, “kill yourself,” and “drink bleach and die,” among other things. The local Polk County, Florida sheriff, whose office investigated the suicide, was aggravated that the parents of the fourteen-year-old tormenter failed to monitor their daughter’s behavior and allowed her to keep her cell phone, after she had been questioned by the police. After mentioning that the victim’s mother was reluctant to take away her daughter’s cell phone because she didn’t want to alienate her daughter and wanted her to be able to communicate with her friends, the sheriff admonished parents to “Watch what your children do online,” and “Pay attention. Quit being their best friend and be their best parent. That’s important.”

    Connections to Social Studies:
    Individual Development and Identity-
    The personal identity of the suicide victim was shaped by her culture, specifically by the influence of the two girls who harassed and tormented her. The older bully had begun to turn the victim’s friends against her, including her former best friend. She even told anyone who tried to befriend the victim that they also would be bullied.

    Science, Technology, and Society-
    Cell phone technology was the device that was used to torment the victim. Its use influenced the life of the girl in such a way that she no longer wanted to keep living.

    Weekly Question/Theme:
    Locate and blog about any article relating to state or local issues. Make connections between this issue and the fourth or fifth grade core. Are all current events appropriate for this age-group?
    Students in the fourth grade learn to understand the roles they will play in civic life, particularly their responsibilities toward the ways they relate with others. Issues related to cyber bullying connect to the fourth grade core through the following indicators:
    • Standard 3, Objective 1, Indicator d: Explain how the influence and power of individuals is affected when they organize into groups.
    • Standard 3, Objective 1, Indicator f: Contribute to and practice classroom goals, rules, and responsibilities.

    Classroom Applications:
    Although the topic of suicide probably wouldn’t be appropriate for this age-group, students do need to learn about their responsibilities toward others. Cyber bullying and ganging up on individuals are two hot topics for children at this age. Many of them are confronting these issues at school and elsewhere, and many already have access to cell phones and need to be taught appropriate etiquette.

    Submitted by Joyce Mustoe

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    1. This article makes me so sad. I really like when the sheriff told parents that they need to watch what their kids do online. This is HUGE and something that does not happen enough. I liked how you connected it with the fourth grade curriculum, especially the "practice classroom goals, rules, and responsibilities." I think that is a great connection to make with cyber bullying. We need to have a zero tolerance policy for bullying (cyber as well) in our classroom and our schools. Creating a democratic classroom community where students set goals and rules, know their responsibilities, and feel connected is a great way to help with that.

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    2. This is so sad! I've seen in elementary schools that students are educated about bullying, especially when there is a problem, but how can a teacher see a problem that is not readily visible? I think that we need to start prevention education early, and let children know what the effects of bullying can be. If they can realize the seriousness of their "teasing", they may think twice about making a snide comment to a classmate.

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    3. Wow, very sad indeed. I feel like this is a wake up call for us to watch out for children who are caught in these situations! It is so sad. The way a child is treated by friends can totally turn their worlds upside down and make them feel depressed. We need to be aware of how our kids and students are using their technology and what may be bothering them in their lives before it becomes too late..

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  2. Post #7: Controversial Issues
    New York Times
    Tuesday, October 22, 2013
    Utah: Scouts Remove Leaders who Toppled Rock
    By The Associated Press


    Article Summary:
    The two Boy Scout leaders who toppled a 170 million-year-old rock formation in Goblin Valley State Park, who face possible charges for doing so, have been removed from their positions as Boy Scout leaders. The two leaders filmed and posted their video of one of the leaders knocking the boulder over then cheering about it. The Boy Scouts council removed them from their posts as leaders yesterday.

    Social Studies Connections:
    This article goes along with “individuals, groups, and institutions” because the two leaders are individuals and it shows their relations with the institution of the state park and the Boy Scouts group. It also goes along with “time, continuity, and change” because of how old the rock formations are in the Goblin Valley state park. Additionally it relates to “people, places, and environments” when studying about the state park.


    Response to weekly question & Application/ Objectives:
    I would use this article to talk about the fourth grade social studies standard 1 objectives 1 and 3. The first standard talks about major geographic attributes of Utah- I think this article would be a good one to lead into studying the geographic attributes of Goblin Valley state park and other national/ state parks in Utah. Objective 3 talks about analyzing how human actions modify the physical environment. I know this objective doesn’t “really” mean to talk about how Boy Scout leaders knocking down a boulder affects the whole physical environment—but it would be a good way to lead into talking about deeper stuff with humans and the physical environment (and how carelessness is detrimental to the environment). This objective also refers to state parks in Utah and recreation, which this article relates well to.
    I think this article is appropriate for 4th grade. I think it would be very real to them here in Utah, because many boys are in boy scouts/ cub scouts or know someone who is. The girls may also be in girl scouts or know friends or family who are scouts. I don’t think all current events are appropriate for this age group. In fact, I struggled finding an article this week that I thought would be fully appropriate. That is why I think it is a good idea to use resources made for elementary students like TIME for kids and National Geographic for kids. Having these resources in your classroom can help you make sure that the news stories children encounter are appropriate and applicable to them.

    Blog Author: Cami Hall

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    1. I decided to comment on your blog because I have a personal interest in this story. My husband and I both participate in Scouting, and we've discussed this event over the past few days. At first, we both thought it was a little hasty for the BSA to immediately remove the leaders from their positions, especially since they hadn't been tried yet. But then we talked about the BSA standards that the leaders had agreed to (e.g. Leave No Trace). I think this article has a lot to do with rights and responsibilities, and it connects nicely with the standards that deal with those.

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    2. FYI, here's the link to Leave No Trace: http://www.scouting.org/home/outdoorprogram/leavenotrace.aspx

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  3. Wall Street Journal, October 21, 2013
    "Eating Disorder Dilemma: When Overweight Turns to Dangerously Thin; Evidence Suggests Heavy Children Feel Pressure to Diet By Any Means Necessary"
    By Shirley Wang

    Summary:
    Despite efforts to educate students about eating disorders, they are still prevalent. The problem is that it's socially acceptable to work towards having a slender frame, no matter the cost. Some girls have been taking drastic measures to ensure weight loss, which adults overlook because they are happy that the girl is looking better. The article also points out that eating disorders can come in many shapes and forms, and that being at a "healthy" weight does not equate to a healthy body. Educating students about obesity should emphasize that health, and not weight loss, is the most important.

    Connections to Social Studies:
    I think that this is really important for children to know as they develop their sense of self. They need to be aware of what issues are out there, how to prevent them or how to get the help needed. People, especially young girls, need to be informed and aware of such things.

    Weekly Question:
    Foundational to Social Studies is developing a sense of self, which is introduced in the curriculum for younger grades but should be revisited in the older grades as insecurities creep in. I think that this particular current event is especially applicable for this age group, since they learn about such issues around this time. It's good for these girls to know that these disorders have real implications and are found in real girls their age. I think if such current events are appropriately used to inform and educate, then they can definitely be used with this age group.

    Classroom Application:
    I think that this information is esepcially applicable to girls as they get older. They need to know how to develop self-confidence and general self-acceptance, which includes their phsyical body. If we emphasize health over appearance, I think these problems can be reduced, like the article discussed. I had friends when I was younger who became anorexic, but did not know that there was a term for it or what it's implications were. They just wanted to lose weight and so went on a "diet".

    -Holly Meek

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    1. This is a VERY applicable article! I have had some people very close to me struggle with this. There are too many girls and women that are dissatisfied with their body and will do anything to attain the perfect image. What is the perfect image?! It is airbrushed, eating little, make-up, and expensive clothes. It is an image that models themselves struggle to keep. Our bodies were meant to be unique! We shouldn't want to be someone else! How different would our world be if we liked ourselves for who we are?

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    2. This is a very sensitive issue, but I think it needs to be talked about in the older elementary grades. I think it is great that you mentioned that everyone has their own "healthy" weight and we are not meant to look the same. 5th and 6th grade girls need to know this and develop their sense of self worth.

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  4. New York Times
    Monday, October 21, 2013
    "Antonia Brenner, 'Prison Angel' Who Took Inmates Under Her Wing, is Dead at 86''
    by William Yardley

    Summary:
    Mother Antonia Brenner served in a prison for more than 30 years. She had been married and divorced twice and was "a basket case." When she felt called to work in more closely with the poor and convicted, she felt any sacrifice was necessary. She explained that although she has been upset, angry, or sad, she has never felt depressed while working there. "I have a reason for my being."

    Connect to Social Studies:
    We are social creatures. And we affect each other in big ways. Social studies is about how we interact with people. About our role in our interactions. This lady chose to serve those around her in a personal way.

    Classroom Application:
    My students can see different ways to work with and serve their fellow mankind. Reading about this woman's example can open up their eyes to looking around them and helping other people. What are some ways they can serve their classmates?

    Weekly Question: Controversial Issues. Locate and blog about any article related to state or local issues. Make connections between this issue and the fourth, fifth, or sixth grade social studies core curriculum. Are all current events appropriate for this age-group?
    In the 6th grade curriculum, standard 4 states, "Students will understand current global issues and their rights and responsibilities in the interconnected world." This article helps students think of others. What is the impact that they can have on other people? I don't think all current events are appropriate for this age-group. There are some horrible things that people do, that children (even 6th graders) don't need to be burdened with. What I mean by that is that, as an adult, I should not heap upon them depressing news. If subjects come up, or a concept needs to be taught, that's when I would address it. I like to try and find news in the world that talks about people dealing with negative things in a positive way.

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    1. I like how you related this article to helping others. There aren't many articles in the news that relate themselves easily to good things like that. I think it's very important to look at the good side of the news with students like this.

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    2. I think that this would be a good article to connect the students' rights and responsibilities in the interconnected world. I think that this is a good new article because it is positive and can empower the students' to make a difference. I think this would also go well with teaching your students that each of them have a reason for being in the classroom. This could help build classroom unity as everyone has something to offer to the rest of the class.

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  5. The New York Times
    Tuesday, Oct 22, 2013
    Justices Return to a Death Penalty Issue
    By Adam Liptak

    Article Summary:
    In 2002 the Supreme Court banned the use of the death penalty to punish mentally retarded criminals. They are revisiting this controversial topic in a new case, Hall v. Florida. The court hopes to clarify how states should determine who qualifies as “mentally retarded”, since all of the states have a different method of determining this.

    Social Studies Connection:
    This article connects to the NCSS theme of power, authority, and governance because it deals with the Supreme Court as a branch of the U.S. government. The article gives a real life example of how the court interprets laws and deals with controversial issues today. This article connects with the social studies core in 5th grade:
    Standard 3
    Students will understand the rights and responsibilities guaranteed in the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights.

    Objective 1
    Assess the underlying principles of the US Constitution as the framework for the United States form of government, a compound constitutional republic.
    C. Distinguish between the role of the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial branches of the government.

    Objective 2
    Assess how the US Constitution has been amended and interpreted over time, and the impact these amendments have had on the rights and responsibilities of citizens of the United States.
    C. Analyze the impact of the Constitution on their lives today

    Application:
    In my classroom I would use this article to discuss with the students how the Supreme Court does not pass laws, but they can interpret the laws that have been passed. Often, the Supreme Court rules on controversial issues that definitely affect our lives. The Supreme Court is part of the checks and balances that are built into the U.S. government.

    Controversial Issues:
    The death penalty is a very controversial issue in Utah and in the United States. Currently, Utah only gives the death penalty for cases of aggravated murder. It is constitutionally mandated by the Supreme Court that people who are under the age of 18 or mentally retarded cannot be executed. I would definitely not talk about the specifics of the court case that is being brought before the Supreme Court in front of 5th graders because the details are scary, but I would use it as a tool to teach how the Supreme Court interprets the Constitution. I think that debating the death penalty as a class with students younger than 8th grade is probably not appropriate, so I would only mention this article for the sake of showing what the Supreme Court is doing today.

    -Laura Villicana

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    1. I read this article, too, and I thought it was very interesting. I agree with not talking about the specifics of the case but rather focusing on the role of the supreme court.

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  6. New York Times, Monday, October 21, 2013. "Some Wary as Lobstermen Unite: Skepticism Persists in a Maine industry Built on Self-Reliance"

    Summary: A glut of lobsters has put the price of lobster at a 40-year low while costs of operating the industry remains the same or higher. Some of the lobstermen have started a union. Some feel that it will help them but others are skeptical. It is a business where the lobstermen usually work independently. The culture has been one of self-reliance. They are all technically independent business owners, not employees. The supporters feel that it is better to be united and organized to benefit the industry as a whole.

    Social Studies Connection: This shows that no matter what position you are in, you can do something to make your situation better. Our government is set up to allow groups like unions to form in hopes of making lives better and protecting basic human rights.

    Classroom Application: This is an example of democracy in action. It is more the lower level of democracy which is good to see. A lot of the times we focus on the big issues at the head of the government. It is good for students to see what the average worker can do to improve their situation. There could be a lot of simulations you could do in a classroom to give the students a deeper understanding of this.

    Weekly Question: Controversial Issues: Third grade Objective 3 covers the development of the economy including supply and demand and the role of producers and consumers. This article is the perfect example of the effects supply and demand can have on producers who are normally self-reliant. I thought this would be applicable to Utah because there is a big focus on self-reliance, especially in the LDS community. Sometimes options other than self-reliance are ignored but it is important to know what else can be done if a situation becomes difficult. There are also producers in Utah like farmers and people who work in the tourist industry. It would be important to go over things they might have to deal with.

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    1. Oh, this article is by Jess Bidgood

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  7. New York Times, October 22, 2013
    "Student Kills Math Teacher, Then Himself, at a Middle School in Nevada"
    by Timothy Williams

    Summary
    In Sparks, Nevada a middle school student went to school with a gun. A teacher tried to get him to give him the gun but the student shot and killed the student. Two more students were shot and then the boy shot and killed himself. There are not details as to why this happened. There are comments from the police department and the governor.

    Social Studies Connection:
    This connects to the NCSS standards of People, Places, and Environments & Individuals, Groups, and Institutions. A few of the connections to the core are being a good citizen, how to treat others in the community, and the affects that individual choices have on a community. The article shows how a community comes together to grieve. It also shows how state organizations like the governor and the police department react in a crisis situation.

    Application:
    I would use this article to make students aware of the consequences of things like bullying, harassment, and bad choices. I would lead a discussion or have them write in their journals in response to this article.

    Locate and blog about any article related to state or local issues. Make connections between this issue and the fourth, fifth, or sixth grade social studies core curriculum. Are all current events appropriate for this age-group?

    This connects to a few standards in the 4-6 grade range:
    - 6th grade Standard IV: Students will understand current global issues and their rights and responsibilities in the interconnected world. Objective 3: Determine human rights and responsibilities in the world. Indicator a) Identify rights considered essential for all humans. b) Propose steps students can take to protect these rights
    - 4th grade Standard III: Students will understand the roles of civic life, politics, and government in the lives of Utah citizens. Obj. 1: Describe the responsibilities and rights of individuals in a representative government as well as in the school and community. Obj. 2: Indicator b) Compare how these governments addressed community needs.

    Students in the 4-6 grade level are about 9-11 years old. They are still young but are able to understand many complex issues. Most likely they will have been exposed to tough issues in the community already. There are certain things that students should learn about from their parents, but I feel like at that age they are about to move into junior high school and they can be expected to review current events in a more mature light. The way the world is now, they are exposed to so many things they probably shouldn’t anyways, so we might as well help them learn how to analyze and make good choices.

    by Kelsey Captain

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    1. Thanks for sharing this article! I didn't even know that this happened in Nevada! That is so sad! But this would be a great thing for students to learn about because it is something they can relate to since they are in school.

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  8. New York Times, 22 October 2013
    "Soccer Plan Upsets a Brooklyn Campus's Neighbors" by Vivian Yee

    Summary:
    This article is about a soccer field in New York that they are planning to expand so that the players can have a full soccer field. They also want to add places for people to sit and watch the game. But, it is a conflict with the neighbors because they will have to deal with traffic from the games, parking problems, and when their streets will be blocked off for games.

    Social Studies Connection:
    This connects to social studies because when studying society, a huge part of that is looking at the conflict between people in a society. It also connects to the NCSS theme of People, Places, and Environments because this article is all about people and their environment and how the new soccer field would change their environment.

    Application:
    I could apply this article to the classroom by talking about conflicts and times that they have been in a conflict with somebody else and how to resolve conflicts.

    Weekly Question:
    Week 7: Controversial Issues. Locate and blog about any article related to state or local issues. Make connections between this issue and the fourth, fifth, or sixth grade social studies core curriculum. Are all current events appropriate for this age-group?

    This article relates to Fourth Grade Social Studies standard 1 objective 3 indicators a,b, and c.
    a. Describe how and why humans have changed the physical environment of Utah to meet their needs.
    b. Explain viewpoints regarding environmental issues
    c. OUtline the development of recreation in Utah since 1900 (sports, tourism, state, and national parks)

    It especially would go along with indicator c because it is about sports and recreation in a state.

    Lana Poppleton

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. This would be a great article to use in the classroom! It demonstrates that there are pros and cons to ideas. I really liked your application of sharing conflicts and how to resolve them. This is such an important skill, and this article shows how relevant it is in our daily lives.

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  9. New York Times/ October 22, 2013
    156 Drivers Call Out Sick, So the Buses Don’t Run in Detroit
    By Associated Press

    Summary: Last Monday, buses did not run in Detroit as 156 drivers called in sick. Instead of driving, they held a rally to protest recent violent attacks on bus drivers. Furthermore, two-thirds of bus drivers declined a potential new contract. Mr. Brown, the city’s chief compliance officer, said “the city was working to address safety issues, which have been raised before”. The Federal Transportation Department will be spending $24 million to upgrade Detroit buses which will include the installation of cameras.

    Connections to Social Studies: This article relates to Social Capital and E pluribus Unum. Social capital suggests that each of us has something we can do, and E pluribus Unum teaches that we can accomplish more together than we could individually. The importance of bus drivers may be overlooked, but they are absolutely essential. As 180 drivers are needed for morning service in Detroit, there were numerous citizens without transportation to work. This article also relates to the condition of Trust. We need to be respectful citizens, and treat others as we want to be treated. These bus drivers should feel safe going to work each day as passengers should be demonstrating respect.

    Theme of the week: Standard 3, Objective 1, Indicator b: Identify responsibilities of a citizen.
    Standard 3, Objective 1, Indicator d: how the influence and power of individuals is affected when they organize into groups.
    Standard 3, Objective 1, Indicator f: Contribute to and practice classroom goals, rules and responsibilities.
    While there are some current events that I would most likely not use in the classroom, I would use this article. I think it’s appropriate as it teaches students the importance of being respectful citizens now and in the future.

    Applications: Articles like this can have a powerful effect in the classroom. As mentioned above, I would use this to teach children the importance of being respectful citizens. We could brainstorm ways to practice being good citizens in our classroom and community, and positively reinforce students who model this. This article could also be used to teach that each person has something they can do to contribute to our society. For example, when the bus drivers didn’t go to work, several people were left without transportation. In addition, we could read articles about citizens who exemplify good citizenship.

    Blog Author: Kara Weathers

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    1. I think it's really awesome and interesting that you related this article to teaching children how to be good contributing citizens. I think a lot of people don't vote or get involved in our country, but even if they're protesting, it's good to let kids know that peaceful protests are not bad because they are just exercising their rights and freedoms! We live in a country where we can express our opinions (or used to be able to.... it's dwindling away slowly) and kids should know that!

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  10. Wall Street Journal
    Monday October 21, 2013
    Shutdown Raises a Stink-- But Not the Kind You Think
    By Elizabeth Williamson


    Article Summary:
    Right as the government shut down, the stink bug population decided that it was time to take over Washington. The stink bugs have always been an issue for orchards, crops, and farms in DC during this time of year, but the US Department of Agriculture has a budget set towards keeping the stink bugs under control. But with the government shutdown, The US Department of Agriculture's employees were all off the hook. They managed to get one technician classified as "essential" to work and try to control the problem, but it was too far gone. They covered front porches and yards like a carpet and one woman found 2 in her egg carton.

    Social Studies Connections:
    This article relates to social studies because of how the stink bugs affect some people's lives. They covered front porches and were found all throughout houses, and more importantly, they feed on almost anything in crops and fields. They could destroy farms, leading to even bigger problems.

    Classroom Application:
    I could use this in my class to talk about what would happen if the bugs destroyed the crops and what we would do for food. It can have lasting effects on produce prices at the store. I could also teach about how this has happened in the past and how people made do with what they had.

    Response to weekly question & Application/ Objectives:
    4th grade: Objective 3.a: Analyze how human actions modify the physical environment--
    Describe how and why humans have changed the physical environment of Utah to meet their needs (e.g. reservoirs, irrigation, climate, transportation systems and cities).
    Humans have been controlling the stink bug population and trying to find and create pest controls to keep them off of crops. When the government shut down, the stink bugs didn't have anything to stop them, so they became an even bigger problem. This article is definitely age appropriate and could even be used in correlation with a science standard!

    Blog Author: Taryn Lewis

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  11. Obama Admits Web Site Flaws on Health Law
    The New York Times
    October 22, 2013
    By Michael D Shear and Robert Pear

    Article Summary:
    There are continuing problems with Obama’s new government health care Web site. A lot of people are frustrated by the online problems. Obama has released a statement that encourages signing up for the new health care by phone. They are trying many things to fix the Web site, but the public is getting more and more discouraged with signing up.

    Social Studies Connection:
    This article relates to the social studies core in fourth grade. In the core, the students are supposed to learn about how the roles of civic life, politics and the government affect the lives of Utah citizens. In the core it also talks about how the student should learn how the government help meet the needs of its citizens. The new health care from the government is one of the ways the government is trying to help meet the needs of its citizens. In the Web site failure, many people are frustrated and upset with the new health care. This article is striving to tell how the people are frustrated with the new law and how the government is not doing what the people thinks that it should.

    Application:
    I would use this article to have the students look at the different roles and responsibilities of the national government. I would have the students look at both sides of the issue and then pick a side to defend. I would ask them to look for all the perspectives and then create an argument for a side that they do not necessarily believe in. I think that this could be a good lesson in looking at different sides of the issues.

    Local and State Issues:
    This article is a great push off point for demonstrating how the federal government, state government and local governments are interconnected. Students will be able to identify a federal government issue and see how it can directly affect their lives or lives around them. Using this article, they can see that the issues with signing up online for health care have caused a lot of people problems and because of this some people are uninsured. If they remain uninsured, they could be fined for not having the proper insurance. This correlates with the fourth grade standard that students will understand the effect of government in their lives. This will also correspond to the fifth grade standard of learning about the federal government, the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

    Blog Author: Rachel Stokes

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  12. New York Times
    Wednesday October 23, 2013
    Giving a Wife Her Front-Yard Grave, No Matter What
    By Campbell Robertson

    Article Summary
    James Davis is a resident of Stevenson, AL and has buried his late wife in his front yard. They are childhood sweethearts and have lived in that specific house for 30 years. Before she died of several painful ailments she “expressed her wish to be buried in the yard of the house where they had spent three decades together.” James Davis tried to get all of the correct paperwork but when the time came the council told him he hadn’t completed all of the paperwork. James Davis chose to bury her there anyway and has been in legal battles ever since. The latest decision is that James Davis will cremate her remains and put them back in the yard, therefore obeying the laws but keeping things exactly as they are.

    Social Studies Connections:
    This article relates to social studies because of its lengthy involvement with courts and city councils. These state and city laws are a part of being a citizen of the United States. All residents have to obey these laws. If they do not agree with the laws they have the option of fighting it in court, like James Davis did, or trying to change the law at the elections.

    Classroom Applications:
    In my classroom I would use this when talking about elections and city laws. This story is one that tugs at your heart, but that doesn’t change the fact that everyone has to follow the laws. I would then talk about how James Davis confronted the issue by going to court and being in legal battles for years.

    Response to weekly question and Application/Objectives:
    4th grade Standard 3 Objective 1: Describe the responsibilities and rights of individuals in a representative government as well as in the school and community.
    Our communities are run by laws and by the people. We have the opportunity to change the laws, and vote in new laws. This ties into the article perfectly because the whole thing is about one man going against a law and trying to change it or work within the system to make things ok.
    Yes it is age appropriate

    By Jessica Fox

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  13. Can Utah profit from its dying forests?
    The Salt Lake Tribune
    By: Brian Maffly
    October 23, 2013

    Summary:
    This article addresses the problem occurring with an over abundance of trees in Utah's forests that are deteriorating from the beetles. Much talk has gone on what should be done. Salvaging the trees can be difficult for a few reasons. Clearing thousands of acres of trees is very expensive. In Utah we don't have the resources, money, or mills or industries like in other states. Experts in this field have discussed how creating better industries may be a good start to overcoming this problem.

    Social Studies Connection:
    This article has a strong connection with the fourth grade core curriculum. Students learn about how geography affects human life. As they read this article, we could talk about the process of looking at problems in our environment and ways to solve them.

    Application:
    I would use this article in the classroom to teach my students how important it is to be aware of our environment and ways in which we can protect it. I think this article also teaches how we may not reach conclusions or solutions immediately, rather we must keep working at it.

    Local and State Issues:
    Through this article, students learn about of our physical environment and some of the challenges we face compared to other states. They will learn how being aware of what is going on locally and in our states helps them understand more of the issues that are of a concern and what kind of action is being taken in a united effort to work through the problems that we know may inevitable come.
    Standard 1: Students will understand the relationship between the physical geography in Utah and human life.
    Objective 1: Classify major physical geographic attributes of Utah.
    Indicator b: Examine the forces at work in creating the physical geography of Utah (e.g. erosion, seismic activity, climate change)
    Objective 2: Analyze how physical geography affects human life in Utah.
    Indicator c: Compare the development of industry and business in Utah as it relates to its physical geography (e.g. mining, oil, agriculture, tourism).

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    1. Natalie, I thought that your overall response was perfectly matched to the 4th grade curriculum. Not only could you teach geography using this article in your class, you could also request that the students predict what will happen in the future if this problem continues, as well as what possible solutions they might be able to use to correct the problem on a small scale. Thanks for the great idea of an article to use in a future class! :)

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  14. 156 Drivers Call Out Sick, So the Buses Don't Run in Detroit
    New York Times
    By: DETROIT (AP) Associated Press
    October 23, 2013

    Summary: This article discussed how 156 union bus drivers went on strike the other day by "calling out sick". They did so because they were protesting the violence that often occurs on the Detroit bus system, especially after several bus drivers had been stabbed. While the bus drivers protested, many citizens in Detroit were having to find alternative solutions to their daily commute, which resulted in many upset bus riders. It looks like the bus system will be adding security cameras to the city buses, hopefully helping the violence to decrease.

    Social Studies Connection: I looked up the Michigan Common Core standards (in case they were different from Utah's) to see exactly where this article could fit in. I think that this article could easily be used to show how informational text can express ideas (as well as some misleading facts, too). The following social studies (with literacy integrated) standards seem to fit in well with this text, mainly because it requires that the reader analyze the print and infer what has happened and it's effect on other aspects of society.
    CE 2.1.2 Make supported inferences and draw conclusions based on
    informational print and explain how authors and speakers use them to infer the organization of text and enhance understanding, convey meaning, and inspire or mislead audiences.
    CE 2.1.6 Recognize the defining characteristics of informational texts,
    speeches, and multimedia presentations (e.g., documentaries and
    research presentations) and elements of expository texts (e.g., thesis,
    supporting ideas, and statistical evidence); critically examine the
    argumentation of informational texts.

    Classroom Application: I would definitely use this article in the classroom to show just how people can speak out about an issue because they have the right to freedom of speech. The union bus riders definitely expressed their thoughts and their concerns, and because of that, changes were made.

    Local and State Issues:
    Although this article is from Michigan, I decided that it would still be interesting to use for this assignment. If I were from Michigan (or Detroit, more specifically), I'm sure I would feel the affects of this bus driver strike would have been more applicable to myself. It just goes to show that each community has it's own issues and each community needs to come up with its own solutions to those problems.

    Overall, I think that the standards I selected (shown in the Social Studies Connection above) could be easily used and applied in any of the upper grades (4-6), although it was originally meant for 6th grade. As far as the overarching themes taught in 4th, 5th and 6th grade, though, this local issue would most likely connect best to 4th/5th grade when they are discussing community and state history in Michigan.

    --Heather Young

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    1. This article is interesting! I think that's a very good example for our students of freedom of speech like you said. It's good for them to hear that if there is an issue that is affecting them, they can express their feelings and that positive changes can be made.

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  15. The New York Times
    Spill in North Dakota Raises Detection Concerns
    By Dan Frosch
    October 23, 2013

    Summary: This article was about a pipeline that ruptured and spewed 865,000 gallons of oil onto a farmer's field in Denver, North Dakota. Although it was far from homes and water, it still raised concerns about pipeline companies ability to detect problems with their pipes before it is too late. Apparently, the section of the pipe that burst was not required to have leak monitoring or pressure sensors. Environmentally sensitive areas have strict regulations, but more isolated sections don't have enough regulations. It also raised concerns since the President is considering another pipeline to bring crude Canadian oil to the Gulf Coast which would be especially difficult and hazardous to clean it it ruptured.

    Social Studies Connection: Social Studies Standard 3 talks about people, places, and environments, this article would fit well under environment. The third grade core talks a lot about the importance of preserving our environment, and particularly the relationship between the environment and natural resources. One of LeCompte's conditions of democracy is also taking care of the environment, because we wouldn't be able to have a functioning democracy if our environment was destroyed.

    Classroom Application: I would use this article in my class to teach my students the importance of being aware of environmental issues in their cities and communities. It is important to be knowledgeable and be able to support good environmental practices.

    Local and State Issues:Students in 4th, 5th, and 6th grade continue learning about the importance of preserving the environment. I think we need to be careful the current events we expose our students to. We should make sure they really tie into the core and the social studies standards. We should also make sure they are age appropriate and won't scare our students.

    By Katy Powell

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