The New York Times, Monday, Dec. 2, 2013Urban Schools Aim for Environmental Revolution: Six Districts Combine Purchasing Power, Starting With Sugar-Cane PlatesBy Michael WinesSummary:Six big-city school systems want to create new markets for sustainable food and lunchroom supplies. “…by combining their purchasing power, they can persuade suppliers to create and sell healthier and more environment-friendly products at prices no system could negotiate alone.” If everything goes as planned, compostable sugar-cane plates will replace foam lunch trays, eliminating stacks of landfill several hundred miles tall, and that’s just the plates from one of the school systems. Next, the school systems want to target healthier food, such as antibiotic-free chicken. If the school alliance succeeds, it could change nutrition and sustainability policies nationwide.Connections to Social Studies:Individuals, Groups, and Institutions-In this article, the school systems alliance represents the social values of the members who comprise it, and it plays a role in the promotion of environmental sustainability. Students need to know how large groups influence them and their culture.Science, Technology, and Society-Science and technology, allowing the ability to create compostable plates, has an influence on social and cultural change. Students could ask whether the new practice is better than that that it replaces, whether it is worth extra cost or could costs be reduced, and how it could be of benefit.Weekly Question/Theme:Locate and blog about any article relating to social studies. Be sure to indicate how it relates!Students in the second grade learn to recognize and practice civic responsibility in the community, state, and nation under Standard 2. Objective 1: Examine civic responsibility and demonstrate good citizenship. Indicator c: Identify and participate in a local civic activity (e.g., community cleanup, recycling, walkathons, voting).Classroom Applications:After reading about the lunchroom recycling program, students could brainstorm ways they could participate in a local civic activity, recognizing that they, as a large group, could make a large impact in their community. It would be a good idea to provide them with descriptions of some local needs or existing charities, and it would be essential that they offer authentically valuable service. They could also ask what science or technology might make their work more efficient, effective, and/or engaging!Submitted by Joyce Mustoe
I loved this article too for the real world example that it gives of schools making a difference. I feel like it could really motivate students to become more civic-minded. Your ideas for classroom applications are great! I think that students would really enjoy getting involved with service in their school or community.
The New York TimesMonday, December 2, 2013In the East China Sea, a Far Bigger Test of Power LoomsBy David E. SangerArticle Summary:When China claimed territory in the East China Sea as an “air defense identification zone” it sent a message to the United States and their allies that China may be trying to push the United States’ influence farther out into the Pacific. The disputed area does not have any special significance, it only stands as a symbol of retaliation against the United States and their allies. Vice President Biden left on a trip to South Korea, China, and Japan to send the message that the United States will “seek crisis management mechanisms and confidence building measures to lower tensions”. That is an important trip at this time because tensions are running high.Social Studies Connection:This article connects to the NCSS theme of power, authority, and governance and global connections because it deals with the governments of several countries around the world and how they interact with eachother. This article connects with the social studies core in 6th grade:Standard 4Students will understand current global issues and their rights and responsibilities in the interconnected world.Objective 1 Analyze how major world events of the 20th century affect the world today.A. Identify key events, ideas, and leaders of the 20th century (e.g. World War I, World War II, the Cold War, the Korean and Vietnamese conflicts, dynamic Asian economies). B. Describe the impact of these events on the world today.Objective 2 Explore current global issues facing the modern world and identify potential solutions.A. Investigate pressing issues facing the world. B. Identify potential solutions to pressing issues.Application:In my classroom I would use this article to connect events in the 20th century, like World War 2 and the Cold War. I could discuss with my students how relations with countries in Asia today are very related with events that happened during World War 2 and the Cold War. We could also identify possible solutions to the problem in the East China Sea or investigate possible ramifications of the territory claim. Social Studies Connection:I chose this article because it clearly relates to events that happened in the Cold War and World War 2. The article even talks about how the dispute over the East China Sea seems to be an excuse for the questions of who will exercise influence over a region, just like the Cold War. It is good for the students to see that history really does directly affect politics today.Blog author: Laura Villicana
I think it's very wise to discuss these issues and connect them to history. They say that history will repeat itself if we don't take the time to learn the lessons of the past. What better place to start learning than the classroom?
New York Times, December 2, "In New Jersey Pines, Trouble Arrives on Six Legs" by Justin GillisSummary: Tens of thousands of acres of pine trees have been killed by southern pine beetles in New Jersey and they're moving north. Very cold winters usually keep the beetles in check but with global warming the winters haven't been cold enough to do that. The areas of the forest affected are on flat land and so the damage is only visible from the air. The issue has therefore not received very much attention. Connection to Social Studies: Seemingly small issues can have a big impact. Global warming might have a huge effect on the environment and, consequently, on us. The effects might not be realized until it is too late. We need to keep things like greenhouse gas emissions to a minimum.Classroom Application: This issue could be applied to math or science or a mixture of the two. Students could research the rate at which the trees are dying and calculate how long it will take for the whole forest to be gone. They could also study the effects the seasons have on wildlife in the area they are at. The social studies curriculum for 4th grade, Standard 1 obejctive 3b says, "Explain viewpoints regarding environmental issues (e.g. species protection, land use, pollution controls, mass transit, water rights, trust lands)." This could be integrated with the math or science units.
I love your idea of relating this article to environmental issues. It’s so important for students to be aware of the world around them and to understand that we are all responsible for taking care of the earth. I think your math connection is a meaningful way for students to gain a clearer perspective of this issue.
I think that this is a great article to talk about environmental issues. I think that it could be also a great way to integrate other subjects. I think that this could be good to talk about even that the class might feel small but they have the power to do good and bad. Their actions can have a big effect even when they think that they may not be able to.
New York Times/ 12-2-13China Launches Moon Rover Mission/ By: Chris BuckleySummary: Last Monday, a rocket carrying China’s first robotic lunar rover was launched. If this achievement is accomplished, the Chang’e-3 mission will be China’s first “soft landing” on the moon which will allow the craft to operate after descending. As this feat has only been completed by the Soviet Union and the United States, China feels it represents patriotic pride and advancement in science, satellites, and military. The solar-powered rover will spend three months exploring and collecting data.Connections to Social Studies: This article relates to the NCSS theme of Science, Technology, and Society. Science and technology certainly play a role in our lives and in our cultures. In this article, advancements in technology created patriotic pride. This article also connects to 6th grade Social Studies Standard 4, Objective 1: Analyze how major world events of the 20th century affect the world today. It specifically relates to Indicator b: Describe the impact of these events on the world today. The United States and Soviet Union’s success with soft lunar landings most likely influenced China’s desire to accomplish this.Topic of the Week: This article relates to social studies as shown in the common core standard above. Major events, such as soft lunar landings, have a worldwide impact. Such events have influenced China to enhance their technology and expand their influence.Applications: As sixth graders study how major events affect the world today, I would use this newspaper article to provide a current example. Incorporating relevant newspaper articles would make this core standard more meaningful for students. Blog Author: Kara Weathers
This is really interesting! I like your connections. It's important for students to realize that we live in a global world, what other countries do affect us and what we do can affect other countries. Especially with new technologies and economy, I feel like countries are in a race to keep up with each other. You could talk about this and also how the original space race started as a competition between two countries.
I appreciate what you said, Kara, regarding making connections for the students by using contemporary newspaper articles. It's interesting that even though the Soviet Union and U.S.A. have successfully made 'soft landings' on the moon, China is just now making an attempt. This points out to the students that technology and discovery never has to end, especially for all the countries in this world. The fact that China is branching out, thinking outside the box, and attempting something never before done in their country is an extension of their scientific and engineering technologies. --Heather Young
Wall Street JournalJob Markets Needs to find Higher Gear by Ben CasselmanDecember 6, 2013Summary: The government's snapshot of the job market revealed both positive and negative trends. Employers have added over 200,000 jobs in the last two months but it is not enough of an increase to recoup from the recession. The jobless rate also fell to it lowest level in the last five years which is good news, but the number of those long-time unemployed has not declined. The article also made the point that it's not just the number of jobs that matters, but the quality of the jobs. The government is concerned that there has been weak wage growth and a high concentration of jobs focused in the low-paying sectors. Connections to Social Studies: This article relates to the NCSS theme of Production, Distribution, and Consumption. In this case, it directly relates to the production of jobs and how they are distributed across the population. It also ties to the 4th grade core:Objective 3: Investigate the development of the economy in Utah.a. Explain the relationship between supply and demand. b. Research the development of Utah's economy over time. c. Identify the factors which bring about economic changes (e.g. natural resource development, new technologies, new market development, globalization)You could talk about the job market in Utah's economy, what factors are affecting it and how it has changed over time. Topic of the Week:This article relates to the NCSS themes and Social Studies core as shown above. The job market is something that affects everyone, and it will be beneficial for the students we teach to know the trends as they prepare to enter the work force when they are older. Applications:I would use this in 4th grade to take a look at Utah's economy and job market and how it it changing. This article would be a good place to start and then have the students do their own research and draw their own conclusions. Blog Author: Katy Powell
I read an article similar to this in week nine. I thought it was interesting how we both connected it to the same classroom application. I agree that it would be beneficial to connect national job growth/unemployment to Utah job growth/unemployment. Interesting article.
Fate of City’s Art Hangs in the BalanceThe New York TimesDecember 4, 2013By Randy KennedyArticle Summary: The city of Detroit is entering into bankruptcy. They have large museums of art that they are considering selling some of the pieces to art collectors in order to make some money for the city. Some people say that this would not help the city for long, because they need a constant cash flow and not a onetime occurrence. Because of this, they are trying to save the collection. They are also trying to save the collection for historical reasons and the impact it has had on the city. Social Studies Connection: This article relates to the sixth grade standards. The students will be able to understand the how the Renaissance has impacted the modern time. The student could research the art and see how this has had a big impact on the city. They could see the influence of the middle ages and the renaissance of the artwork and issues of modern times. Application: I would use this article as a resource to have students look at different ways the Renaissance and Middle Ages have affected our modern world. This article talks about less obvious ways they have affected the world. This could be a hook to catch the students’ interest in a debate and in discovering the different sides of the issue.Social Studies:This article is a great launching poing for the Sixth grade standard of learning about the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. This is the Sixth grade core, Standard 2, Objective 2, Indicator a and b. Also Standard 2, Objective 4 with indicator a and b. As a class, we could use this as a launch of discussion. This would bring up interesting debates. Author: Rachel Stokes
This is interesting. I liked how you tied art and museums back to the Renaissance- that is a really good connection. I agree with you that this would be a great hook for the students to see why the Renaissance is important to them today.
I also appreciate how you connected the value in saving the pieces art with the importance of art in students' lives. It would create a great discussion about the worth of something beyond it's price tag. Is a piece of art only worth what can be gained in the marketplace? Do students own items or memories that are priceless? If so, what are they?
This is such a great application to the classroom! I love how you tied it in with the Renaissance. And it's a really interesting topic to think about. I also love your idea to do a debate. It would be great to have them research the opinions and debate about them.
Week 10:Title: Wall Street Mothers, Stay-Home FathersAuthor: By JODI KANTOR and JESSICA SILVER-GREENBERGNew York Times, December 7, 2013Summary: Many Wall Street industries are still dominated by men; however, many women on Wall Street say that their ability to be there is heavily influenced by their husband’s willingness to be a stay-at-home-husband. “The number of women in finance with stay-at-home spouses has climbed nearly tenfold since 1980.” They had begun to realize that with the craziness of finance (even with nannies and maids) the demands of a 2-career household were too much. Couples who have made this shift in household duties say their “preconceived notions” of who does what disappeared quickly. “‘We’re almost like an opposite ’50s couple,’ said [the husband of a very successful woman in finance] . ‘I’m staying at home, I do the dishes, I do the laundry, I do everything the housewife does. I’m just a dude.’” Connection to Social Studies:Culture- How does the culture change to accommodate different beliefs? How has the culture of women and men marital roles changed? Why might this be important?Time, Continuity, and Changed- Men and Women’s roles have changed overtime. What causes those changes? What changes have occurred? What do we think will happen in the future?Individual Identity and Development- “Personal identity is shaped by one’s culture, by groups, and by institutional influences.” What is your personal identity in regard to men and women’s roles? Why do you think that way? What cultures, groups, or institutions influence how people view men and women’s roles. Classroom Application:This would be an interesting article to use in 5th grade when they study about the major social movements of the 20th century like women’s rights. (Fifth grade standard 5 objective 2a). It is an interesting example of how things have changed over time in regards to men and women’s roles and women’s rights. Weekly Question:This article relates to social studies well because it is all about culture, roles in society, and change over time. It is interesting to learn about the role of men and women many years ago, see where they are currently today, and see where they are going. Though many in our culture maintain traditional values of men and women (as do I) it is an important part of social studies to see how those roles are changing and where they are going. Then we can look at what is happening in the world and try to determine why they change the way they do.
By Cami Hall
Friday, December 6, 2013Wall Street Journal"See Grown-Ups Read"Written by Alexandra AlterSummary: In the past, it has been typical that kids emulate what their parents were reading, and now it is turning into the reverse. Adults have been gobbling up books aimed at middle-schoolers over the past few years, and some people wondered why. The author of "Wonder," the No. 1 selling book on Amazon, began writing her book when her children saw a 10 year old boy with a facial disfigurement who struggled to fit in. She immediately rushed them away, and then felt so guilty that she didn't talk to the child and teach her children that people that look differently are also human beings that have feelings and want to feel loved and appreciated. Her book was aimed at 8-12 year olds, being that those were her son's ages, but adults all over the world sent fan mail letting her know that they appreciated her anti-bullying novel. Books like Harry Potter turned the middle-school reading level into adult reads and adults are not "ashamed" to read children's literature anymore. Connection to Social Studies:This relates to social studies because of how our culture is changing with parents and children having similar taste in pop culture, and books. The generation gap is getting smaller and smaller with more room for branching out and, in this case, reading books that in the past would have been "childish." The roles are reversing in the sense that instead of children emulating their parents, parents are emulating their children when it comes to pop culture.Classroom Application: This could be used as a lesson to teach that any book that interests a student should be read, no matter what grade level or how many pictures it is! Adults love picture books just as much as children do, but it has often been looked at as "embarrassing" or "weird" if an adult were to sit and read a picture book. We as teachers could demonstrate that it's ok to read books on any level by reading picture books during SSR!Weekly Question:This relates to social studies because it acknowledges how our ideas are changing and how the generation gap is closing. Our world is a very different place today than it was 100 years ago, and it's ok!Blog author: Taryn Lewis
I love your application. We need to connect to our students, and a mutual appreciation of a book can help do that! During practicum, I noticed that many of the students in my classroom were into "Diary of a Wimpy Kid", and since I think those books are hilarious, I was able to quickly find common ground with the students (especially the boys!).
Wall Street Journal, Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013Caught Between Male and FemaleBy AnonymousSummaryTranssexuals have been recategorized as suffering from gender dysphoria, rather than gender identify disorder. There are studies right now trying to dissect the two categories of gender, and what defines each. For instance, the brains of each gender are different in their structure and function, which may attribute to differences in how each gender learns, socializes, and feels.Connections to Social StudiesI thought that this article fit the theme Individual Development and Identity. When I saw this article title, I thought about how many people lately are rethinking their identities, and how gender influences that identity. Weekly QuestionLocate and blog about any article relating to social studies. Throughout history, gender has played an important role in how society functions and how individuals are percieved. Today the definition of marriage is changing, in addition some individuals' gender, through surgery and use of hormones.Classroom ApplicationsStandard 1, Objective 1, Indicator a."Describe and compare characteristics of self and others (e.g., differences in gender, height, language, beliefs, and color of skin, eyes, hair)."In Kindergarten, children learn more about their characteristics and how those compose who they are, and it's important to explain that their gender is an important characteristic. This article would probably not be appropriate to share in Kindergarten, but this is an interesting social issue that students may have questions about.-Holly Meek
"Biden Urges Restraint by China in Airspace Dispute"New York TimesDecember 5, 2013Mark LandlerSummary:Vice President, Biden discussed with China, Korea, and Japan the current dispute regarding airspace over China. Apparently, China would like for all planes flying in their airspace to identify themselves to the F.A.A., a new regulation that is unsettling to Japanese officials. This new air defense identification zone is meant to be a “zone of cooperation, and not confrontation”. Social Studies Connection:It’s important to realize that our world is very small these days, and growing smaller. It seems as if all the countries in this world are even more connected than we sometimes give them credit for. Because of the interconnectivity of our world, we need to make sure that we are willing to obey the rules and regulations of other countries. Classroom Application: By noting that other countries often confer with the United States in regards to policy and regulations that affects the whole world, students will realize that the policies involved in government are often complex and incorporate lots of different people. As a teacher, I might even try and do a simulation with my students, with each of them representing a different country’s ambassador deciding on an important policy; this way, the students will have the opportunity to walk in the shoes of a politician and see what their role is within the world. --Heather Young
I can't help but make a connection with Star Trek. On their travels they often encounter difficult "regulations" or cultural perspectives that they have to deal with. Their problems are with different worlds. But we experience it here on our own world. We can often look at someone's opinions or culture and think they are totally different than us. In many ways, people are very different from each other. But in many ways, we are very similar. The trick is to learn how to cooperate and trust.
New York Times, Monday Dec. 2, 2013"In New Jersey Pines, Trouble Arrives on Six Legs" by Justin GillisSummary of Article:Because of warmer temperatures, the southern pine beetle is killing off tens of thousands of acres of pines. Scientists are using this as an example of how seemingly small changes in the climate have HUGE impacts. They are trying to find ways to save the forest. The migration of the beetles means there are many formerly neglected forests that will need to be closely monitored.Connect to Social Studies:Standard 1, objective 3 for third grade: "Analyze ways cultures use, maintain, and preserve the physical environment." It is crucial to understand how everything interacts with each other. Everything affects the something around it. The climate is causing a warmer environment, which means beetles can live places they haven't been able to before, which means more trees are dying, which means forests are shrinking... Kind of a domino effect.Classroom Application:I actually taught a lesson similar to this in practicum. Students get really excited to learn about the place they live in and the impact they have on it. Students can, and need to, understand the importance of nature and its resources. We need to take care of it as we use it.- Holly J
This is so relatable and would be awesome to teach because it could affect the students in the area they live in! We need to teach our students to be aware and involved in the community and articles like this give them reasons to understand what's going on. Good classroom application!
New York Times, December 9, 2013"Lessons From the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill." By Henry FountainSummary of Article:This article reviews what happened in the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill in 1989. It was one of the worst oil spills ever. 11 million gallons of crude oil were spilled. The oil was deep and dispersed really far. Because of that, they had to put in dispersants which make the oil disperse and sink to the bottom of the ocean. The article discusses the environmental effects of these dispersants today.Connect to Social Studies:I like 3rd grade St 1, Ob. 3: Analyze ways cultures use, maintain, and preserve the physical environment. Talking about the oil spill and all the work that went into fixing the spill would be a great way to teach 3rd graders about our society and the efforts we make to preserve our physical environment. It could also teach them the importance of doing so.Classroom Application:We could talk about ways that we preserve things in general and why we do so. We could talk about how we take care of the laptops, or the whiteboards, and other things that we want to take care of so that they last for a long time. Then we could talk about nature and how we want to have that for a long time. So we need to take care of our physical environment so we can have it for a long time. That is why cleaning up an oil spill is so important.Lana Poppleton
This would be such a cool lesson to integrate social studies and science. It could be a very interesting activity with the students. It is probably something they have never heard of or thought of before.
New York TimesDecember 9, 2013Girl in the Shadows: Dasani’s Homeless Lifeby Andrea ElliottSummary: This is a very long article that explains in detail the life of a homeless girl named Dasani. She is the oldest of seven children and they live in a shelter where there are mice and they use a bucket to go to the bathroom. Her parents are drug addicts and Dasani takes care of her siblings. She talks about how school is a refuge, but she faces many trials because her mom has taught her that fighting is good. She has supportive teachers but they don’t know about her circumstances. The thing she likes to do most is dance. She is very athletic and has many talents. There is a story where they feel discriminated against because of their race but then they discriminate against some asian people and threaten to fight them. It is a sad story that does not seem to have a happy ending.Connections to Social Studies: This article relates to the NCSS themes of People, Places & Environments and Individual Development & Identity. In our classrooms there may be a range of students. There will probably be students that have no idea what homelessness means. It explains environments and also hints towards how these environments affect the development of individuals.Topic of the Week: This relates to Social Studies because it goes through the life of a little girl that lives all the way across the country. It shows how the culture is very different there. It also shows different prejudices that exist. It talks about specific places in New York City, which would be great to pictures of and explain a little bit about geography.Applications: In 5th grade they study about the whole country. It would be important to examine different cultures and economic situations that exist in our country. Many students think that their family is how everyone else’s family is. If we can expose them to different aspects of our country, it will be better for them in the long run. I think reading a story like this with them will help them learn sympathy and open their eyes to more things in the world.Kelsey Captain
Great insights. I feel it very important to be aware of all students and realize how students come from all different kinds of backgrounds and life. They may need help and they definitely need their teacher's love and understanding. I also feel like reading articles like this opens the eyes of students in the classroom to be more sympathetic like you mentioned.
New York TimesDec. 9, 2013Spies' Dragnet Reaches a Playing Field of Elves and TrollsBy: Mark MazzettiSummary:This article talks about popular video games such as World of Warcraft and Second Life being used to transmit and communicate secret information. Terrorist and criminal networks have used these games as a purpose to do evil things undercover. American and British intelligence agencies are now acting as spies to figure out and catch those involved in these secrets acts. Although it has been difficult to detect these happenings, people have been caught and there is more surveillance happening and being developed to stop this problem. Connections to Social Studies:I felt this article was closely connected to the NCSS Standard of Science, Technology, and Society. The way in which technology was being used affected not only the people secretly using the technology in harmful ways, but all of society. We can teach our children the benefits of technology and the advances it has allowed us to have in society and also the harmful and negative potential that can occur.Weekly Theme:2nd Grade - Standard 2: Students will recognize and practice civic responsibility in the community, state, and nation.Objective 1: Examine civic responsibility and demonstrate good citizenship.Indicator b: Explain the benefits of being a U.S. citizen (e.g., responsibilities, freedoms, opportunities, and the importance of voting in free elections). Students should know that we should honor our rights through the choices we make. We can choose to do good or choose to do wrong - but each has its own consequences. Through our choices, we can honor our freedom and citizenship in the country we live. Classroom Application:I think it would be important to discuss technology in using it wisely to gain information and ways in which it can be used for recreation and how to balance between the two. We could have a discussion on how to protect ourselves in an ever-increasing world of technology. Natalie Bench