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2020 — A Year of Change

There is always change, but 2020 was a year of extraordinary changes — global deaths due to a pandemic, marches for racial equality and justice, name changes of schools and teams, a woman of Indian and Jamaican heritage on the Democratic ticket, NASA’s return to space shuttles — and mundane curtailments that influenced culture. Students read, discuss and debate, and write about these changes and those who made a difference.

NIE Curriculum Guides

Many health issues provide stimulus for lessons in economics, privacy vs. public health concerns, illegal vs. legal transport of goods and medicines, laws and ethics. This guide focuses on the current news: an outbreak of mumps in the Midwest and the spread of the H5N1 strain of the influenza virus. The concerns about avian flu also provide opportunity to teach students about the Spanish Flu that killed more than 50 million people around the world and to introduce students to careers in virology and epidemiology.

Brain damage, a new competitive sport, advocacy advertisements, elder boom and young worker shortage, current global and national issues, our relationship with words and kids and an appreciation of Toni Morrison are covered in this month’s guide with suggested activities for using the Post reprints.

Threatened, endangered and surviving but facing uncommon attacks, animals are at risk. Activities and articles include laws and regulations in Laos and Australia, research using chimps in Africa, aging elephants at the National Zoo and birds who have adapted to cold weather. Teachers Notes provide different approaches across disciplines.

News, features, guest commentaries, graphs and photographs give snapshots of life in the first months of the novel coronavirus, primarily in the U.S. Study questions, activities and suggestions for interaction aid students to understand the basics of virology, read data, reflect and express themselves through word, art and music — defining life in the time of novel coronavirus.

Campaign 2016

Campaign 2016 provides avenues for diverse study. At the foundation are candidates’ speeches, actions and policies, and party platforms. Understanding polls and their influence, analyzing political cartoons and political ads and using social media form another strand of study. Considering bellwether Indiana towns and a Virginia town that lacks enough candidates to run for office, defining issues and using original documents offer more challenges for students.