Curriculum Guides

  • Executive Decisions

    In order to become informed participants in a democracy, students should learn about the women and men who make decisions concerning their lives. The president of the United States and the Cabinet that he appoints are such people in the executive branch. Through Washington Post articles and activities using “Cabinets of President George W. Bush,” students are introduced to members of the Cabinet and their roles. David Broder’s commentary “Tight Little Cabinet” provides stimulus for an evaluation of Cabinet members.

  • Long Arms of the Law

    Long Arms of the Law focuses on the judicial branch of U.S. government — the role of the Supreme Court and attributes of its justices. Suggested readings and activities are appropriate for grades 4-12. Several variations are suggested for using “Giving Order to Important U.S. Supreme Court Cases,” a timeline activity utilizing seven significant cases. The history and notable judges of the Court are the subjects of one quiz; law clerks and procedures are the subjects of another.

  • Force of Freedom

    Whether in the Cradle of Civilization or an emerging democracy, voters are rejecting fear and choosing freedom. Students examine the force of freedom found in voting and its impact of various forms of government, a diverse religious and ethnic population, and economic, social and political forces without and within a country. The articles from The Post and activities in Force of Freedom can be used to focus on one country—Iraq—for its current events, recent election and its history as a cradle of civilization and center of learning.

  • Bullies

    Bullies are a safety and health threat to more than three million school children annually. This lesson addresses ways to confront bullies, stop bullies and communicate the facts about bullying. Past Post articles, including two from KidsPost are included. A survey for administration to students and class discussion will give insight into your students awareness of and experience with bullies. “Bully for You!” covers etymology and changing language. You and Your Rights focuses on two Supreme Court cases that considered student-on-student and adult-on-student bullying. 

  • Rewards of Reading

    Whether a classic, a family favorite or a recent release, books can influence the lives of young readers. This guide offers KidsPost and Post articles, activities and resources to encourage your students to be readers, examines propaganda and sweepstakes, and provides an introduction to Board of Education, Island Trees Union Free School District v. Pico (1982). Post writer Michael Farquhar explores the use of propaganda in children’s literature in a KidsPost article.

  • Justice for Juveniles

    In March 2005, the Supreme Court held that the death penalty was unconstitutional as applied to juveniles. As the Court composition changes in late 2005, how might future rulings on issues concerning juveniles be modified? This guide considers the relationships and interests of the court system, law enforcement, news media and the public when juvenile justice is addressed. Washington Post articles from KidsPost, the Outlook section and excerpts from Metro and news sections and an ombudsman column are provided to stimulate discussion and to give examples.

  • Seedless Fruits and Vegetables

    Post science writer Rick Weiss puts the watermelon into its historic perspective and introduces the how and why of its genetically engineered seedless variety. Illustrations, glossary and an interview with a U.S. Department of Agriculture plant breeder are also provided. The suggested activities range from drawing and writing to devising recipes, to researching the development of other seedless fruits and vegetables. This online guide is related to a new series of science-focused KidsPost articles. Students ask the questions, scientists and Washington Post science writers give the answers.

  • When the Winds Blow

    After a review of hurricane basics and the historic Atlantic hurricane season, teachers may use KidsPost and Washington Post articles to discuss the influence of tropical storms and hurricanes at the personal, media, business and government levels. Washington Post articles, suggested activities, reproducibles, a crossword puzzle and other resources are provided in this guide.

  • Languages Constantly Change

    Take a look at language and the work of linguists. Activities in this guide encourage students to consider the importance of language in interpersonal communication and international exchange, to appraise the benefits and hazards of a limited knowledge of languages, and to discuss its impact on globalization. In legal and policy matters, the work of a linguist can help speakers to understand past usage and its impact on current connotation and denotation as seen in "A Linguist's Alternative History of 'Redskin.'" Two activities provide a study of etymology.

  • Poetry in the Post

    Poetry, whether found or written hard-sought word by word, allows a multitude of voices, expresses many emotions and provides insight into history and contemporary life. One doesn’t usually think of a newspaper as a textbook or resource for poetry study, but they share many of the same characteristics: brevity, conveyance of human experience and a framework for history as well as perspective on contemporary life. In April KidsPost holds it annual poetry writing contest. On April 16, 2006, Book World featured poets and poetry in celebration of its tenth anniversary.