Curriculum Guides

  • 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.

  • Endemic, Epidemic or Pandemic?

    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.

  • Putting Yourself on the Map

    This guide presents activities to use with the maps that can be found daily in The Washington Post. Use them in your classes to enhance the reading of the newspaper and understanding of international and local events. Use them to help students improve their geography skills, to learn the role of environment in human activity, and to picture historical and political perspectives. Post cartographer Richard Furno gives insight into map making.

  • How Clean Is Your School?

    School safety includes an awareness of germs and the prevention of illness. Students explore the smallest microbes, cleaning methods and their treatment of their schools’ custodial staff in this guide. Students are provided Post articles about the Redskins locker room, a local high school’s football player, care of wind instruments and a hotel’s response to norovirus, and KidsPost’s articles about bacteria and a student in Japan. Discussion questions, a word find and writing projects are included.

  • Inventing America:Jamestown at 400, Part II

    The commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the first permanent English settlement in America provides lessons in survival and death, cooperation and conflict, culture and archaeology, government and independent spirits. This second of a two-part Jamestown at 400 guide provides Washington Post articles, illustrated bio of a young Jamestown settler, an archaeologist’s profile, and suggested activities for a study of Jamestown, yesterday and today.