Curriculum Guides

  • Dawn of a New World

    The commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the first permanent English settlement in America provides lessons in survival and death, cooperation and conflict, government and independent spirits. This first of a two-part Jamestown at 400 guide provides Washington Post articles, editorial cartoon, maps, illustrated Godspeed, and suggested activities for a study of Jamestown, yesterday and today. Read about and discuss the recreation of Virginia Algonquian, tobacco as the seed of empire and vice, and travel along the James River.

  • Remembering a President

    On Dec. 26, 2006, Betty Ford released in a written statement the “difficult news that Gerald Ford, our beloved husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather, has passed away at 93 years of age.” In the days that followed, the family — and the nation — would mourn and remember the 38th president of the United States, the longest living and the only one not to be elected to the presidency or the vice presidency.

  • Writing About People

    World and local leaders, celebrities and the kid across the aisle — all have the potential to amuse, instruct, exasperate and inspire you. They can be the subject of an article, a feature, a short story, play or poem. In this guide we focus on Washington Post columns (Life Is Short, A Local Life), obituaries, and KidsPost mini-profiles. This guide includes a biography project with five parts: research an American, write a news story, present an oral report, make a puppet and entertain parents in character. Bart Barnes gives a first-person account of being an obit writer at The Post.

  • The Chesapeake Bay

    The Chesapeake Bay and its watershed provide an important case study of environmental and political decisions, the interaction of communities and species, and the balance between recreation, business and natural environment. The Washington Post articles, editorial and graphics in this guide offer a wide range of avenues into a study of the Chesapeake Bay. Activities include a symposium of the animals, role playing significant roles in the clean-up effort, and a writing exercise.

  • The Foreign Correspondent

    The foreign correspondent provides eyewitness accounts, on-sight interviews and reports of the trends, events and ideas from locations around the world. This guide provides an interview with the Post’s Foreign Editor Keith Richburg and two articles written by experienced reporters that set the foundation for understanding the job of the foreign correspondent. Articles by Post foreign correspondents illustrate correspondents covering war, giving context and insight into another culture, and providing perspective and background on political actions in other countries.

  • Museum Musings

    All students should experience art — as producers, viewers and critics. Students create an artwork after reading about animals; attend an art exhibit to collect data and to evaluate works of American and international artists; and produce their own exhibit. The suggested activities and student handouts in this guide utilize KidsPost, Style & Arts and Weekend sections of The Washington Post. Activities include viewing parts of a work and completing a zigsaw puzzle to develop observation skills, writing a review, wall text and a press release, and reading about art and artists.

  • Plankton — The Drifters

    Plankton, at the bottom of the marine food chain, has emerged as an important component in scientific, technologic and economic efforts to slow climate change and confront global warming. Through lab reports, research papers, editorials, displays, debates, and research proposals, students explore the different modes of presenting their findings and perspectives to different audiences for different purposes. Steven Mufson's article from the Post Business section is the anchor piece.

  • Creating a Caring Community

    A caring environment is a precursor to a nonviolent society, tolerance of differences is a necessary component of a caring environment, and a caring environment reacts to a community problem. Staff and students of Newport Mill Middle School, recipient of one of ten 2007 National Schools of Character awards, share some ways to create a caring school community. Ellen Turverey, school counselor, and Beth Shevitz, seventh grade World Studies teacher at the Kensington, Md.

  • Sports — In Word and Image

    The Sports section of The Washington Post provides lessons in meeting deadlines, mathematics and statistics, photography and graphics, language arts and journalism, and geography. This guide encourages teachers to use the Sports section to study the work of Post reporters as models for students to write and to compare ledes, sports news and columns, to prepare charts and graphs using the scores and other data, and to read maps. Post photographer Jonathan Newton’s pointers are illustrated with his photos of high school and professional athletes.

  • Informational Graphics — The Visual Dimension

    Informational graphics communicate information quickly and accurately, explain complex ideas, and draw the reader into text. The Washington Post News Art department produces thousands of artworks each year — the maps, charts and informational graphics that help readers comprehend stories. Examples, activities and an interview with a graphics editor are provided to inspire projects, stimulate visual acuity and introduce career opportunities.