Curriculum Guides

  • Recession Is Not Recess

    The economic reality of recession is presented through cause-and-effect relationships. In the KidsPost article, students meet a mother and daughter who represent thousands of people affected by a slowdown in the economy. The guide presents discussion questions, vocabulary, Web resources and a causal chain activity. The Word Study focuses on the Greek origin of "economy." An enrichment activity for mathematics uses unemployment data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

  • Antarctica

    Students learn about Antarctica and its early explorers as they prepare for a scientific expedition on the coldest continent. An interview with the public affairs officer onboard the U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker Polar Star supplements the KidsPost article, "Deep Freeze." The student activity encourages reading about Antarctic explorers and studying the animal life of the fifth largest continent. Vocabulary, Web and print resources and a Word Study focusing on temperature are provided.

  • Research Integrity

    Evaluating a Web site and avoiding plagiarism are the focus of the "Research Integrity" curriculum guide. After reading the KidsPost article on homework help Web sites and discussing when to use these sites, students will focus on concepts in the "But Can You Trust It?" sidebar. A reproducible, "Evaluate a Web Site," vocabulary and Web resources are provided. "Word Study: a look at plagiarism" and the reproducible "Practice in Paraphrasing" help teachers to focus attention on writing the research paper and academic honesty. 

  • The American Woman

    Students prepare a timeline and conduct an interview to understand the changing view of women in American society. In addition to discussion questions, teachers are provided Web resources and a local-women-in-sports-activity from the pages of The Washingotn Post. "Suffrage" is the focus of the Word Study. Reproducibles include a crossword puzzle and "Preparing for an Interview."

  • Ancient Civilizations in Today's World

    "Ancient Civilizations in Today's World" focuses on the remnants of ancient civilizations found on our dinner plates and in our architecture. After developing a working definition of "civilization," students read the KidsPost article for traces of ancient civilizations alive in today's world. The word find asks students to locate foods that originated in China and Central Asia and "Word Study" looks at fruits eaten by ancient civilizations. The consumer math problem asks students to buy ingredients for a Roman meal. Want to focus on architecture instead of food?

  • Circumnavigation

    Students learn about geography, weather and human stamina while reading about a round-the-world endurance sailboat race. Teachers may wish to review students' knowledge of geography and weather or introduce new terms by using the three reproducibles that divide the Volvo Ocean Race into segments: Southampton, England, to Auckland, New Zealand; Auckland to Baltimore, Maryland; and Baltimore/Annapolis to Kiel, Germany.

  • Sneaker Supply and Demand

    After a brief introduction to the history of shoes, students learn why their sneakers cost what they do. Word Study and "The History of the Sneaker" give glimpses of foot coverings through the centuries. Students are asked to design tomorrow's shoe and name it. "Girls Against Boys" gives them insight into market research. Two reproducibles are provided: "Sneaker Economics 101," a graph activity using data from 1995 and 2002 from Nike, and "A Shoe Is a Shoe Is a Shoe," a comparison-contrast writing assignment.

  • Weather Wise

    An introduction to the fundamentals of weather, "Weather Wise" includes how to read and record weather data -- using maps, legends, graphs, charts and lists. Activities use the Weather page of The Washington Post to teach about weather; to practice reading legends, maps and data; and to create graphs and stem and leaf plots. "Tools to Measure Atmosphere" and "Word Study: A Look at Weather Words" highlight the vocabulary of weather collection and description. Two word puzzles and a tornado activity are also included.

  • Pencil Points

    This comparison-contrast lesson begins as a consumer report on a modification of the pencil, an everyday object that has slowly changed over centuries. The KidsPost articles provide the historic background and process for the creation of a liquid graphite pencil. A chart for recording student evaluations is provided. After discussing and preparing graphs of their results, students create advertisements as persuasive posters and/or write a business letter. The Word Study takes a look at graphite.

  • On the Front Lines

    INSIDE Journalism: The Front Page takes a close look at the elements that compose the front page of The Washington Post. "How to... Read the Front Page" provides vocabulary, an annotated front page and activity sheet. "Timeline" features Washington Post history, 1877-1889. Pair it with "A Changing Community, A Changing Role," a collection of discussion questions and activities that are related to the late 1800s and the front page. Students can learn more about the Supreme Court and its fact-finding role in "You Be the Judge" activity written by a Marshall-Brennan Program fellow.

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