Curriculum Guides

  • The Science in Discovery

    Ten years after his discovery in Italy, Otzi is back in the news. The KidsPost article, "Frozen in Time: Uncovering the 5,300-Year-Old Mysteries of the European Iceman," covers the mummy's discovery in 1991 and his cause of death revealed in July 2001 through the latest advance in x-ray technology. The lesson begins with a KWL reading activity. This task definition strategy will help students to define for themselves what they know, what they want to know and what they have learned. Discussion questions are included.

  • Media in the Time of Tragedy

    The tragic acts of terrorism of September 11, 2001, prompted the Educational Services Department of The Washington Post to provide a collection of activities, lesson plans and Web resources for teachers. We encourage teachers and publications advisers to use these unprecedented acts in the American experience to teach students how such tragedy is handled in the media. In this curriculum guide, teachers are provided three lessons. "Today's First Rough Draft of History," focuses on using the newspaper to understand terrorist attacks.

  • Muslim: Fact and Stereotype

    Stereotypes can affect individuals and influence a community as seen in the KidsPost article, "Muslim and American: Kids Worry About Anti-Arab Reaction." This curriculum guide provides discussion questions to use with the article, enrichment activities and a lesson. After reading the article, students discuss stereotypes, review basic beliefs of Muslims and engage in a group activity.

  • Insect Habitat

    Introduce your students to the world of insects, their collection, display, and identification using dichotomous keys. In the Insect Habitat curriculum guide, students will read a 1992 Post Science Notebook selection, "Entomology: Ant's Thermal Window of Opportunity," and the KidsPost article "Mister Bug: Gary Hevel Found a Wild World in His Back Yard," which focuses on one man's search for insects in his own Silver Spring, Md., back yard. Questions for discussion and close reading, Web resources and vocabulary are provided for the selections.

  • Leaves

    As students read about the changing colors of leaves in fall, they also learn about photosynthesis and the life cycle of leaves. Study questions and Web resources that provide experiments and more activities are provided to accompany the KidsPost article, "Fall Guys: Colorful Show Signals The Approach of Winter." A reproducible evaluation form can be used with the descriptive writing assignment. The Word Study looks at the etymology of photosynthesis. A reproducible gives basic information on anthocyanins, carotenoids and chlorophyll.

  • Sumatran Tiger

    After reading about the new Sumatran tiger cub and chief tiger keeper at the National Zoo, students will research rare and endangered species. "Earning His Stripes" and "Tigers in Trouble" are stimulus for further study of the five remaining subspecies of tigers and other rare and endangered animals. Teachers are provided Web and print resources, classroom activity, research assignment and a list of 130 rare and endangered animals found at the National Zoo. The Word Study focuses on "extinction." 

  • The Movie Review(er)

    "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" provides the timely vehicle to introduce the basics of movie review writing. An interview with Washington Post movie reviewer Desson Howe gives a glimpse into the life of a critic. It is clear that Howe has academic training and a love of movies. Movie trivia questions get students thinking about their own knowledge of movies and the economics of the motion picture industry. Teachers are provided guidelines for movie review writers, film vocabulary and a checklist for students to use when writing their first movie reviews.

  • Backpack Math

    Students' ubiquitous backpacks provide incentive to apply percentage in daily life. After reading KidsPost articles about the healthy weight to carry in a backpack, students are ready to complete a worksheet, engage in more math activities and participate in a week-long survey. The Word Study focuses on "carry." A crossword puzzle and a close-reading worksheet are included as well as enrichment activities.

  • Sleep

    Through articles, activities and a sleep journal, the importance of sleep is presented to students. Students read "Eyes Wide Shut: Sleeping May Be the Most Important Thing You Do Today," "Sweet Dreams" and "Word Study: a look at sleep." Students are asked to keep a six-day sleep and activity journal. Reproducible forms are provided for this and the analysis of data. Vocabulary, Web resources, a true/false quiz and word games are included.

  • 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.