Curriculum Guides

  • 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.

  • 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.