Weekend Section

Every Friday, WEEKEND is the guide to leisure activities around the Washington metropolitan area. There is information on where to go and what to do, along with specific reader interests such as nightlife, museums, participatory sports (fishing, skiing, hiking). Capsule reviews of theater, film, and dance enhance WEEKEND’s coverage of the arts.

WEEKEND models not only how the organization of information establishes a persuasive purpose but also how students can strive for clarity in their writing through a clear, logical structure of sentences. Additionally, WEEKEND can lead to a dynamic interaction between reader and text.

Highlights of Weekend


SHOULD YOU GO? Our quick guide to Post critics’ takes on plays, movies, and music

MUSIC MAKER Feature on a local music performance




TOM’S TAKES Restaurant recommendations from Post food critic Tom Sietsema





Listing of gallery openings and shows

Exhibit reviews

Listing of shows and openings

Exhibitions in D.C. and nearby

MOVIE REVIEWS Reviews of the most recent films to open in the area

THE FAMILY FILMGOER A guide to ages for which films are appropriate

ALSO PLAYING Brief reviews of films in area theaters and repertory

MOVIE DIRECTORY Directory of films currently on screen

NEW DVD’S Reviews of films coming out on video

ON STAGE Previews and mini-reviews of area productions

GUIDE TO THE LIVELY ARTS Where, when, how much, and contact information for theater, dinner theater, music, dance and children’s events




ON THE MOVE Stories on participatory activities or outdoor destinations

SURF’S UP/ FISH LINES/varies Listing of clubs and lessons, nature and fitness activities

SPORTS/HOBBIES Seasonal reports on sports and recreation

WHAT’S DOING Major tourist attractions in the Washington area

ET CETERA Listing of assorted activities, from festivals and seminars to bazaars and craft shows

EVENTS Highlights of upcoming events, exhibits, concerts and more

FOR FAMILIES Listing of family and children’s activities and special events

Find Family Activities


With both parents working away from home, metropolitan families often seek Saturday and Sunday activities that can be shared by all family members. In WEEKEND several features are meant to help the busy adult make family entertainment decisions. This exercise focuses on FOR FAMILIES.

For the Level 1 exercise, teachers should have Metro schedules and price information and an area map available.

Have students use the contents page to locate activities for families in the WEEKEND section. These exercises can be done individually or in groups.   The Level 1 exercise should be used as a preparation for the Level 2 exercise.


1.  Have students work in pairs to read and discuss the family activities featured in WEEKEND.

Students are to imagine that they and their partner can visit one place or participate in one activity this weekend. Have them complete the reproducible, “Weekend Activity,” on that place or activity.


Name ______________________________________________________________


Weekend Plans


Wondering what you might do on the weekend? The Weekend section of The Washington Post provides information about special programs or events that families would enjoy. Many of these are free unless a fee is listed.


1. Imagine that you can attend or visit one of the activities this weekend. What information do you need to persuade your parents or an adult that you should go together to the activity? Complete the web as you begin to organize your thoughts.


DATE______________TIME____________COST _____________



ACTIVITY _____________________________________________












2. Complete the Expense (Cost) Worksheet below to determine what to put on the “Cost” line of the web.


Expense Worksheet


$ _______ Admission or registration fee

$ _______ Transportation (Gas for the car, Metro, other)

$ _______ Meals (Lunch, Dinner)

$ _______ Snack

$ _______ Other:

$ _______ TOTAL COST


3. What will make the activity special?




2.  After completing the Level 1 reproducible, have students select a second activity for families from the WEEKEND section.  You may have students create two columns on a sheet of paper. Label one “Activity A.” Label the other column “Activity B.” In parallel columns, students will record their answers to the seven questions.

Have students compare and contrast the events using the following questions:

•Which activity is of greater interest?

•What is the cost, if any, for a child?

•Which activity is easier to get to?

•Which one have you attended before?

•Which do you think will also interest your parents or your brothers/sisters?

•At which activity might you learn something new?

•Which activity do you think will be the most fun?

Keeping these seven questions in mind, students should select the WEEKEND activity that is best for the family.  Next they should each write a paragraph to explain the choice.


3.  Ask students to examine the feature article in WEEKEND. What is the primary purpose of the article?

•To have the intended audience consider a purchase?

•To spend some time somewhere or with someone?

•To learn about history?

•To get some exercise or sports experience?

•To learn a new skill?

Lead students in a discussion to identify the primary audience for whom the feature is intended. Is the writer talking to parents of very young children, parents of teenagers, divorced parents or grandparents, for example?

If their age group is the one targeted by the activity or event described, in what ways would they suggest the article be rewritten to reflect their own interest in the activity or event more accurately? Note their suggestions and observations on the board.

Using this information and/or other personal views, students are to rewrite the feature from their own perspective. The audience now is other students. Students can consider questions such as the following to generate ideas to include in their rewrite.

•Why would the activity or event be of interest or value to me?

•What would I like to know before participating in the activity?

•What would I like to do before participating in the activity?

•What would I like to do as a follow-up to the activity?


Academic Content Standards and Skills



Reading/English Language Arts, Students will compose to inform using summary and selection of major points.


English, The student will draw conclusions and make inferences based on explicit and implied information.

Washington, D.C.

Reading/English Language Arts, Grade 4, Language as Meaning Making, The student reads and uses functional texts (e.g. instructions, directions, schedules, advertisements, signs, etc.).

Fundamental Aim:

Reinforce Interacting

Sub-skill Reinforcement:

Locating information, identifying, decision making, comparing and contrasting, analyzing, drawing conclusions


Entertainment Advertisements


The Post’s circulation in Washington’s Marylandand Virginia suburbs makes it the best selling newspaper in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia. The Post reaches 42% of households daily in the metropolitan area. Businesses that provide entertainment advertise in WEEKEND to reach these potential attendees.

For the Level 2 exercise, be sure to distinguish the role of the reviewer or film critic, who is independent in making an evaluation of a film, from the advertiser, who is promoting attendance through advertising. Before giving this exercise to students, teachers might select an advertisement for a film and a FILM CAPSULE review of the same film.

For the Level 2 exercise, you may wish to study review writing. Visit http://nie.washpost.com. Click on Lesson Plans and select The Movie Review(er). An interview with Washington Post movie reviewer Desson Howe gives a glimpse into the life of a critic. Guidelines are provided for movie review writers, film vocabulary and a checklist to give students when they are writing their reviews.


1.  Ask each student to find an advertisement for a movie that the student would like to see. Using this ad and any text accompanying it, have students respond to these questions:

•Does the ad give any clues as to what the movie is about? What are these clues?

•Which motion picture company produced the picture?

•Who stars in the picture?

•Of the theaters showing the movie, which one is closest to the student’s home?

•Has the student seen this movie advertised elsewhere? Heard about it from someone?

•What is the rating of this movie? What does this rating mean?

Have each student draw one scene which, in the student’s opinion, is likely to be in the movie.

Have students read a review or FILM CAPSULE of the movie. Was the movie reviewed in THE FAMILY FILMGOER? For what age does the movie appear to be appropriate?

Extension: Read the FAMILY FILMGOER. Discuss the rating system used for movies. Have students write why they approve/do not approve or agree/do not agree with the rating system.


2.  Have students locate the section in WEEKEND titled MOVIE REVIEWS. (Teachers of younger students may wish to use THE FAMILY FILMGOER column for this exercise.) Students will read the reviews of the “Openings” films in this column. (This will give students practice in locating information as well as reading an opinion piece.)

Students will rate their desire to see each film using the following scale:

1 = Cannot wait!

2 = Maybe

3 = Would not waste the money!

Have students share their ratings by a show of hands: All who rate this movie as a 3, as a 2 and as a 1. Record the votes on the board. Which movie receives the highest “Can’t Wait!” rating? Which movie is most likely not to be seen by anyone in the class? How might this information be shown in a graph? Have students prepare a graph that communicates their “Viewer Interest” ratings of the movies in “Openings.”

Select the movie for which there is the widest range of votes or the one that has almost the same 1, 2 and 3 votes. Discuss with students the criteria they used to determine their ratings.

Explain the role of the film critic. If film critics give a movie a low rating, will advertisements be able to get people to come to the box office? Illustrate the roles of advertisements and reviews with an example of each for the same movie.

Extension: This activity can lead into a unit focusing on the power of carefully chosen adjectives, adverbs, verbs and other vocabulary. How persuasive were the reviews?


3.  Have students look through the WEEKEND section to find these types of advertisements:


•Historic re-enactments or educational shows

•Places to eat

•Places to visit

•Sports events/equipment

Each student is to choose one advertisement that promotes a place the student has never been or suggests an activity the student has never done. Using information from the ad as well as information gained from interviewing members of the class (including the teacher) who have visited the place or done the activity, the student is to plan a budget. How much will the student and his or her family need for

•Entrance fees and tickets


•Meals and snacks


Students are to write letters in which they anticipate their experiences as if they were to visit the place or do the activity. In anticipating a visit to a restaurant, for example, students could describe the establishment’s decor, which menu offerings sound the most appealing, possibly how much the meal might cost and why they want to go to this restaurant.

If a new event is chosen, the description might include:

•Whether the activity will occur inside or outside (or both)

•What will be seen

•What will be heard

•Whether it will require walking or whether one remains seated

•How long it will last

•How much it will cost

•If it is expected to be crowded

Again, details for the descriptions will be collected from the advertisement’s information and illustrations as well as interviews with class members who have visited the place or participated in the activity. An appropriately detailed drawing could accompany the written description.

Extension: Students who actually follow through on the chosen WEEKEND activity should be encouraged to share their experience with the class the following week. Was the written/drawn anticipation of their experience accurate? What were the surprises?


Academic Content Standards and Skills



Reading/English Language Arts, Students will compose oral, written and visual presentations that express personal ideas, inform, and persuade.


English, Grade 6, The student will compare and contrast information about one topic contained in different selections. Grade 9, The student will develop narrative, expository, and informational writings to inform, explain, analyze, or entertain.

Washington, D.C.

Social Studies, Grade 11, Cultural History: Tradition, Creativity, and Diversity, The student debates U.S. society — multicultural or cultural — by analyzing the effects of mass advertising, mass media, consumption, and entertainment.

Fundamental Aim:

Reinforce Interpreting

Sub-skill Reinforcement:

Locating information, identifying, decision making, drawing conclusions, evaluating


Digging for Arts and Culture


We live in a fascinating and varied cultural landscape. Classical forms and modern expression flower in revivals and premiers of drama and music. Amateur and professional artists, vocalists and dancers abound in clubs, community shows and little theater, at Wolf Trap and the Kennedy Center.

If someone 200 years from now were to excavate and find fragments of WEEKEND, archaeologists would have a lively guide to our arts and culture.

Students might review various sections of WEEKEND and compile a list of different cultures and international influences on the entertainment option. What are the benefits of such a diverse offerings in the D.C. region?

For the Level 2 exercise, you may wish to study review writing. Visit http://nie.washpost.com . Click on Lesson Plans and select “The Movie Review(er)”. An interview with Washington Post movie reviewer Desson Howe gives a glimpse into the life of a critic. Guidelines are provided for movie review writers, film vocabulary and a checklist to give students when they are writing their reviews.


1.  Have students use the contents page of WEEKEND to locate the advertising section titled THE GUIDE TO THE LIVELY ARTS.

Review the arts that are included. These will include dance, music and theater. Lead students in a consideration of how these art forms are different from movies.

Have students list the categories of visual and performing arts included in THE GUIDE TO THE LIVELY ARTS. For example, music can be further categorized into jazz, opera, classical and rock. Discuss what this variety reveals about the people who live in the metropolitan area.

If “Auditions” are included in the GUIDE TO THE LIVELY ARTS, ask students if any of them would be interested in auditioning, or if they know someone who should audition. Are positions or roles advertised for school-age actors and musicians? Why would someone want to audition?

Review the “Children’s Events.” Are any of those listed near your school?

Extension: Have students respond to the following prompt or one similar: “The last (play, dance, concert) I attended was ... .”

Descriptions should include where the event was held, what was most memorable about the performance and why. Students should be reminded to consider performances held at their school, community center and/or church, synagogue or temple.


2.  Have students use the Inside Index at the bottom of Page 3 of WEEKEND to locate STAGE. Ask students to read the review of a play and lead them in a discussion of the reviewer’s response to the play.

After students attend a live dramatic performance (school or community-based or professional), have them draft a review of the performance. If it is not possible to attend a live performance, students may write a review of a television show. In preparing their reviews, students should be reminded of the tone, vocabulary and posture (perspective) used by the published reviewer.

Extension: Have students rewrite their reviews. They are now writing to explain early Twenty-first Century arts and culture in the D.C. metropolitan area. The performance is an example that they will use. They can use the content of WEEKEND to put the performance in perspective. (If students are reviewing a television show, they could use WHAT’S ON TODAY, the TV listings in STYLE.)


3.  Have students consider the role of archaeologists. These scientists must often piece together details of the culture and daily life of a past civilization through clues gained from a close scrutiny of the bits and pieces of the civilization’s history.

Students are to imagine that this WEEKEND section — found in 2222 — is all that is available to a team of archaeologists trying to piece together a picture of the culture that flourished in the Washington, D.C., area in the early Twenty-first Century.

Teachers could divide WEEKEND into different groups. One group has only advertisements, one has ON STAGE, another FOR FAMILIES and another ON THE MOVE or ET CETERA. Having only a fragment of the whole, what does the group conclude about the culture of the time? Have each group write its analysis. Select one person from each group to read the report to the class. Others in the group could “show” the evidence that lead to the conclusion.

Having heard all the reports, will groups modify their hypotheses? Based on the entertainment, activities and advertisements featured, what will their hypotheses be in regard to the type of people who lived here and the conditions under which they lived? Support their conclusions by citing evidence from content in WEEKEND.


Academic Content Standards and Skills



Social Studies, Grade 3, Peoples of the Nations and World, Students will describe how media provides information about cultures. Explain how a variety of cultures may contribute to society.


Social Science, The student will develop skills for historical analysis, including the ability to analyze documents, records and data (such as artifacts, diaries, letters, photographs, journals, newspapers).

Washington, D.C.

World History, Grade 10, Cultural History: Tradition, Creativity, and Diversity, Students understand the many different ways individuals have expressed their experiences, beliefs, and aspirations in art, architecture, music and literature.

Fundamental Aim:

Reinforce Developing Positive Attitudes and Personal Interests

Sub-skill Reinforcement:

Locating information, identifying, critical thinking, comparing and contrasting, drawing conclusions, evaluating