Language Arts,

The power and potential of words is our theme. Rhetoric with rhetorical devices and rhetorical modes influences our reactions and actions. Language — adding new words, changing meanings and demoting others to footnotes. The way we express ourselves with words, communicates our culture and reflects our character.

There is always change, but 2020 was a year of extraordinary changes — global deaths due to a pandemic, marches for racial equality and justice, name changes of schools and teams, a woman of Indian and Jamaican heritage on the Democratic ticket, NASA’s return to space shuttles — and mundane curtailments that influenced culture. Students read, discuss and debate, and write about these changes and those who made a difference.

Students and teachers join in celebrating 20 years of KidsPost. They are encouraged to write profiles, news stories and comic strips; create Gyotaku prints; meet young activists; and publish a newspaper. Students also observe Bethany Beach fireflies and learn the physics of roller coasters, Ferris wheels and observation wheels. 

Winning or losing season, varsity or JV, mens or womens, all sports teams should be covered by the school media. The Washington Post provides models for writers, editors and photographers and the Society of Professional Journalists guides with a code of ethics.

Brain damage, a new competitive sport, advocacy advertisements, elder boom and young worker shortage, current global and national issues, our relationship with works and kids and an appreciation of Toni Morrison are covered in this month’s guide with suggested activities for using the Post reprints.

Current events and short, reflective pieces provide stimulus and models for student expression — and possible school community activities. Students can use these nonfiction works to analyze, interpret and practice rhetorical strategies.

 

Personal notes and business letters are important forms of communication, documentation and records for historians and sociologists. Beginning with “Dear Colleagues” letters, our You and Your Rights lesson focuses on transgender student access to school bathrooms.

The arts have shaped and been integral to cultures across the centuries. National, state and local government support and fund the arts, but not without scrutiny. Media has many approaches to inform citizens of fine and performing arts events.

Celebration of the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service includes looking back at its founding, enjoying the current protected areas — parks, monuments, historic trails and recreational areas, presidential museums, seashores, marine sanctuaries — and expanding conservation for future generations. 

Forming and asking questions is an essential skill of reporters. It has application in many life situations and career paths.

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