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  • Originally published 06/10/2013

    Environmentalism

    Download this backgrounder as a Word documentWorth ReadingFrank Uekoetter: Global Warming – It's 1970 All Over AgainBrian Hamilton: Making “Environmentalism” Relevant for Everyone Nancy Unger: Fifty Years After “Silent Spring,” Let's Not Roll Back Environmental Protections Background

  • Originally published 06/10/2013

    Environmentalism

    Download this lesson plan as a Word document Download the handout for this lesson plan Download the PowerPoint for this lesson planThis lesson is envisioned as a two-day lesson, which can be extended to a third day, by including an additional day of preparation for the consensus building exercise, and another day for including the New Thinking on Climate Crisis enrichment video.Common Core Standards Correlation:English Language Arts Standards - History/Social Studies - Grades 6-8:Key Ideas and Details: RH.6-8.1. RH.6-8.2. RH.6-8.3.Craft and Structure: RH.6-8.4. RH.6-8.5. RH.6-8.6.Integration of Knowledge and Ideas:RH.6-8.7.Readings/Resources:

  • Originally published 04/17/2013

    Taxes

    Download this backgrounder as a Word documentWorth ReadingRay Raphael: The Income Tax Amendment Turns One Hundred and It’s Worth CelebratingIs the Income Tax Illegal?Michael Lind: What If All Sides are Wrong about Taxes?Q&A: How FDR Built Today’s Tax SystemBackgroundHow does the federal income tax – due on April 15 each year – work in the United States?It’s complicated.

  • Originally published 04/17/2013

    Gun Control

    Download this backgrounder as a Word document Worth Reading New York Times backgrounder on gun controlHNN Hot Topics: Gun ControlDo Guns Cause Crime?Background

  • Originally published 04/17/2013

    Gun Control

    Duration:  One 35-45 minute lesson.Goal:Students will understand the topic of gun control and express their opinions through a RAFT assignment. Students will participate in a lock down drill and understand the procedures.Objectives:By completing a RAFT assignment, students will identify the two major positions on gun control.Essential Question: How can gun violence be reduced?Procedures:Attention Getter:  Tell students that in 2012 alone, almost 450 people in Chicago died from something. Have them guess what it could be. After a few guesses have been made, tell students that these deaths were from gun violence. (For more information, see this article from the Chicago Sun-Times)Main Lesson:

  • Originally published 02/28/2013

    Medicare

    Download this backgrounder as a World documentWorth ReadingHNN's History of Healthcare Reform http://hnn.us/articles/hnns-history-healthcare-reformNYT Times Topic: Medicare http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/health/diseasesconditionsandhealthtopics/medicare/index.html?8qaColin Gordon: “Hands Off My Medicare: The Deadly Legacy of Social Insurance” http://hnn.us/node/122017BackgroundAs people get older, they tend to get sicker. You've probably seen this yourself with your parents and grandparents. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), those 65 and older (usually called “the elderly” in the media) are nearly twice as likely to need to take pills in order to stay healthy; they are also much more likely to require hospitalization -- in fact, the CDC estimates that nearly 25 percent of those aged 65 and up are in “fair or poor health.”

  • Originally published 02/27/2013

    Social Security

    Download this backgrounder as a Word documentWorth ReadingWhen Did Social Security Become the Third Rail of American Politics?BackgroundSocial Security is the nation's largest social program. More than 50 million people receive benefits totalling more than $600 billion a year. Originally established to provide retirement benefits, the program was extended to widows, the disabled, and children in some cases. It is estimated to keep 40 percent of the elderly out of poverty. Currently, retirement benefits are paid to people when they reach the age of 65, though younger people will have to wait until they are 66 or 67, depending on the date of their birth.

  • Originally published 02/27/2013

    Social Security

    Download this lesson plan as a Word documentDuration:  One 35-45 minute lesson.Goal:Students will understand the modern political issues associated with Social Security.Objectives:By completing a written response at the end of the lesson, students will be able to show understanding of political issues associated with Social Security.Students will participate in a Social Security simulation.Essential Question: What are the financial problems with Social Security?NCSS Themes:Theme 10- Civic Ideals and PracticesProcedures:Attention Getter: 

  • Originally published 01/17/2013

    Presidential Inaugurations

    Download this backgrounder as a Word documentWorth ReadingHNN Hot Topics: Presidential InaugurationsHighlights of Past InauguralsNixon Pigeon-Proofed His Inaugural Parade RouteBackground

  • Originally published 01/15/2013

    Presidential Inaugurations

    Download this lesson plan as a Word documentDuration:  One 35-45 minute lesson.Goal:Students will understand the purpose of inauguration day and the meaning of the events that occur.Objectives:Students will be able to identify what takes place during an inauguration.Students will be able to show understanding of inauguration day by writing their own inauguration speeches.Essential Question: What goes on during a presidential inauguration?NCSS Themes:Theme 10- Civic Ideals and PracticesProcedures:Attention Getter:

  • Originally published 01/14/2013

    Deficits and the Debt Ceiling

    Download this backgrounder as a Word document.Worth ReadingBernard Weisberger, "What History Tells Us Will Likely Happen to Those Giant Surpluses"HNN Hot Topics: Tea Party HistoryHNN Hot Topics: The Debt CeilingBackground

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