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10/22/12 Tips for Teachers

October 22, 2012
Plain English Version

Politics Behind the Student Deferment Program

When President Obama announced the deferment program for young undocumented residents, it seemed like the idea had come out of nowhere. This article talks about what was behind the decision.

It is an article about the value of political activism. Are the students familiar with the term? And some of the great political activist movements in America—

  • Labor unions in the 1930’s
  • The civil rights movement in the 1960’s
  • The anti-Vietnam war movement of the ‘60s and 1970’s
  • More recently, the movements for equality for women and marriage equality

Now, there is a growing movement to give rights to undocumented residents.

What do the students think about political action to achieve political goals such as the deferment program?

What do they know about the deferment program?

Are the students familiar with the Dream Act?

The tactics of movements are different than those used in election politics. What are some of the differences?

What if We Fall Off the “Fiscal Cliff?”

Why is it called a “fiscal cliff?”

What do economists think will happen if taxes go up and spending goes down at the end of the year?

An earlier story explained “lame duck” session. Did or will the students check it out?

Does the story explain why consumers are “not worrying?”

The federal debt is the amount of the money the federal government owes it citizens and foreign governments. When it raises the ceiling, it means it can borrow more money. The amount of debt is now $16 trillion. Anybody worried?

Counting Calories…the New National Pastime

What sport is usually called “the national pastime?” [Baseball]

Too many calories usually mean someone will gain weight. Too much weight can mean someone is obese. Being obese leads to diabetes and poor health. Does the story make it clear why calories are so important?

It seems sugary sodas are a big reason for high calorie consumption. Do the students agree that it is okay for governments to try to reduce the amount of calories people should drink?

The story mentions taxes, bans and education as ways to discourage drinking sugary beverages. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each method?

The beverage industry has a big stake in the controversy over calories. They seem to be trying to do two things – participate in informing the public about calories in their sodas and making sure the government does not ban them. Does the story make that clear?

Cutting Down the Cost of Applying to College

This is a short article that describes ways to reduce the cost of applying to college. Do the students know they may be able to take advantage of these methods? If not, why not?

Has the Internet changed the ways people can apply?

Will students link to the fee waiver site?

Are guidance counselors any help?


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