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10/8/12 Tips for Teachers

October 7, 2012
Plain English Version

Pennsylvania Voter Photo I.D. Rejected by Court

How important is voting? Classes have American citizens in them who can vote. Others are not citizens and cannot.

Is everyone in the class who is eligible to vote, registered to vote? If not, tell why not?

How many people have Photo I.D.s?

Is it reasonable to ask people to show one when they go to vote?

This story seems to make the case that politics is the reason for the controversy over photo I.D.s. The story does not describe what ‘politics’ means.

What does the word mean to them? Do they agree with the idea that politics is a way of getting what you want?

For example, politics in the workplace is a way of advancing yourself for a better job or better pay. Is it fair to “play politics?”

What to Watch For When Children Use Computers

Terms such as wireless and password and modem and virus are used in this story. They are not all defined. Is it fair to assume that the students know what these terms mean?

Have students who know the meanings explain them to the other students.

How many of the students have computers in their homes? If any do not, do they go to libraries or other places to have access to things like email?

Does this story motivate students to action? Will they go home and check on the security of their home systems? Or go to the websites mentioned in the story?

Wins and Losses for Undocumented and Domestic Workers in California

This story is about different topics: Undocumented residents and domestic workers. Can students explain the differences and similarities between the two groups? Can one person be a member of both groups?

The Governor vetoed a bill telling law enforcement people to stop turning over undocumented people stopped with minor charges to federal authorities. In the middle of the story, the police chief of Los Angeles says what?

What do students think is the reason that some states like California and New York treat undocumented residents less harshly than Alabama and Arizona?

Is it because California and New York have large immigrant populations? Is it because both states are known for a liberal attitude toward life?

Does this story seem like it favors one view over another?

Life Expectancy Goes Down for Less-Educated Whites

In the second sentence of this story, the writer uses an exclamation point!!! Why do you think this was done?

Is the chart clear? It shows a dramatic reduction in the lifespan of less educated white people, but not Hispanic or black people.

The explanations given do not seem very persuasive. Later in the story, there is another reason given. What was that reason? (Hint: a smaller number of high school drop-outs.)

Lower income people have higher rates of diabetes and obesity than the general population. Hispanics as a group are lower income yet their lifespans are increasing. Does the chart make this clear?

Why would this be happening?

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