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1/14/13 Tips For Teachers

January 14, 2013
Plain English Version

WORLD NEWS: India, China, and Venezuela

This story covers political events going on in different countries. All describe public protests of actions by governments. In India, the way the government is handling a notorious gang rape; in China, the government’s attempt to suppress a newspaper; in Venezuela, a more complicated story about how to inaugurate a president who is too ill to attend the ceremony.

However, in each instance it seems there is no reliable to way to solve the problem by using existing government institutions.

In the United States, the Constitution allows citizens to the right to “petition” the government to express their concerns. And we have a long tradition of demonstrations and civil disobedience.

How would readers describe what is happening in the countries in the article? Do readers see a difference in the way we do things in the United States?

Should free speech be tolerated even if it is unpleasant? Do countries have right to suppress freedom of speech and assembly?

Celebrities Sell Sugary Soda: Is it Right?

Nutritionists say soft drinks provide empty calories. Soft drink giants, such as Pepsi and Coke are big businesses.

In the United States, a company is allowed to spend money to sell its products. Is there any conflict between freedom of the market and the wellbeing of the community?

There are limits on selling tobacco and liquor products. Rules about labeling movies and TV shows as violent, containing sexual scenes, or profane language.

Does soda fall into a category of jeopardizing public health?

Beyoncé is rich. She says she supports the first lady’s health program.  Is the story clear about the contradiction between what she says and what she does?

Are readers critical of celebrities who endorse products?

Undocumented Residents Seeking Driver’s Licenses

Dreamers granted deferment from deportation for two years continue to live in a twilight zone. Some states will offer college financial assistance, some not. Some will let them have driver’s licenses, some will not.

The federal government will let them have social security cards, but not make them eligible for college aid.

All of this is a backdrop for the coming debate on immigration reform.

Does the story make these confusing facts clear? Are there other confusing things about the status of undocumented residents? [Hint: the way states deal with the Secure Communities Program.]

Do readers know anyone granted deferment? How interested are readers in the debate about immigration?

Snacking on Healthy Foods is on the Rise

Is this story saying that Americans are trying to improve their diets?

Does it reflect what readers are doing or seeing? The story does not mention that healthy snacks are less costly than processed candy bars. Is that possibly a reason for more healthy foods being consumed?

The word “snack” is mentioned frequently. What does it mean to the reader?

What are the advantages of eating fresh fruit mentioned in the article?

What facts were cited to show that fresh fruits are being eaten more often?










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