Lesson Plans for the Current Issue

COVER STORY: What We Eat (pp. 10-15)
JS SPOTLIGHT: Is It a Show or an Ad? (pp. 6-8)
AMERICAN HISTORY PLAY: Freedom Riders (pp. 16-19)

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COVER STORY: What We Eat (pp. 10-15)
NCSS STANDARD: Production, distribution, & consumption

The need for food is universal, but how people meet that need depends largely on where they live. This article looks at what families on five continents eat in a week—and the factors that shape their consumption.

  • Compare and contrast food consumption in different parts of the world.
  • Understand that the "global marketplace" has changed the diets of many people worldwide.
The Basics
  • In their book Hungry Planet, Peter Menzel and Faith D'Aluisio found enormous differences in the way people around the world feed themselves. For example, a family in North Carolina spent more than $300 to fill its pantry for a week, while a refugee family from war-torn Sudan survived on less than $2 worth of groceries and donated rations.
  • The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations defines undernourished as lacking the minimum daily calories needed for health and growth. Some 98 percent of the undernourished live in developing nations, largely in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.
  • Anticipating a global population of 9 billion by 2050 (up from 6.9 billion in 2010), the U.N. is promoting farming techniques called agro-ecology. In conventional modern farming, a giant corporate farm typically produces only one crop and uses pesticides. The crop is then shipped long distances, sometimes at a significant financial and environmental cost. In a recent report, the U.N. called for an increase in "sustainable farming"-small farms that grow a variety of foods, do not use pesticides, and whose crops are eaten locally. The question is whether that model can realistically work on a large scale.
Content-Area Questions
CULTURE/SOCIAL STUDIES: About how many people worldwide are undernourished? (nearly 1 billion)
CULTURE/SOCIAL STUDIES: Which families in the photographs do not have processed or fast foods as part of a typical week's fare? What factors do you think determine this? (the families from Ecuador, Darfur, and Guatemala; factors include income, tradition, and remoteness of location.)
CULTURE/SOCIAL STUDIES: How has the global marketplace changed what people are eating? (Many people are eating the foods of other, faraway countries.)
GEOGRAPHY: From which two neighboring countries does 55 percent of the world's cocoa come? (Ivory Coast, Ghana)
HISTORY/TECHNOLOGY: What development of the late 1800s led to changes in the way people eat? What were those changes? (the Industrial Revolution; modern methods of transportation and preservation techniques, such as refrigeration and freeze-drying)
LANGUAGE ARTS: The phrase "tides of migration" is an example of what figure of speech? (metaphor)
LANGUAGE ARTS: What might be another good title for this article? (Answers will vary.)

JS SPOTLIGHT: Is It a Show or an Ad? (pp. 6-8)

Advertisers are paying big bucks to have their products featured in TV shows, movies, and other media-and viewers don't seem to mind.

  • Recognize examples of product placement in movies, TV shows, videos, and video games.
  • Discuss how product placement can affect viewers' preferences.

The roots of "advertainment" run deep in Hollywood. In the 1930s, when movie producers needed appliances, typewriters, or other props for a scene, manufacturers were happy to provide the products for free, in return for the exposure it would provide. When radio and TV came along, manufacturers began paying to sponsor entire shows—such as the very popular Texaco Star Theater and The Colgate Comedy Hour. In fact, the first "soap operas" were radio dramas paid for by soap companies.

Talking Points

  • Is it important to be aware of product placement when you are watching a movie or TV show? Why or why not?
  • In your opinion, does product placement in a show or film affect the way viewers think about that product? Explain.
Rapid Review
  • What is meant by the term advertainment used in the article? (a blurring between ads and entertainment content)
  • What popular devices have forced TV advertisers to think beyond 30-second ads? (DVRs)
Web Links

AMERICAN HISTORY PLAY: Freedom Riders (pp. 16-19)
NCSS STANDARD: Time, continuity, & change

Fifty years ago this May, 13 young protesters set off on two buses, determined to break segregation's grip on the Deep South.

  • Commemorate the 50th anniversary of one of the civil rights movement's major events.
  • Understand how dangerous it was for people trying to secure basic civil rights for black Americans in the Deep South in the early 1960s.
In 1946, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled (in Morgan v. Virginia) that segregation on interstate buses and trains was unconstitutional. In 1960, it did the same for segregation in bus and train stations. Yet the rulings were ignored in many parts of the South.

Rapid Review
  • Which came first, the Freedom Rides or the Supreme Court ruling against segregation in interstate travel? (the Supreme Court ruling; the rides were organized because it wasn't being enforced)
  • Why did the first group of Freedom Riders take a plane instead of buses from Birmingham to New Orleans? (Because of the threat of violence along the bus route, President Kennedy had them flown out for their safety.)
  • Before the Freedom Rides, volunteers were trained in the tactics of nonviolence. What did they hope to gain-and avoid-by not fighting back? (gain: recognition that the attackers, not the protesters, were in the wrong; avoid: an escalation of violence that could spiral out of control)
Web Links

Lesson Plans from Previous Issues

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