The disease known as chickenpox once affected about 90 percent of the population, especially children. Now a scientific study has found that a widely used chickenpox vaccine is highly effective after just one dose, and even more effective after two doses. Chickenpox is one of the so-called “children’s diseases” that used to hit students hard in elementary schools, leading to thousands of hospitalizations and even some deaths. Now the “varicella” chickenpox vaccine “totally prevent[s]” it, a researcher reports in the medical journal Pediatrics. The study involved more than 7,500 children over several years. As a class, talk about health issues or problems that affect children. Together, find a story in the eEdition or online about a children’s health issue. Discuss the issue and design a poster that would educate people about the issue. Chickenpox Doomed? Bats in Danger Unglamorous, but Effective Tourism is big business in the African nation of Egypt. With the Sphinx, the Pyramids and other ancient attractions, tourism provides direct jobs for more than 3 million Egyptians, income for more than 70 industries and 20 percent of the money Egypt earns from foreign countries. But not this winter. Because of the political squabbles and street violence in Cairo and other cities, tourists have been staying away from Egypt. The economy is hurting, and hotel occupancy in Cairo has fallen to below 15 percent. Also affected are taxi and horse carriage drivers, boat operators, tour guides and vendors. As a class, talk about ways that tourism helps countries or communities where tourists go. Then use the eEdition to find photos or stories about places or events that people might like to visit in your community. Write a paragraph describing one place and why people would enjoy visiting it. The bat is usually the symbol of evil in folklore and literature, but bats actually are very important to all of us. They eat huge quantities of insects, including many agricultural pests and bugs that can spread disease to humans. That’s why scientists are working hard to discover the cause and cure of a fungus disease that is devastating the population of bats in the United States. It’s called whitenose syndrome, and it is wiping out entire colonies of U.S. bats Hundreds of dead bats have been found on the floors of caves this spring. The species most affected is the little brown bat, and since 2008, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service alone has targeted $8 million for research into why a few of these creatures survive, while the rest do not. Wild animals affect the life of humans in direct and indirect ways. Find a photo or story about a wild animal in the eEdition. Use what you find to write out ways the animal affects humans directly and ways it affects humans indirectly. Write a complete sentence describing one effect. It’s easy to find exactly what you want in the eEdition by browsing the pages. Open to a page that interests you. Move your mouse over an article and click on it for a close-up view. To close the article, click on it again. Next, go to the sports section of the eEdition. Go through each page and click on each article to read the headline and the first paragraph. Choose one story that interests you the most. Write the Who, What, Where, When, Why and How of the article. An Indiana dairy farm has been hailed by the U.S. Department of Energy for a pace-setting — if unglamorous — pro- gram that saves energy. The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy has been convert- ing its endless supply of cow manure into fuel for its delivery trucks, powering 42 tractor-trailers that run daily to and from Tennessee. A $12 million “digester” at the farm processes the manure into a fuel that is used to run everything from milk- ing equipment to the farm’s gift shop. In the eEdition find photos and stories that show people using energy. Write one way the people in the story or photo could use less energy. In your writing, use evidence that you found in the eEdition. Common Core/National Standards: Engaging effectively in a range of collaborative discussions; using drawings or visual displays when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or points. Common Core/National Standards: Engaging effectively in a range of collaborative discussions; producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task, purpose and audience. Common Core/National Standards: Using prescribed technology tools for data collection and analysis; writing fluently for multiple purposes. Common Core/National Standards: Reading closely what a text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; citing specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions. Common Core/National Standards: Conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic; writing informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly. “We’ve all been 14 years old,” Norway’s education minister said, explain- ing why five schools have postponed their midterm exams, so that students can attend Justin Bieber concerts in the city of Oslo in the European country. The real reason, officials conceded, is the fear that many students would skip the exams to see their idol. Bieber, 19, is extremely popular in Norway. So much so that during a free concert last year in Oslo, dozens of teenage girls were injured fighting to get a glimpse of him. The exams have been rescheduled to a time when Bieber will be on his way elsewhere. As a class, talk about singers and movie stars who are popular with students your age. Which are the most popular with your class? Use the eEdition or Internet to research one star. Write a short biography of the person. Present it to the class. Midterms Can Wait for Justin Red Tide vs. Manatees ‘Cut My Pay’ A toxic red algae bloom has been killing off manatees in record numbers off Florida’s west coast. The state’s Fish and Wildlife Institute reports that the annual red tide has killed 241 of the state’s estimated 5.000 manatees this year, far more than the prior record of 151. What is worse, the toll appears certain to rise, because the toxin clings to sea grasses, even though the algae largely disappeared by mid-March. A manatee can consume about 100 pounds of sea grass a day. This year’s algae bloom has been especially severe and long-lasting, and no one is certain why. Environ- mental changes or changes to habitats can have great effect on wildlife. In the eEdition or online find a story or stories about wildlife facing environmental problems. Pick one and summarize what you have read, citing evidence from the text. At first, his bosses at Rutgers University thought they could “rehabilitate” basketball coach Mike Rice, who had been abusing players — verbally and physically (shoving, grabbing, etc.), but after videotapes circulated nationally, the coach was fired. The university said the dismissal resulted from new information and “a review of previously discovered issues,” but some observers and alumni fault the Rutgers administration for not acting until the videotape attracted national attention. In December, Rice had been suspended for three games and fined $50,000 for his behavior. His termination followed nationwide protests stemming from the tape, and criticism by state legislators and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. In three seasons at Rutgers, Rice’s teams had a 44-51 record, 15-16 this season. As a class, use the eEdition and Internet to find stories about Rice’s situation and firing. Use what you find to write a short editorial outlining a code of conduct for sports coaches at schools. Many eEdition articles and ads include websites so readers can learn more information about the subject, event, product or service. In the eEdition, this website shows up as a hyperlink, mean- ing you can simply click on it and your web browser will open the page. Find an article or ad in the eEdition that includes a website link. Read the article and then click on the link to learn more. Briefly write about the additional information you learned from the website. Observers are calling it the politics of self-sacrifice. Public officials from the president on down are volunteering to take pay cuts as federal workers are furloughed because of the across-the- board budget cuts known as the “sequester.” President Obama has said he’ll return to the U.S Treasury nearly 5 percent of his $400,000 annual salary. Similar pledges have been made by one Cabinet secretary after another and many members of Congress. In the eEdition find a story about the “sequester” budget cuts. Use what you read to write a summary of the latest news, citing evidence from the text. Common Core/National Standards: Conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic; writing informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly. Common Core/National Standards: Reading closely what a text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; citing specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions; writing narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events. Common Core/National Standards: Using technology tools to enhance learning and increase productivity and creativity; discussing the positive and negative impact of technologies such as computers on daily life. Common Core/National Standards: Reading closely what a text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; citing specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions; writing narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events. Common Core/National Standards: Writing opinion pieces on topics or texts, support- ing a point of view with reasons and information; engaging effectively in a range of collaborative discussions. Having regular family dinners is good for teens’ mental health, a new study shows, even if the teens don’t feel they can easily talk to their parents. The Canadian study concluded: “More frequent family dinners related to fewer emotional and behavioral problems, greater emotional well-being, more trusting and helpful behaviors toward others and higher life satisfaction.” The researchers said mealtimes are opportu- nities for open family exchanges, allowing adolescents to voice their concerns and feel valued. As a class, talk about occasions that families have meals together. How often does your family eat dinner or another meal together? Search the ads in the eEdition and plan a special meal that members of your family would like. Create a menu for the meal and write descriptions of each item, and why family members would like it. Family Dining Is Healthy Back to School Worldwide Changes Ahead The United States bans travel to the com- munist nation of Cuba, except for some professional or humanitarian purposes. Now two members of the U.S. Congress are demanding an investigation of the visit to Cuba by American pop singers Beyonce and Jay-Z during their wedding anniversary. Some critics have called the visit a propaganda mission planned and controlled by Cuban leaders, but other observers noted that it actually was a surprise to leaders of the Caribbean nation south of the U.S., because they had to provide security with just a day’s advance notice. Celebrities often call at- tention to issues or situations by making visits or statements about them. Find a celebrity in the eEdition whom you think would be a good choice to call attention to a problem. Write a paragraph describ- ing the problem and why the celebrity would be a good spokesperson. Fifteen-year-old Malala Yousafzai is back in school, but not in the south Asian nation of Pakistan. She’s enrolled in a private girls school in Birmingham, England, where she s been undergoing extensive medical treatment for grave wounds suffered when she was shot by Taliban extremists in her home country for advocating education for girls. She and her family are now living in Birmingham. “I miss my classmates from Pakistan very much,” she said, “but I am looking forward to meeting my new teachers and making new friends here in Birmingham.” Malala is now planning to write a memoir to tell people around the world “how difficult it is for some children to get access to education.” For a moment, pretend you have just moved to the United States from a less developed country like Pakistan. Go through the ads, stories and photos of the eEdition and make a list of things you would want to learn more about as a new resident. Use what you find to write a short poem or rhyme titled “I Am New…” Charts, tables and graphs are great ways to organize data in order to make better sense of it or to compare information. Because the eEdition is electronic, it’s easy to pull information to make your own charts, tables and graphs. Simply change the eEdition view from graphic to text. Next, highlight and copy the information you want to export. Finally, paste and organize the information into your chart, table or graph. Find a graph, table or map with data in the eEdition. Using the directions above, use the data to create a spreadsheet, graph or other data set. What did you learn by organiz- ing the data from the article? The middle class in developing countries is rising “at an unprecedented speed and scale,” according to a United Nations study. By 2025, the report predicts, one billion households will be earning more than $20,000 a year, and three-fifths of them will be in countries now bet- ter known for their poverty, including Rwanda, Brazil, Tunisia and Ghana. In the eEdition or online, find a story about world economic news, or economic news from another country. Write a paragraph summarizing the news and analyzing how it will affect other countries. Common Core/National Standards: Integrating information presented in different media or formats to develop a coherent understanding of a topic or issue; producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task, purpose and audience. Common Core/National Standards: Reading closely to determine what a text says explicitly and to make logical references from it; citing specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from a text. Common Core/National Standards: Using technology tools to enhance learning and increase creativity; becoming proficient with the use of technology; describing the impact of technology use on individuals at home, at school and in the workplace. Common Core/National Standards: Conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic; writing informative/ explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.