Literature, Literacy and Current Events

Douglas Brinkley to students: Lead a dignified life
Douglas Brinkley to students: Lead a dignified life

Sept. 21, 2018 - The life of Rosa Parks (1913-2005) was one defined by grace and grit, a combination reified in her tireless work to peacefully fight for her civil rights and the civil rights of all Americans, especially African Americans. Douglas Brinkley, author of Rosa Parks: A Life, the definitive biography of her life, eloquently delivered the Keynote Address at last Friday's Student News Net Symposium, held at the University of Iowa.

Word of the Day
dignified: adjective;related to dignity, the quality of taking the higher ground, being civil; Find it in blue in today's top story!

Writing Practice

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Text Sets

Nation pauses for Sept. 11 anniversary Nation pauses for Sept. 11 anniversary
Sept. 11, 2018 - Solemn ceremonies will be held today in New York City, at the Pentagon, and in Shanksville, Penn. to honor those killed on 9/11.

Weekly VOCAB

Week of September 17

hunker: verb; prepare for a period of adverse conditions;
Cardinals, Orioles, and Blue Jays closing out summer

imbued: verb; contained, saturated;
Stamp is a treat for philatelists

resembles: verb; looks like;
CDC: Do not eat Honey Smacks cereal

Today In History

September 21

1989: Hurricane Hugo strikes the United States at Charleston, South Carolina.

1784: Library of Congress: The nation's first daily newspaper, the Pennsylvania Packet and Daily Advertiser, began publication. The New England Courant, the first independent American newspaper was published by Benjamin Franklin's older brother in 1721. At the beginning of the Revolutionary War, 37 independent newspapers kept the colonists informed. The press contributed to the war effort by publishing broadsides, relaying information, chronicling the war, and sustaining community life.

1595: Library of Congress: Don Juan de Onate's petition and contract for the conquest of New Mexico was presented to Luís de Velasco, the viceroy of Nueva Vizcaya. Already a wealthy and prominent man, he sought to turn the Indians' wealth into his own and had requested the assignment after hearing rumors about golden cities in the vicinity. 

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Extra! Extra! Feature Article


  1. How did Norman Borlaug save the lives of one billion people through his research and work in Mexico?
  2. How is the Norman Borlaug Heritage Foundation keeping the legacy of Norman Borlaug alive?
  3. What does it mean to "literally walk in the footsteps of Dr. Norman Borlaug?"

INSPIRE Day was an exciting, informative and educational field trip for students.

I Approve This Message: Decoding Political Ads: Since 1952, political ads have aired on television during presidential elections. Seismic changes have occurred in the nation since that time but the power and punch of political ads remain the same.

Major flooding impacts Iowa: Thousands of residents in eastern and central Iowa spent the Sept. 24-25 weekend filling and placing sandbags around buildings to protect against rising water predicted to reach flood stage in many locations.
Scrumptious Salsa Science: Salsa is scrumptious, a fun food that is super nutritious, super easy to make, and super science. Learn how hydroponic vegetables are grown with Bryan Ellis from the Toledo Natural Science Technology Center. 
One Hot and Cool Topic: The Art - and Science - of Glass: Watch a master instructor of glassblowing sculpt a bowl from a gob of molten glass. 
What are the Iowa Caucuses?: Learn the history of the Iowa Caucuses through "First in the Nation," an exhibit at the Iowa Historical Museum in Des Moines. 

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Extra! Extra! Writing Practice Practice your writing skills by summarizing the information contained in the story at the left. What is the main point of the story? What are the key findings? Why is the story an important one? What are its implications? When finished, you can either print or email your document.
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