As millions of Americans prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday this week, some are preparing for their annual shopping spree the day after Thanksgiving! Many retailers offer extraordinary deals the Friday after Thanksgiving in order to to lure customers to come early and begin shopping. Apparently, this strategy is working as there are already reports of eager shoppers forming lines outside their favorite retail stores “hoping to cash in on holiday bargains.” Some claim that the ever-growing hype around Black Friday deals, including the decision by many stores to open doors on the evening of Thanksgiving, has gone too far. This week we invite students to learn more about the history behind one of the biggest retail shopping days of the year and invite them to consider whether Black Friday a good thing for the economy and for people? For article titles and instructions on how to access these resources in Subtext, see below: Grades 4-5: “Confessions of a Black Friday shopaholic”, “Black Friday” Grades 6-8: “The Branding of Black Friday”, “Black Friday Is Facing Extinction” Grades 9-10: “The Origins of “Black Friday”, “5 Signs This Holiday Season Is the Most Competitive, Desperate Ever” Grades 11-12: “Spirited “Black Friday” has...
We’re like an open book.
No calm after the storm in the Philippines this week in the wake of one of the most powerful storms in recorded history. Typhoon Haiyan claimed thousands of lives, and leveled entire regions of the country, while internal and external organizations faced significant struggles in their efforts to deliver much-needed relief aid to the victims. This week's articles have embedded suggested discussion questions to encourage students to consider the natural source and human impacts of this colossal storm. To this end, we have included both background articles and videos to help educate students on the origins of hurricanes, cyclones, and typhoons.
As one author has put it, "happiness is a serious problem." Yet if you search google for the "secret to happiness", you will be flooded with endless lists, commentary, even academic studies on how to be happy. A lot of people will tell you that the secret to happiness is to buy their book! This week we want to encourage students to examine why so many are finding a link between expressing gratitude and being more happy.
This has been a tough week for the NSA as details regarding their undercover spying program, known as PRISM, have come to light. With this, many Americans have outraged to learn that the NSA has been conducting international surveillance, in the form of spying on the personal cell phones of foreign governmental dignitaries of countless foreign leaders, as well as domestic spying, by tracking U.S. citizens' mail, texts, cell phone calls, and other personal communications through the use of technology.
Halloween is one of students' favorite holidays, but do they know the history behind it? This week, we ask students to consider how learning about the history of Halloween impacts their thoughts about recent decisions by schools to cancel Halloween festivities. Given its unique history, should Halloween be considered a religious holiday? Are schools justified in canceling Halloween festivities?