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									                                                Weekly Guide
                                                                                                    December 18-24, 2009

This Week
in History...
4 On Dec. 18, 1892, Tchaikovsky’s ballet
The Nutcracker publicly premiered in
St. Petersburg, Russia.

4On Dec. 20, 1860, South Carolina
became the first state to secede from
the Union.

4 On Dec. 22, 1944, during the World
War II Battle of the Bulge, U.S.
Brigadier General Anthony C.
McAuliffe rejected the Germans’
demand that the Americans
surrender, writing “Nuts!” in his
official reply.

Certain aspects of language are cultural       Cover story: Penelope Cruz
and therefore difficult to translate.              Learning areas: character education, ethics, classification, media literacy
When Brigadier General McAuliffe
responded “Nuts!” to the German                In this issue of USA WEEKEND, writer      where someone shares some revealing
demand for surrender, the response had         Carol Clurman informs us that Penelope    information about her or his personal
to be explained to both the Germans as         Cruz has been a star in Spain since her   life. List ways in which the media or
well as the U.S. allies. With a partner, go    teenage years. Earlier this year, she     others could use this information
through today’s paper and find an              grabbed American attention when she       resulting in a seed of misunderstanding.
article, headline or caption that uses a       won an Oscar for her role in Vicky
uniquely American expression.                  Cristina Barcelona. It seems that the     Student lesson:
Determine what the expression is               more attention she gets, particularly     In the age of the Internet and social net-
attempting to communicate and then             from the media, the more she is           working, privacy is difficult to maintain.
rewrite it using more common English.          misunderstood.                            Although we do not experience the
Discuss how this expression reflects                                                     public scrutiny that celebrities like Cruz
American culture. Share your answer            Questions for discussion:                 do, employers are increasingly using
with the class.                                • What challenges do you think Cruz       Internet research on candidates before
                                               had to overcome working in America as     hiring. In groups of four, make a list of
Click on it:                                   a non-native English speaker?             information that probably shouldn’t be
For more on the Battle of the Bulge,           • How do misunderstandings develop        shared on the Internet, making sure to
visit:                                         between the media and celebrities         explain why. Write a paragraph of            like Cruz?                                what you learned about protecting
                                               • Find an article in today’s newspaper    your image.
                      Weekly Guide
                    Teacher’s                                                                                                Dec. 18-24, 2009

4 ways to relax during the stressful holiday season
          Learning areas: cooperative learning, cause and effect, media literacy
In this week’s HealthSmart column,             know? Who is the least stressed person            stress. Write a script for a 15-second video
Dr. Ted Mitchell gives some tips on            you know? To what do you attribute their          sharing the stresses and cures in the form
managing stress during a stressful time,       differences in stress levels?                     of a Public Service Announcement.
the holidays. First, meditation can help       • How do you relieve stress? Go through
counteract negative thoughts through           today’s paper and find an article that
concentrated attention on the present,         shows someone successfully managing
not the past or future. Second, Mitchell       their stress.
recommends biofeedback, which is a             • Why is relieving stress important? How
mind-body therapy administered by a            can stress negatively impact your life?
psychologist. Third, stress causes muscle
tension in the back and shoulders and          Student lesson:
massage can release it. Finally, exercise      Recognizing when you are stressed and
can improve mood as well as provide            how that stress impacts your physical
overall health benefits. Mitchell points       and mental health is important. In groups
out that yoga and tai chi accentuate           of three, brainstorm about what stresses
stress reduction.                              your age group endures. Next, using
                                               Mitchell’s suggestions and researching
Questions for discussion:                      some of your own, write down specific
• Who is the most stressed person you          activities peers can do to eliminate their

                                               5 Christmas songs (that make the whole world sing)
                                                                Learning areas: self-reflection, compare and contrast, evaluation

                                               Barry Manilow has two enduring tradi-             Student lesson:
                                               tions at Christmas, family and great              Manilow says that he loves the holiday
                                               tunes. Growing up poor in Brooklyn,               season because, “Things calm down,
                                               Manilow didn’t get many presents but              people are all concerned about giving,
                                               always looked forward to the Christmas            charity and spirituality, and it’s just a love-
                                               albums his stepfather would bring home.           ly time of the year.” The hustle and bustle
                                               Manilow shared his favorite songs with            of the holiday season can drown out the
                                               USA WEEKEND. The list included The                caring, generosity and love that represent
                                               Christmas Waltz, The Christmas Song, Have         this time of year. Go through today’s
                                               Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Silver Bells   paper and find an example of someone
                                               and Happy Holiday/White Christmas.                exemplifying Manilow’s holiday spirit.
                                                                                                 Next, find an example of someone
                                               Questions for discussion:                         getting caught up in the hustle and
                                               • What is your favorite Christmas                 bustle. List what the good example is
                                               memory? Why?                                      doing right and what the bad example is
                                               • What song or album do you most                  doing wrong. Finally, in a two minute
                                                attribute to the holiday season?                 quick-write, reflect on how you are doing
                                               • What holiday tradition does your family         at keeping charity and grace at the
                                               celebrate that you look forward to?               center of the season. Be specific.
                                               • Why are having traditions culturally

              Due to the timely nature of USA WEEKEND Magazine, some stories used in activities may not appear in this issue.

Monthly Theme: 21st Century Skills
People in the 21st Century live in a world controlled by technology. The access and availability of information is broader than it has
ever been. The skill of evaluating information as well as using and managing it are important.

Information comes from a variety of sources. In order to appropriately use the information, a person needs to know the bias and
purpose of the source. Biased information can still be valuable, provided it has context. As a class, determine five questions you would
need to ask yourself to determine the validity of an information source. Then, on your own find a feature in today’s newspaper (i.e. an
article, an advertisement, a letter-to-the-editor, a column). Read the feature and answer the five questions you developed as a class.
Write a paragraph evaluating the reliability of your source. On your own, go to a website you need for research on another assignment
and answer the five questions regarding that information source.






  Dec 18-24, 2009

Cover story: Penelope Cruz
Think about it:
Speaking of a scene where she had to sing, Penelope Cruz said, ”The day I had to record,
I was crying. I was terrified to have to go to the studio and record.” And then, “to have to
get to a place where you can sing and dance the number at the same time, I thought it
was impossible.”

Write about it:
Resolve is defined as a determination to do or complete something despite obstacles.
Cruz exhibited resolve in performing a difficult scene despite her fear. When have you

exhibited resolve? In the space provided below, discuss an obstacle you have faced, how
you overcame it and how it changed your attitude and behavior regarding difficulties.

                                                                                                            Talk about it:
                                                                                                 Ask your parents what obstacles they
                                                                                                faced at your age. How did they exhibit
                                                                                                  resolve and overcome them? What
                                                                                                     obstacles do they face now?

                                                                                                               Click on it:
                                                                                                For inspirational quotes regarding over-
                                                                                                         coming obstacles, visit:

  Dec. 18-24, 2009

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