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Lesson Plan

How Do People Overcome Obstacles?

How to use TLX News

Each TLX News has four articles focused around a central theme. The theme is explored through the use of an Essential Question. This question connects the TLX News information to the world outside the classroom. The articles are related to History, Geography, Economics, or Civics. As students read the articles, they gain understandings to help them formulate a response to the Essential Question.

Each article has an activity that reinforces or extends the information. These activities are short and intended to allow students to read and respond to all four strands in 45–60 minutes. Each article may also be completed individually.


The TLX News articles are based on current events. In order to properly convey this information to students, it may be necessary to use vocabulary that is new and possibly beyond student reading levels. For this reason, vocabulary words will be posted for each article page with their definitions.

On the front page of the TLX News site, essential vocabulary will appear in a scrolled menu. This will allow you to preview words that are essential to student understanding of the content.

This Issue’s Vocabulary:

•   nominate: to choose someone to be part of a voting process
•   civil war: an armed conflict between groups within one country

•    navigate: to find a way through a place
•    harness: straps that an animal wears to fasten him or her to something

•   diagnose: to identify a disease
•   donate: to give

•    authorize: to allow something to happen
•    inequality: a lack of justice and fairness
•   resistance: to stand up against something

TLX News Journal

This booklet is designed to keep students focused on an Essential Question as they work through each TLX News issue. The front page of the TLX News Journal asks the students to think about the Essential Question before reading the TLX News articles. The Essential Question is revisited after the students read all four articles and complete the related activities. This provides several opportunities for informal assessment of student knowledge and misconceptions.

This Issue’s Essential Question: How do people overcome obstacles?

The middle pages of the TLX News Journal are divided into the four strands. This space will allow students to respond to the prompts found at the end of each article. Prompts are designed using multiple intelligences and higher order thinking skills.

This Issue’s TLX News Activities:

History: The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded to someone who made a difference in the world. Think about someone who has made a positive difference in your life. Write a brief summary of how they impacted your life.

Primary Adaptation: Have students draw a picture of someone who helps others or makes a difference. Help them write the name of the person in their journals.

Intermediate Adaptation: Have students create a thank you speech for someone who has impacted their life or the lives of others. Have them present their speeches in from of the class.

Geography: Imagine you are Chloe navigating a running trail. Write a paragraph about the things that you see as you run. Draw a map to go with your paragraph. Be sure to include a map key.

Primary adaptation: Work as a class to create a story from Chloe’s viewpoint. Have students work in pairs to create maps to go with the story.

Intermediate adaptation: Have students include a map scale on their running maps.

Civics: There are many national heroes who are not honored on the National Mall. There simply isn’t enough room! How do you think Congress decides for whom to allow memorials? Imagine you are a member of Congress. Make a list of character traits and actions that you think deserve a memorial.

Primary adaptation: Designers often use symbolism to help describe the character of the people being memorialized. Have students look at pictures of memorials and identify parts that are symbolic. Lead the class in a discussion about national symbols.

Intermediate adaptation: Have students choose a national hero who isn’t currently honored on the mall, describe the person’s contributions and character, and identify symbols that reflect the character traits they listed in their descriptions of their chosen hero.

Economics: Imagine you have your own lemonade stand. How much do you think it will cost to make the lemonade? How much will you need to charge for your lemonade in order to make more money? What will you do with the money you make? Draw an ad for your lemonade stand in your TLX News Journal.

Primary adaptation: Work as a class to make a lemonade stand business plan. Make a list of supplies for the lemonade stand and do research to determine the cost of the supplies. Have students calculate how much the lemonade will cost to make and decide how much to charge in order to make a profit. Have students draw pictures of the lemonade stand in their TLX News Journal.

Intermediate adaptation: Have students work in groups to create a full lemonade stand business plan in their TLX News Journals. Make sure they include cost of supplies and potential income.

TLX News Project

Each TLX News features an integrated lesson plan for a project-based activity. This activity connects and extends the information found in TLX News.

This Issue’s Project: Your class will choose people who have overcome obstacles and create a living museum.

  • Have students work in small groups to brainstorm people who have overcome obstacles. The people they choose may be famous figures or people they know in everyday life.
  • Next, have groups write a summary of something their chosen person did to overcome an obstacle. They may use the articles in this issue or research other articles in reference materials or on the Internet.
  • Have each group write and present a skit that tells the story of how their chosen person overcame.
  • Finally, invite other classes or parents to view the skits in a living museum format.