LAFS.910.WHST.1.2

Write informative/explanatory texts, including the narration of historical events, scientific procedures/ experiments, or technical processes.
  1. Introduce a topic and organize ideas, concepts, and information to make important connections and distinctions; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., figures, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.
  2. Develop the topic with well-chosen, relevant, and sufficient facts, extended definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples appropriate to the audience’s knowledge of the topic.
  3. Use varied transitions and sentence structures to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships among ideas and concepts.
  4. Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to manage the complexity of the topic and convey a style appropriate to the discipline and context as well as to the expertise of likely readers.
  5. Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone while attending to the norms and conventions of the discipline in which they are writing.
  6. Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation presented (e.g., articulating implications or the significance of the topic).
General Information
Subject Area: English Language Arts
Grade: 910
Strand: Writing Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects
Idea: Level 4: Extended Thinking &Complex Reasoning
Date Adopted or Revised: 12/10
Date of Last Rating: 02/14
Status: State Board Approved

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This benchmark is part of these courses.
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2003350: Chemistry 1 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
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2000380: Ecology (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
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2002430: Integrated Science 2 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
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2100350: Florida History (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
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2106360: Comparative Political Systems (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
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2106375: Comprehensive Law Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
2106380: Legal Systems and Concepts (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
2106390: Court Procedures (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
2106400: Court Procedures Intern (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2021 (course terminated))
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2106445: International Relations 2 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
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0703330: Greek 2 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
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0704310: Hebrew 2 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
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0705330: Italian 2 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
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0706310: Latin 2 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
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0706810: Florida's Preinternational Baccalaureate Latin 2 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
0707300: Russian 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
0707310: Russian 2 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
0707800: Florida's Preinternational Baccalaureate Russian 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2017 (course terminated))
0707810: Florida's Preinternational Baccalaureate Russian 2 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2017 (course terminated))
0708340: Spanish 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
0708350: Spanish 2 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
0709300: Spanish for Spanish Speakers 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
0709310: Spanish for Spanish Speakers 2 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
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0900320: Humanities 2 (since 1500) Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2020, 2020 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
0712300: Japanese 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond)
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0712820: Florida's Preinternational Baccalaureate Japanese 2 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond)
0713300: Portuguese 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2020, 2020 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
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0713340: Portuguese for Portuguese Speakers 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2020, 2020 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
0713350: Portuguese for Portuguese Speakers 2 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2020, 2020 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
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0714310: Foreign Language Humanities for International Studies 2 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond)
0717300: American Sign Language 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond)
0717310: American Sign Language 2 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond)
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7920020: Access Earth/Space Science (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2018, 2018 and beyond)
7920025: Access Integrated Science 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2018, 2018 and beyond)
2109315: World History for Credit Recovery (Specifically in versions: 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond)
2105355: Philosophy Honors: Ethics (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond)
2000315: Biology 1 for Credit Recovery (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond)
2000500: Bioscience 1 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond)
2002405: Integrated Science 1 for Credit Recovery (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2020 (course terminated))
2002425: Integrated Science 2 for Credit Recovery (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2020 (course terminated))
0711800: Florida’s Preinternational Baccalaureate Mandarin Chinese 1 (Specifically in versions: 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond)
0711810: Florida’s Preinternational Baccalaureate Mandarin Chinese 2 (Specifically in versions: 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond)
0708800: Florida's Preinternational Baccalaureate Spanish 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond)
0708810: Florida's Preinternational Baccalaureate Spanish 2 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond)
0705390: Florida's Preinternational Baccalaureate - Italian 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2019 (course terminated))
0705391: Florida's Preinternational Baccalaureate - Italian 2 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2019 (course terminated))
0716300: Turkish 1 - Novice Low – Novice High (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond)
0716310: Turkish 2 - Intermediate Low – Intermediate Mid (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond)
0715305: Language and Literature for International Studies 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond)
0715315: Language and Literature for International Studies 2 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond)
7921035: Fundamental United States History (Specifically in versions: 2013 - 2015, 2015 - 2017 (course terminated))
7921040: Fundamental Economics (Specifically in versions: 2013 - 2015, 2015 - 2017 (course terminated))
7921045: Fundamental United States Government (Specifically in versions: 2013 - 2015, 2015 - 2017 (course terminated))
7921030: Fundamental World History (Specifically in versions: 2013 - 2015, 2015 - 2017 (course terminated))
0713800: Florida's Preinternational Baccalaureate Portuguese 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2017 (course terminated))
0713810: Florida's Preinternational Baccalaureate Portuguese 2 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2017 (course terminated))
7921042: Fundamental Economics with Financial Literacy (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2017 (course terminated))
2100460: Eastern and Western Heritage Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2017, 2017 - 2022, 2022 and beyond)
0900305: Humanities 1 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2020, 2020 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
7921027: Access World History (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2018, 2018 and beyond)
0900315: Humanities 2 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2020, 2020 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
2100335: African-American History (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond)
0719300: Creek 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond)
0720300: Elaponke 1 (Specifically in versions: 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond)
2100336: African-American History Honors (Specifically in versions: 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond)
2100405: Holocaust History Honors (Specifically in versions: 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond)
2100365: African History Honors (Specifically in versions: 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond)
2003836: Florida's Preinternational Baccalaureate Physics 1 (Specifically in versions: 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond)
2003838: Florida's Preinternational Baccalaureate Physics 2 (Specifically in versions: 2015 and beyond)
7920022: Access Physical Science (Specifically in versions: 2016 - 2018, 2018 and beyond)
2001330: Meteorology Honors (Specifically in versions: 2016 - 2019, 2019 - 2022, 2022 and beyond)
2100345: Great Men and Women of Color Who Shaped World History (Specifically in versions: 2017 - 2022, 2022 and beyond)
2104310: Examining the African American Experience in the 20th Century (Specifically in versions: 2017 - 2022, 2022 and beyond)
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1005345: Humane Letters 1 - Literature (Specifically in versions: 2019 and beyond)

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Type: Lesson Plan

Discovering New Kiwis:

In this lesson plan, students will analyze an informational text resource intended to support reading in the content area. The article discusses research that proves there are more species and subspecies of kiwi birds than originally thought in New Zealand. The article discusses how scientists believe glaciers isolated kiwi populations. As a result, new genetic lineages were discovered by analyzing the kiwi genome.

Type: Lesson Plan

El Niño Can Spread Disease:

In this lesson plan, students analyze an informational text intended to support reading in the content area. The article discusses new research conducted by scientists showing the correlation between El Niño events and the spread of waterborne infectious diseases. The article discusses how the scientists believe Vibrio bacteria are being transported across the ocean during El Niño events, and it discusses the impact this can have on public health. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric. Numerous options to extend the lesson are also included.

 

Type: Lesson Plan

Precision Agriculture Eliminates Over-Fertilizing:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text intended to support reading in the content area. The article addresses an innovative way to determine the age of the nitrogen in corn and soybean fields. Determining nitrogen's age could help make agriculture more precise, because when farmers over-fertilize their fields, the excess can leak into water supplies. Research scientists from the University of Illinois believe they can use this new technology to identify areas that are specifically deficient in nitrogen and therefore eliminate the need to apply it uniformly. This would benefit agriculture and the environment. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric. Numerous options to extend the lesson are also included.

Type: Lesson Plan

Transport of Invasive Species:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text intended to support reading in the content area. The article describes the effects the Panama Canal expansion may have on the number of invasive species introduced to the East Coast and Gulf Coast of the United States. The article explains how ballast water and wet surface areas are the two ways the invasive species can travel from port to port. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

Heart Disease: Are You at Risk?:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text by the National Institutes of Health that addresses the risk factors for heart disease. The text is broken into three areas: risk factors that can be controlled (like smoking, high blood pressure, and obesity), risk factors that cannot be controlled (like age and family history), and emerging risk factors. This lesson plan is designed to support reading in the content area. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

Penguins in Peril:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text from National Geographic designed to support reading in the content area. The article discusses research conducted on the status of the Adelie Penguin population in Antarctica and what might happen to this species by the end of the century. Using statistical models, researchers looked at past and current data and used future climate projections to determine the fate of the Adelie's habitat. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

Antibiotic Resistant Wildlife?:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text intended to support reading in the content area. The article addresses the possibility that antibiotic resistance is spreading through ecosystems in Botswana because resistance in humans has been shared with many other organisms. Researchers found that antibiotic resistance is significantly higher in water-associated species and carnivores. Scientists believe they can use this information to increase their understanding of why and how species are becoming antibiotic-resistant, with the end goal of stopping the spread of antibiotic resistance in humans. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric. Numerous options to extend the lesson are also included.

Type: Lesson Plan

Termites to the Rescue!:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text from the National Science Foundation that discusses how termites in semi-arid ecosystems are preventing the process of desertification in these areas. The article also describes how and why scientific models are being used in this research. This lesson is designed to support reading in the content area. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

Helping the Honey Bee!:

In this lesson, students will analyze an article that discusses the problem of declining honey bee populations in the United States and lists the possible factors involved. The text then describes the study on African honey bees to determine if there are genetic or physiological causes in their positive response to the Varroa parasite. Researchers are hoping the data they gather will help them improve breeding programs or management practices in U.S. bee populations. This lesson plan is designed to support reading in the content area. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric. 

Type: Lesson Plan

Mapping the Milky Way's Dust:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text that addresses how scientists are mapping the dust of the Milky Way. The text describes how interstellar dust can tell astronomers where stars and planets are forming, where a supernova could have occurred and provide other clues to the history of our galaxy and its formation. Using a newly created 3-D mapping tool, astronomers hope to integrate data from this tool with data from other sources in order to learn more about our galaxy than ever before. This lesson is designed to support reading in the content area. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

Leptospirosis: A Serious Disease:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text intended to support reading in the content area. The NSF article describes current research into the transmission of the bacterial disease leptospirosis, with the ultimate goal of using the research to prevent future outbreaks. The article highlights the environmental conditions that increase the transmission of the disease. The lesson plan includes text-dependent questions with an answer key, a writing prompt with a sample response, and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

Bird Migration: A Risky Business:

In this lesson plan, students will analyze an informational text intended to support reading in the content area.  The article reports new findings on bird migration patterns. Recent research points to migratory birds conducting a "risk assessment" based on factors like weather and their own amount of body fat. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric. Numerous options to extend the lesson are also included.

Type: Lesson Plan

Far From Home: NASA's Year in Space Mission:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text that presents information on a year-long space mission aboard the International Space Station. This lesson is designed to support reading in the content area. The text describes the mission of studying the long-term effects of microgravity on human health. Astronaut Scott Kelley and Cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko were used in the year-long study, along with Kelly's identical twin brother, Mark Kelly, who remained on Earth and was used as a control subject. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric. Options to extend the lesson are also included.

Type: Lesson Plan

Making Weather Forecasting More Reliable through MADIS:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text that addresses a weather data assimilation system for forecasting weather. This lesson is designed to support reading in the content area. The text describes what weather data is used with this system, where it’s coming from, and who can use it. The lesson includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

A Hole in the Ozone:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text intended to support reading in the content area. The article informs readers about the ozone layer and why it was larger and lasted longer in 2015 than in previous years. Although it was unusually large, the practices that have been followed since the Montreal Protocol was enacted have actually resulted in a long-term decrease in the size of the ozone hole. The text explains the aberration and also provides general information about the ozone layer and its function in protecting human life. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric. Numerous options to extend the lesson are also included.

Type: Lesson Plan

Evolution and Natural Selection at the Top of the World :

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text addressing two issues, climate change and evolution. This informational text (designed to support reading in the content area) describes how the changing climate in the Arctic is contributing to evolutionary changing in populations of animals that live there. The lesson plan includes text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric along with ideas for extending the lesson.

Type: Lesson Plan

Exploring the Heart of the Atom:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text intended to support reading in the content area. The article explains the strides scientists at Jefferson Lab are making toward revising our view of the atom via an upgrade to their CEBAF particle accelerator. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric. Numerous options to extend the lesson are also included.

Type: Lesson Plan

Link to Evolution:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text that presents the major discovery of a nearly-intact cranial fossil of an ancient mammal from the Southern Hemisphere. The article discusses the significance of the discovery of this previously unknown mammal, a mammal scientists have named Vintana sertichi. This lesson plan is designed to support reading in the content area. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric. 

Type: Lesson Plan

Humans: The Leading Cause of Extinction:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text selected to support reading in the content area. The article describes how wildlife is impacted by natural events and by humans, focusing on scientific data gathered in the Caribbean (specifically Abaco Island). It explains how humans impact the populations of species in ecosystems and why it is important for people to understand these interactions. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric. Numerous options to extend the lesson are also included.

Type: Lesson Plan

Major Meltdown: Colorado High Peaks Losing Glaciers:

This lesson plan is designed to support reading in the content area. In this lesson, students will read a text that describes the results of a long-term study of the changes in the crysophere on Niwot Ridge, which lies at the top of the Continental Divide in the Rocky Mountains. The text describes the ways in which the cryosphere has changed due to climate change, and it also describes some of the impacts on the ecosystem and explains how the researchers gathered their data. The lesson plan includes text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, sample answers, and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

Size Does Matter: Brain Size in Mammalian Carnivores:

This lesson is designed to support reading in the content area. In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text that describes a recent experiment that helps to prove that larger brain size could indicate higher intelligence within carnivorous mammals. The research was conducted at nine U.S. zoos and included 140 animals from 39 mammalian carnivore species. The lesson plan includes text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, sample answers, and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

Climate Change: Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide:

In this lesson, students will read and analyze an informational text designed to support reading in the content area. This article describes the rise of carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere and its likely effects on the planet, including climate change and ocean acidification. The online version contains an interactive graph that supports the text.

Type: Lesson Plan

Flexing Their Mussels:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text examining scientists' studies of freshwater mussels in an attempt to develop methods for saving threatened species. Students will learn of the researchers' hope to be able to use other species that cohabitate local ecosystems to restore the threatened species. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric. Numerous options to extend the lesson are also included.

Type: Lesson Plan

Phosphorus: Fertilizer of the Sea:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text intended to support reading in the content area. The text explains how scientists worked with the National Science Foundation (NSF) to try and better understand the phosphorus cycle in marine ecosystems. The author points out that although the phosphorus cycle has been studied in the past, the work chronicled in the article has greatly expanded that understanding. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric. Numerous options to extend the lesson are also included.

Type: Lesson Plan

The Effect of Seasonal Variation, Due to Climate Change, on Grasslands:

In this lesson, students will examine how ecosystems change due to seasonal variations as they analyze an informational text explaining the process scientists used to collect data on daily changes in grasslands. Students will learn of the usefulness of this data in creating a model that allowed the scientists to predict how seasonal variation will change the grassland ecosystem. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric. Numerous options to extend the lesson are also included.

Type: Lesson Plan

Where's the Rain? Researching Drier Climates in the Southwest:

This lesson plan is designed to support reading in the content area. In this lesson, students will read a text that describes a study on the climate of the American Southwest. Using 35 years' worth of data, scientists believe a subtle shift in weather patterns is leading to drier conditions in the Southwest. The text goes on to explain the significance of this research and the challenge of connecting drier conditions in the region to climate change. The lesson plan includes text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, sample answers, and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

Empowering Zanzibar to Defeat Malaria:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text describing how one woman, Habiba, earned the title as "Zanzibar's Malaria Hunter." Habiba is one of many surveillance officers working to track, test, treat and educate the public to prevent the spread of malaria. Surveillance officers like Habiba, are helping the PMI (US President's Malaria Initiative) and the Zanzibar Malaria Elimination Program quickly respond to cases of malaria, report the data and eradicate the disease from the archipelago. "The prevalence of malaria in Zanzibar has been reduced from 25 percent in 2005 to less than 1 percent today."

The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt/scoring rubric, and answer keys.

Type: Lesson Plan

Seeking the Zika Virus:

In this lesson, students will read an informational text from the National Science Foundation. The text describes current research into the mosquitoes that carry the Zika virus, with the ultimate goal of using the research to predict and possibly prevent future outbreaks. Scientists are studying three towns in Ecuador by collecting data to help them discover the socioeconomic and environmental factors that put people most at risk for diseases carried by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, including the Zika virus. The scientists are also examining how virus transmission by these mosquitoes may be affected by climate change. This lesson is designed to support reading in the content area. The lesson plan includes text-dependent questions with an answer key, a writing prompt with a sample response, and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

It's the Circle of Life...and Water:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text intended to support reading in the content area. The article analyzes the hydrologic cycle and touches on its connection to the carbon cycle. This text describes how our understanding about the water cycle has changed over time, particularly due to information gathered in a recent study. The article gives a good representation of the scientific method and the importance of the water cycle. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a rubric. Numerous options to extend the lesson are also included.

Type: Lesson Plan

Everyday Mysteries: Why Do We Yawn?:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text that seeks to answer the question "Why do we yawn?" Students will learn that while many claims regarding the social and physiological functions of yawning have been presented from Hippocrates, 17th and 18th century scientists, and experts today, scientists have yet to reach a consensus about the answer to the title question. All the while, this frequent challenge and re-examination of scientific claims helps to strengthen scientific knowledge. This lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric, as well as options to extend the lesson.

Type: Lesson Plan

When North Becomes South:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text intended to support reading in the content area. The article explains how the National Science Foundation (NSF) is using some of their ships and equipment to study the magnetic properties of the ocean floor. The data they collect will help them better understand the phenomenon known as geomagnetic reversal. The article also includes a brief explanation of what geomagnetic reversal is. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric. Numerous options to extend the lesson are also included.

Type: Lesson Plan

Bioluminescent Millipedes Spark Bright Ideas!:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text by scientist Paul Marek, who re-charted the millipede Motyxia Bistipida's evolutionary tree based on new information about its bioluminescence. This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric. Numerous options to extend the lesson are also included.

Type: Lesson Plan

Investigating Rulers of the Reef: Coral Reef Parasites :

This lesson uses an NSF article to inform the reader about the influence of parasites on damselfish, a coral reef species. The author explains how his team determined the reason for the consistent behavior of damselfish leaving their aggressively guarded territory each morning to go to a cleaning station. He also explains how more questions arose throughout his investigation, questions like "Do these parasites carry other parasites that infect fishes?" and "Do these gnathiid parasites infect other species of fish?" This first-person account creates an interesting view of how marine research is done, including field work, lab work, and collaborating with other scientists. This lesson is designed to support reading in the content area. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

Innovative Methods: Using Drones to Study Glaciers:

In this lesson, students will read a text that describes new and creative technologies that are being used in climate research to study high-altitude glaciers and map how they are changing. The text describes the ways in which the use of drones with time-lapse thermal camera systems are being used to gather data over the Peruvian Andes more effectively than satellites or planes. The text also describes some of the researchers' early findings based on the data they have gathered through the use of these drones. The text used in this lesson is designed to support reading in the content area. The lesson includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions and a writing prompt, sample answer keys, and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

Buried in Ash: New Revelations of an Ancient Culture:

In this lesson, students read a non-fiction text as they learn of the artifacts unearthed from the remains of a Salvadoran village preserved in volcanic ash much like Pompeii. Students will discover how researchers piece together evidence to determine the significance the artifacts reveal in illustrating the daily lives of this ancient people. As students come to understand the researchers use the artifacts to infer religious, cultural and economic aspects of the Ceren village, they will answer text-dependent questions and compose a multi-paragraph writing response (sample answer keys included) asking students to describe the power of this natural disaster to destroy this ancient culture yet preserve its details for future generations to learn from.

Type: Lesson Plan

How El Niño and La Niña Affect the Weather:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. In this lesson, students will analyze a text that addresses the weather patterns of El Niño and La Niña and their effect on the varying ocean temperatures in the Pacific Ocean. The text describes the type of weather each produces over North America while explaining the differences between the two. This lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric. Options to extend the lesson are also included.

Type: Lesson Plan

Macromolecule Snack Attack:

In this MEA, students will be introduced to the four biological macromolecules through common snack foods found in vending machines. They will act as dietitians selecting and ranking snack foods based on given their nutrition labels and knowledge of the structure and function of the four biological macromolecules.

Type: Lesson Plan

Looking for the best Employment Option:

Students will reaffirm their knowledge about linear equations. Will be able to apply the concept to real life situations.

Type: Lesson Plan

The Friendly Confines or The Nat - who has the best ballpark?:

Students will use basic arithmetic, simple functions, averages, and possibly weighted averages to rank 6 Major League Baseball Parks by home field advantage. Students will write a description of their process using correct terminology and appropriate tone.

Type: Lesson Plan

Magnificent Microscope Tradeoffs MEA:

Students will learn about the four types of microscopes (compound, dissection, transmission electron, and scanning electron) and compare them using the Model Eliciting Activity, or MEA, approach. Students act as a materials selection committee who will help a teacher decide which type(s) of microscopes are best suited for his classroom.

Type: Lesson Plan

Sustainability and Tourism Location MEA:

This MEA gives the students an opportunity to learn about sustainability and then apply that knowledge to help EcoAthletica determine the location for their next sustainable tourism resort. The students will use a variety of criteria and the definition of sustainability and sustainable tourism to create a model for choosing locations.

Type: Lesson Plan

Marketing for the National Blood Pressure Association:

This MEA supports reading in the content area. Students create a model that the client can use to rank treatments for hypertension (high blood pressure) to choose the subject of their marketing campaign.

Type: Lesson Plan

Parker County Public Works Project:

Have you ever considered what sort of discussion is done before deciding to build a water park or hospital in your town or county? What about the roads? The schools? This resource is a valuable tool in teaching students about the importance of developing a thought process and about the value in public works. The students will be conducting an MEA that revolves around the premise of deciding on what is the most important public works project for Parker County, FL.

Type: Lesson Plan

Picturing World Wars: The Great War & The Greatest Generation at War:

This 3-day lesson focuses on helping students analyze propaganda posters from both world wars to better understand how the U.S. government used propaganda to acquire civilian support. Students will analyze the images and phrases used in the posters, the purpose for each poster, any biases exhibited, and even generate questions about each poster that can be used for additional research. Through analysis of the posters students will be introduced to some of the challenges America faced by going to war. For the end of lesson assessment, students will write an explanatory essay about the government's use of propaganda in these wars. The posters, graphic organizers, answer keys, and a rubric to assess student writing have been included with the lesson.

Type: Lesson Plan

Analyzing French Revolution Documents:

This lesson will expose students to a collection of primary and secondary sources from the French Revolution. Students will analyze a cartoon, a letter, governing documents and charts. As a culminating assignment, students will draft a one-page long response linking the documents to the events of the French Revolution.

Type: Lesson Plan

Life of the Party:

This activity teaches students how to determine the age of an atom using an onion, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts. Aliens from another planet left these items on our planet and need our assistance determining their age. Based on the number of layers or half lives of the "elements," the students will be able to determine their age. The students will also be able to differentiate between the three types of radioactive decay and understand why radioactive elements are harmful.

Type: Lesson Plan

Can You Read My Mind?:

This engaging activity is a fun game requiring a teacher to team up with a student and provide insider information before the activity begins. The team will cleverly involve the rest of the class in a guessing game where students must apply logic and their understanding of variables to devise questions aimed at figuring out the trick, which allows the chosen student and the teacher to always know what the other is thinking! The concept of changing one variable at a time is critical to making progress in this game of reasoning and observation.

Type: Lesson Plan

Turning Tires Model Eliciting Activity:

The Turning Tires MEA provides students with an engineering problem in which they must work as a team to design a procedure to select the best tire material for certain situations. The main focus of the MEA is applying geometric concepts through modeling.

Type: Lesson Plan

All in the Family:

This lesson allows the students to become familiar with the elements on the periodic table. The students play a game of go fish using cards they've made from index cards. The students match the cards according to their oxidation number in a similar pattern to how the game go fish is played. The students also use the index cards to make flash cards of their elements and use the cards as a study tool. The students will learn how subatomic particles and chemical characteristics determine the placement of elements on the periodic table.

Type: Lesson Plan

Amusement Park Physics:

Students will research various types of amusement park rides and use their findings to design a feasible ride of their own. They will summarize their findings and present their ride design to the class. Each student will then write a persuasive letter to a local amusement park describing the reasons their ride design is the best.

Type: Lesson Plan

Coral Reefs Surviving Despite the Odds:

This lesson uses an article from the National Science Foundation to inform the reader about the surprising results of a study done on coral reefs in Palau. The article discusses the effects that ocean acidification normally has on coral reefs and then describes the unique situation encountered in Palau. Scientists discovered coral reefs thriving in waters with a lower pH than normal. The article discusses how scientists are unsure of why these coral reefs are thriving, but future studies could reveal the answers. This lesson is designed to support reading in the content area. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

Environmental Awareness: How are Humans Impacting the Environment & What Can We Do to Help?:

In this lesson, students will examine different ways that humans are impacting ecosystems, particularly that of marine ecosystems. Links to texts on ocean pollution, oil spills, and a recent molasses spill in Honolulu Harbor are provided. Graphic organizers for students and possible answer keys to assist teachers have been included for the first two articles. Later in the lesson, students will conduct a Jigsaw activity as they learn about different ways they can help protect the environment. The summative assessment will have students conducting an explanatory writing task that will require them to synthesize what they have learned throughout the lesson. A structured rubric for grading is included. Links to additional articles on environmental topics, links to collections of articles, and ideas for extensions to the lesson are also provided.

Type: Lesson Plan

Invasive or Not?:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text that discusses new evidence regarding the status of the Arctic ground squirrel. The species was previously thought to be an invasive species on Chirikof Island off the coast of Alaska, but new evidence calls this belief into question. The lesson plan includes a vocabulary note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

Overfishing Kills Reef Systems!:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text that addresses the effects of overfishing on coral reef systems. The text explains how scientists have found that overfishing removes many of the algae-eating fish, and this causes an increase in algae growth, which leads to a microbial increase, and finally leads to coral mortality. This lesson is designed to support reading in the content area. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric. 

 

Type: Lesson Plan

Pollution Evolution - A Solution?:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text intended to support reading in the content area. The article in this lesson describes how a species of fish has adapted to lethal levels of toxic pollutants due to their high level of genetic variation, which allows them to evolve quickly. Scientists hope to use studies of these fish to understand human reactions to environmental chemicals. This lesson includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

What's that Smell? Avoiding Peers with Parasites:

In this lesson, students will analyze two informational texts intended to support reading in the content area. The primary article discusses social behavior in mandrills that helps them know when to avoid certain individuals in their community in order to prevent becoming infected with parasites. A second related text discusses adaptations in Atlantic killifish that allow them to survive in water polluted by high levels of toxins. By reading and synthesizing both texts, students will learn about adaptations that enable survival of species. This lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

Professional Development

Branching Out: Growing Literacy Skills in Writing:

Click "View Site" to open a full-screen version.

By the end of this module, teachers should be able to:

  • Label the College and Career Readiness, also known as CCR, anchor standards for Writing
  • Explain the structure and organization of the grade-specific Writing standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science and Technical Subjects
  • Use the grade-specific Writing standards to identify what students should know and be able to do

This is Module 2 of 4 in the series, "Literacy across the Content Areas: Reading and Writing to Build Content Knowledge."

Type: Professional Development

Teaching Idea

The Birthday Paradox:

The exercise detailed in this resource poses a paradox regarding birthdays. The question raised: how large does a group have to be in order to have a 50% or better probability that two or more people in the group share the same birthday? Intuitions about probability are challenged as students use their calculators to simulate random values to represent the birthdays and reach an answer.

Type: Teaching Idea

Text Resources

When Humans Begin Colonizing Other Planets, Who Should Be in Charge?:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article asks the reader to ponder the ethical issues that may arise as we travel to and colonize the rocky inner planets in our solar system. The article questions what country or organization will make the guidelines that answer these ethical questions.

Type: Text Resource

Yellowstone Ecosystem Needs Wolves and Willows, Elk and... Beavers?:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The article discusses the effects of the wolf population in Yellowstone National Park, as well as how other organisms are linked in this food web. As the wolf population decreases, the elk population increases due to lack of predation. The larger elk population decimates the willow population, a prime source of food and building for the beaver. As beaver population decreases, streams no longer deposit enough sediments. This then changes the willow population, because they are no longer able to take root in the stream.

Type: Text Resource

Against the Tide: Fish Quickly Adapt to Lethal Levels of Pollution:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The article describes the evolution of a type of fish who can survive in a human-altered, toxic environment. The text discusses possible reasons for this successful evolution and what the implications are for other species, including humans.

Type: Text Resource

This App Uses Facial Recognition Software to Help Identify Genetic Conditions:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article describes a new tool (Face2Gene) that is being used by geneticists to help identify genetic disorders. The app uploads a picture and searches databases for specific facial measurements and characteristics common to specific genetic conditions. The app sends out a list of possible conditions, as well as a metric of their likelihood.

Type: Text Resource

The Invasive Squirrel That Wasn't:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. This article describes the discovery of evidence that contradicts the notion that a specific species of squirrel was introduced to an Alaskan ecosystem. It further discusses the implication of the new evidence and challenges the current meaning of invasive species.

Type: Text Resource

Gut Check: Mandrills Sniff Poop to Avoid Peers with Parasites:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The text describes a mechanism of behavioral avoidance to help maintain health between mandrills. Mandrills use their olfactory senses in order to determine which of their peers to avoid due to parasitic infections.
Quantitative

Type: Text Resource

The Mystery of Human Blood Types:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Blood types such as the ABO group have been inherited for at least 20 million years. Despite how ancient blood groups are, scientists are still unclear as to their purpose. The ABO blood group, the most well-known of the blood groups, has enabled scientists to understand a link between blood groups and the immune system; discoveries over the last century suggest a link between blood groups and disease. Even with these findings, scientists are still unclear as to why such blood antigens evolved in the first place.

Type: Text Resource

These Itsy-Bitsy Herbivores Could Stage a Huge Coral Reef Rescue:

This informational text resource supports reading in the content area. The article implies that human interactions that raise the global temperature (climate change) can have disastrous effects on coral reefs (coral bleaching). The article explains how a discovery of other organisms filling a previously occupied niche may help to rebuild and sustain coral reefs.

Type: Text Resource

Analysis of Fossilized Antarctic Bird's 'Voice Box' Suggests Dinosaurs Couldn't Sing:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Scientists have presented new findings on the fossilized voice box called a syrinx -- and its apparent absence in non-avian dinosaur fossils of the same age. This may indicate that other non-avian dinosaurs were not able to make noises similar to the bird calls we hear today.

Type: Text Resource

Polar Bears Across the Arctic Face Shorter Sea Ice Season:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Polar bears are among the animals most affected by the seasonal and year-to-year decline in Arctic sea ice, because they rely on ice for essential activities such as hunting, traveling, and breeding. A new research study has confirmed this finding.

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Born During a Drought: Bad News for Baboons:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The article discusses how a drought affected the savanna ecosystem found in southern Kenya during 2009. It further addresses how baboons are affected later in life based on the conditions when they are born and the social status they are born into. Based on the research on baboons, the implications on human health are discussed in the latter portion of the article.

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Virus Fingered as Top Suspect in West Coast Sea Star Wasting Disease:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The National Science Foundation article discusses research on the identification and the effects of the Sea Star Associated Densovirus. The article further explains the importance of research on this virus because of its impact on the tidal ecosystems on the Pacific West Coast.

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Hibernation Season Over, Will Disease-Ridden Bats Emerge from Caves and Mines This Spring?:

This informational text resource supports reading in the content area. The article discusses the spread of White Nose Syndrome in North American bats and how bat colonies are being affected in both size and number. The article also provides a comparison between European and North American bat colonies suffering with this disease.

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NASA Moon Mission Shares Insights into Giant Impacts:

This informational text resource supports reading in the content area. The GRAIL mission is a research project tasked with studying large impact basins. Orientale basin is a giant, ringed impact crater on Earth's moon. Until now, how impact craters with rings form had not been well understood. Scientists have reconstructed Orientale's formation using data from NASA's GRAIL mission.

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Caribbean Bat Species Need 8 Million Years to Recover from Recent Extinction Waves:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article discusses how Caribbean bat species are ideal for understanding the implications of extinction and its effects on species. The article suggests that the geographic isolation of these species helps scientists to understand the causes of extinction and how long species may need to recover from natural and human impact.

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How New Zealand's Glaciers Shaped the Origin of the Kiwi Bird:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The article discusses research conducted by scientists that proves there are more species and subspecies of kiwi birds than originally thought in New Zealand. The article discusses how scientists believe glaciers isolated populations and how new genetic lineages were discovered by analyzing the kiwi genome.

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Zika's Accidental Ally: Miami's Luxury High-Rises:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The article discusses the problems that are being encountered in Miami Beach as health officials try to execute a mosquito management program. Because of the high rise buildings, the pesticides being sprayed are not necessarily reaching the intended areas. Not only are mosquitoes staying alive, but they may become resistant to the first-choice pesticides being used against them.

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What the New Superbug Means for the US:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The text describes how colistin-resistant bacteria have reached the United States, which is cause for great concern. There are currently some strains of bacteria that are resistant to all types of antibiotics. Scientists will have to develop new antibiotics if we are to continue our mostly successful fight against bacterial disease.

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New Zealand Announces Plan to Wipe Out Invasive Predators:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The text explains the new Zealand government's plan to eliminate invasive predators from the country by 2050 and the challenges that may be involved in reaching this goal. The article also describes the effects the predators have had on the native wildlife to date.

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Prairie Dogs Are Serial Killers That Murder Their Competition:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The article discusses the discovery of the white-tailed prairie dog murdering ground squirrels in cold blood in order to eliminate the competition for food. The article further highlights how the killings of the squirrels benefit the prairie dog offspring.

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What's Good for Crops Not Always Good for the Environment:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The article describes a recent development that will allow scientists to help farmers determine the precise amount of nitrogen needed for their corn and soybean fields. The research was conducted by two scientists at the University of Illinois. If farmers can pinpoint the exact amount of fertilizer needed, reducing the amount that runs off or leaches into the water supply, the better for all living organisms on Earth.

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Cholera-Like Disease 'Piggybacking' on El Nino to Reach New Shores:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The article discusses the research conducted by scientists showing the correlation between El Niño events and the spread of infectious disease. The article discusses how the scientists believe Vibrio bacteria are being transported across the ocean and the impact this can have on public health.

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Panama Canal: Superhighway for Invasive Species?:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The article describes the effects the Panama Canal expansion may have on the number of invasive species introduced to the East Coast and Gulf Coast of the United States. The article explains how ballast water and wet surface areas are the two ways the invasive species can travel from port to port.

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Antarctica Could Lose Most of Its Penguins to Climate Change:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The article discusses the research conducted on the status of the Adelie penguin population and what might happen to it by the end of the century. Using statistical models, researchers looked at current data and used future climate projections to determine the status of the Adelie's habitat.

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Wildlife Species Provide Clues to Spread of Antibiotic Resistance in Africa:

The informational text resource describes how researchers from Virginia Tech and the University of Sydney tested for resistance to 10 antibiotics among 18 wildlife species and cattle in Botswana. The results from the tests showed that antibiotic resistance is being transferred to mostly carnivores at the top of the food web. Animals that show multi-drug resistance are crocodiles, leopards, hyenas, hippos, baboons, and warthogs. There also seems to be a correlation to drug resistance and aquatic life, but only certain species. Further research should be conducted in order to understand how the resistance moves across landscapes.

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Who Is at Risk for Heart Disease?:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The text, written by the National Institutes of Health, describes the many risk factors for heart disease. The text is broken into three areas: risk factors that can be controlled (like smoking, high blood pressure, and obesity), risk factors that cannot be controlled (like age and family history), and emerging risk factors.

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Dirt Mounds Made by Termites in Africa, South America, Asia Could Prevent Spread of Deserts:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The article discusses the impact termite mounds are having on semi-arid ecosystems and the surprising realization that scientists have come to in regards to the effects of these termite mounds. The text also describes the importance of scientific modeling to predict plant growth while having termite mounds present.

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Protecting the Honey-Bearers:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The article discusses the problem of declining honey bee populations in the United States and lists the possible factors involved. The text then describes the study on African honey bees to determine if there are genetic or physiological causes in their response to the Varroa parasite. Researchers are hoping the data they gather will help them improve breeding programs or management practices in U.S. bee populations.

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All We Are is Dust in the Interstellar Wind:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The article describes cosmic dust and the effects it leaves on the galaxy when it comes in contact with astronomical phenomenon. The interstellar dust can cause a distortion of astrological observations, called reddening. This can cause false data being reported because, for one, color is used to determine the age of a star. The article addresses how astronomers have produced a 3-D map of interstellar reddening for three-quarters of the visible sky.

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Field Fever, Harvest Fever, Rat Catcher's Yellows: Leptospirosis by Any Name Is a Serious Disease:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The text describes current research into the factors that increase the rate of transmission of the bacterial disease Leptospirosis. Scientists are using research to provide tools to prevent future transmission. Scientists are studying three communities in Chile and determining what factors in each setting are contributing to the spread of the disease.

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Ten things to know about Scott Kelly’s #YearInSpace:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The article describes an ongoing NASA research project where astronaut Scott Kelly and cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko are being tested for the effects of a year-long spaceflight. However, the science of their mission spans three years: one year before they left, one year in space, and another upon their return. In addition, part of the research also includes the Twin Study; Scott’s identical twin brother, and a former astronaut, served as a human control on the ground during Scott’s year-long stay in space.

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Risk Assessment, for the Birds:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Bird migration patterns have shown to be much more complex than once thought. Birds change their patterns based on a variety of factors, recent research indicates. The article refers to this as risk assessment; it includes the availability of food, strength, and even weather. The research was completed using three different species of songbird. Researchers are hoping that understanding of these patterns will help us in our conservation efforts.

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Too Much Algae – and Too Many Microbes – Threaten Coral Reefs:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The article describes a recent study that helped researchers prove a link between overfishing to increased growth of fleshy algae to microbialization. This increase in microbes causes a depletion of the amount of oxygen dissolved in the water. In addition, the increase in microbial growth can spread disease. In conclusion, microbialization is found to be a major contributing factor to the destruction and decline of coral reef health.

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Coral Reefs Defy Ocean Acidification Odds in Palau:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The article discusses the impact that ocean acidification typically has on coral reefs in water with low pH. The text goes on to describe the surprising results of a study done on coral reefs in Palau that are thriving despite living in water with low pH. Researchers must conduct further tests to determine why this is happening, but it gives them hope that some coral reefs might be able to withstand future levels of ocean acidification.

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Annual Antarctic Ozone Hole Larger and Formed Later in 2015:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The text provides information about 2015's ozone hole, showing why it is larger this year and lasted longer than previous years. The article shows how the protective ozone layer changes with the seasons and is different each year. Although the hole is large this year, the practices that have been followed since the Montreal Protocol was enacted have allowed the ozone hole to slowly decrease, and it should be back to 1980 levels by 2070.

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NOAA's Growing Weather Observations Database Goes into Full Operations:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. This text describes NOAA’s new (established in 2015) weather collecting database system that is able to assimilate weather data from 64,000 different sources. This new system is usable by federal, state and local agencies, universities, and private companies to forecast and prepare for different kinds of weather.

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Environmental Pressures at the Top of the Earth Produce Evolutionary Impacts:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The text presents a picture of how and why animals and people living at the Arctic will start to change (due to changing climate with melting sea ice) in order to keep surviving.

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Exploring the Heart of Matter:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Under the direction of the Department of Energy, the Jefferson Laboratory is making strides in its development of a new high-speed particle accelerator. This accelerator promises to operate at double the maximum speed of existing accelerators, and it will reveal more details about the forces which bind subatomic particles inside an atom, as well as the very nature of those particles. These discoveries will help us refine our ideas about atoms and nuclei.

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Scientists Discover Fossil of Bizarre Groundhog-Like Mammal on Madagascar:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. This article describes a new research discovery of the fossil remains of a groundhog-like mammal found in Madagascar. The article details the methodology scientists employed to unearth the fossil skull and explains the insights it offers into early mammalian evolution in the Southern Hemisphere.

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Colorado High Peaks Losing Glaciers as Climate Warms:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The text describes the results of a study that show declines in ice—glaciers, permafrost, subsurface ice, and lake ice—at the Niwot Ridge in the Rocky Mountains over the past thirty years. The text describes that the researchers attribute the declines in ice to climate change. Using the results of their study, the scientists also make a startling prediction that the Arikaree Glacier in the Rocky Mountains will disappear in twenty years.

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Ancient Fossils Show Effect of Humans on Caribbean Wildlife:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article focuses on scientific data gathered in the Caribbean (specifically Abaco Island). The authors describe how wildlife is impacted by natural events and by humans, and why it is important for people to understand these interactions.

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Do Bigger Brains Make Smarter Carnivores?:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The text describes an experiment that helps to confirm that larger brain size could indicate higher intelligence within carnivorous mammals. The experiment involved 140 animals and each was given the same task of retrieving food from a locked box within 30 minutes. The results of the test show that having a larger brain really does improve an animal’s ability to solve a problem it has never encountered before.

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In Grasslands, Longer Spring Growing Season Offsets Higher Summer Temperatures:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The article describes the process the researchers use to develop a detailed model of how they predict climate change will occur in the future and what effect this will have on North American grasslands. The author explains how climate change impacts ecosystems while also providing an example of using models in science to predict future events/outcomes.

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Genetics Provide New Hope for Endangered Freshwater Mussels:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The article explains the impact of scientists’ studies on a number of freshwater mussel species and their genetic makeup. The intent of the research was to find ways of protecting threatened and endangered species of mussels. The article explains that the genetic similarities of species that cohabitate a river could lead to development of new methods of protecting mussel species.

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Revealing the Ocean's Hidden Fertilizer:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The text explains how scientists are working with the National Science Foundation (NSF) to explore the role of phosphorus, and specifically the phosphorus cycle, in marine ecosystems. The author explains what is known about the topic, what research was done, what conclusions were drawn, and the importance of the scientists' findings.

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Text Resource - Climate Change: Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The article describes the possible effects on the planet due to the rise in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, especially the implications for climate change.

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Geomagnetic Reversal: Understanding Ancient Flips and Flops in Earth's Polarity:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The article discusses how the National Science Foundation (NSF) has been using one of their ships to gather information which scientists can use to explore the process of geomagnetic reversal. The article explains the basic concept of geomagnetic reversal and how the information gathered can help in understanding it. Finally, the article discusses several different roles that scientists have taken on in the NSF's ongoing operations.

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Southwest Sliding into a New Normal: Drier Conditions:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The text describes a study on the climate of the southwestern United States. Using 35 years' worth of data, scientists believe a subtle shift in weather patterns is leading to drier conditions in the Southwest. The text goes on to explain the significance of this research and the challenge of connecting drier conditions in the region to climate change.

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Seeking Zika: Where and When Will Zika-Carrying Mosquitoes Strike Next?:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The text describes current research into the mosquitoes that carry the Zika virus, with the ultimate goal of using the research to predict and possibly prevent future outbreaks. Scientists are studying three towns in Ecuador by collecting data to help them discover the socioeconomic and environmental factors that put people most at risk for diseases carried by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, including the Zika virus. The scientists are also examining how virus transmission by these mosquitoes may be affected by climate change.

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Parasites: Rulers of the Reef:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The text informs readers about the influence of parasites on damselfish, a coral reef species. The author explains how his team determined the reason for the consistent behavior of damselfish leaving their aggressively guarded territory each morning to go to a cleaning station. Through the scientist describing how his research lead to new observations that lead to new questions and research, the text is a good example of how scientific investigations are conducted, including working collaboratively and communicating important results.

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Why Do We Yawn?:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The article seeks to answer the question, "Why do we yawn?" Scientists have yet to reach consensus about the function of yawning. Social and physiological claims about why we yawn are presented from Hippocrates, 17th and 18th century scientists, and scientists today.

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Where Does Water Go When It Doesn't Flow?:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article describes how scientific thoughts about the water cycle have changed over time, particularly due to information gathered in a recent study. The article gives a good representation of the scientific method and the importance of the water cycle.

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Zanzibar's Malaria Hunter:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The article is about a woman, Habiba, who uses a motorbike to travel to families in the villages of Zanzibar to track, test, and treat malaria patients. After receiving a text message about the location of a malaria patient, she travels to the patient and tests the patient's family to see if other family members have malaria. Then, she treats any infected family members with medicine, giving them extra medicine and insecticide-treated mosquito nets, while educating them about prevention of the disease and its transmission.

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What are El Niño and La Niña?:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The article explains what El Niño and La Niña are in terms of meteorology. It also explains the weather effects of both and a brief history of their names.

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Three Miles High: Using Drones to Study High-Altitude Glaciers:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. This text describes new and creative technologies that are being used in climate research to study high-altitude glaciers and map how they are changing. The text describes the ways in which the use of drones with time-lapse thermal camera systems are being used to gather data over the Peruvian Andes more effectively than satellites or planes. The text also describes some of the researchers' early findings based on the data they have gathered through the use of these drones.

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Buried in Ash, Ancient Salvadoran Village Shows Images of Daily Life:

This informational text is designed to support reading in the content area. It describes the remains of a Salvadoran village preserved in volcanic ash, much like Europe's Pompeii. The unearthed village reveals artifacts that illustrate the daily lives of this ancient people. The authors use artifacts to infer religious, cultural and economic aspects of the Ceren village.

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Shedding Light on Millipede Evolution:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The author tells of his success in locating and reclassifying a species of millipedes known as Motyxia bistipita. Until his rediscovery these millipedes were not known to show bioluminescence. Once he discovered this trait he was then also able to trace their evolutionary lineage and determine the reasons for the development of this ability in bipista's relatives. This article also discusses bioluminescence in other species and its important medical applications.

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Avogadro: Voice in the Wilderness:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article explains how Avogadro's hypothesis, proposed prior to the publishing of Dalton's atomic theory, was initially rejected. But his hypothesis turned out to be the key to solving many problems facing chemistry in the 1800s. The article describes how the later acceptance of his original idea changed the subject forever and even allowed for the creation of the periodic table.

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Why Tau Trumps Pi:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The author tries to convince the reader that two pi, or tau, occurs more often in mathematics than pi by itself. The author provides several examples and indicates the history behind society's choice of pi rather than tau.

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Cholera: Tracking the First Truly Global Disease:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article describes London in the mid-19th century as a filthy, foul place for an ever-increasing population as families relocated to the city hoping for work. Open reservoirs and use of the nearby Thames for raw sewage disposal was commonplace. Outbreaks of disease thrived in these environments but no causal association was made until Dr. John Snow hypothesized that cholera was transmitted by contaminated food or water. He mapped cholera deaths to sources of contaminated water, ultimately leading to improved sanitation and public health.

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In the Valley of Wolves: Reintroduction of the Wolves:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The reintroduction of wolves into Yellowstone has resulted in many changes in the ecosystem. Before the wolves were reintroduced, large elk populations destroyed aspen and willow trees, preventing their reproduction. Since wolves were reintroduced, elk have had to change their browsing behavior, allowing some vegetation to recover in certain areas. This has affected many other species, including beavers, birds, fish and insects.

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Does Sour Cream Cause Bike Accidents?:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Many people are confused about the concept of correlation versus causation. To help demonstrate the misconception in a light and humorous way, this article describes the work of Tyler Vigen. The Harvard student graphs data that are highly correlated but clearly unrelated. The "spurious correlations" help debunk the myth that if there is a correlation, then there is a causal relationship. The article emphasizes that rational human thought is essential to process the relationships and is necessary for studying statistics.

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Immune System:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The immune system's job is to defend against pathogens and keep our bodies healthy. There are a number of cell types, tissues, and organs that play a role in the immune process. The article discusses the three types of immunity: innate, adaptive, and passive. Finally, the article discusses various immune system disorders and diseases that are associated with each one.

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Periodic Table of the Elements:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This simple text explains the basics of how the periodic table is organized and summarizes the information that the table includes about each element.

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Climate's Troublesome Kids:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Did you know that climate has two not-so-nice children? Meet El Niño and La Niña, the "boy" and "girl" spawned by the global climate every 3-7 years. They can give the world a climate that's quite troublesome, depending on which one is causing the disturbance.

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A Living Fossil:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. In 1996, a team of scientists discovered a species of rodent in Laos that was new to science. In a recent study, DNA analysis places the rodent in a mammal family that was previously thought to have gone extinct over 10 million years ago. Therefore, the rodent is a "living fossil."

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Ultracold Atoms:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Most students are familiar with the four most common states of matter, but what about the 5th state of matter, the Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC for short)? This article explains what a BEC is and how researchers are exploring this unique state of matter.

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The Importance of Wastewater Treatment :

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Wastewater is being dumped into rivers, streams, and oceans, affecting not only the marine environment but also water quality in general. Better treatment processes are needed before this contaminated waste reaches our waterways. The article points out the problems faced by specific countries and their need for better management.

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The Dark Side of the Universe:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article describes how scientists discovered dark energy and dark matter. The article details the role gravity and the study of supernova played in this scientific discovery. It also explains the problems that scientists encountered in the process and the conclusion they were able to reach. The article further explains WIMP, a weakly interacting massive particle and its connection to gamma rays. It also explains how studying supernova helped scientists estimate the age of the universe. Finally, the article summarizes that dark energy still remains a mystery.

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Peru Billboard Doubles Up as an Air Purifier:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Students at a university in Peru have erected a billboard near a construction site that filters air. It uses water to rid the air of pollutants like dust, bacteria, and even metal particles. This innovative billboard purifies the same amount of air as 12,000 trees! The billboard uses recycled air and takes little energy to work. The embedded video shows the impact on the construction workers who are near the billboard.

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Humans and Squid Evolved Same Eyes Using Same Genes:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The text discusses the evolution of the eye across different types of organisms. Eyes have evolved independently several times (such as in squid vs. humans), though all animals with eyes share the Pax6 gene, which is responsible for organizing the formation of a simple eye. The evolution of the Pax6 gene, particularly in how its RNA product is spliced, is responsible for the diversity of eye types, such as the camera eye in squid.

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How Nuclear Power Works:

This informational text is intended to support reading in the content area. Nuclear power has become a suggested solution to the issue of energy dependence, but what exactly is nuclear power? This article focuses on the many aspects of nuclear power including how it's created through fission and harnessed for electricity. Discussion of the pros and cons of nuclear energy and storage methods is also covered.

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Gentoo Penguins Thrive, While Adelies and Chinstraps Falter in a Climate-Changed World:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article describes various species of penguins that are affected by warming climates in Antarctica. Tracing the penguins' genetic ancestry back to the last ice age suggests that some species' populations are increasing, while other species' populations are diminishing. This is likely due to the effects of climate change on the penguins' main food sources.

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Sun's Activity Triggers Lightning Strikes:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Researchers have found a correlation between solar wind and an increase in the number of lightning strikes near England, as much as 32% after a month-long period. They believe solar wind causes a greater number of strikes because it delivers streams of high-speed solar particles that strike Earth's atmosphere. This contrasts an earlier hypothesis that solar wind decreases lightning strikes because it deflects cosmic rays.

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Plant Detectives Dig into How Cells Grow:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Moss is being used as a model system that may hold the key to understanding how all plant and animal cells grow. This article shows how a deeper understanding of cell growth is being established: specifically, how the cytoskeleton directs growth.

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Male Faces May Have Evolved to Be Punch-Resistant:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article describes new research suggesting that human ancestors, particularly males, evolved stronger jaws that were resistant to punches. (Females, perhaps less prone to fighting, do not show this same adaptation). This contradicts earlier hypotheses, which suggested that larger jaws evolved to better consume food resources.

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The Cell's Protein Factory in Action:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The ribosome, the site of protein synthesis, is the focus of this article. The text describes how a problem-some antibiotics are targeting the ribosomes of both harmful and beneficial bacteria-is being solved by studying the movement of ribosomes during translation.

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Black Holes :

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article describes black holes: what they are, how they are formed, where they are located, what evidence there is for their existence, and what scientists still do not know about them.

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History Of Chemistry/Famous Chemists:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article describes the history of chemistry through the scientific findings and major contributions of several important chemists. These chemists, including Joseph Priestly, Dmitri Mendeleev, and Niels Bohr, discovered properties of gases and other materials, developed the Law of Conservation of Mass and the periodic table, and contributed to the development of atomic theory.

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The Certainty of Climate Change:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Our Earth's temperatures have increased over time and scientists are attributing this to human activities.

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Pesticides Spark Broad Biodiversity Loss:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article is about how agricultural pesticides are contributing to the biodiversity loss of invertebrates. Research teams examined streams in broad regions to study the effects of pesticides in those ecosystems. Up to 42% fewer species were discovered in streams that were highly contaminated. In another study, it was found that neonicotinoid insecticides accumulate in the soil at levels that kill soil invertebrates.

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Heaviest Named Element is Official:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article describes the addition of copernicium, the heaviest named element, to the periodic table. It discusses the process of validation required for elements to be named and added to the periodic table.

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Does the Rotation of the Earth Affect Toilets and Baseball Games?:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article examines the Coriolis effect-how the Earth's rotation affects moving objects-and its relationship to baseball, weather...and toilets. The author is concerned with dispelling some myths about the influence of the Coriolis effect on everyday things.

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Artistic Chemistry: A Beautiful Collaboration:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Chemistry can be an important part of creating art. This article discusses two examples of this: the presence of redox reactions in making Raku pottery, and the use of cleaning agents when creating stained glass. The process of making both types of art is described, along with the chemical reactions involved.

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Polar Bear Evolution Was Fast and Furious:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. New evidence shows that polar bears split off from their closest ancestors, brown bears, less than 500,000 years ago. This is a very short time for a large mammal to evolve. In that time, polar bears have evolved many adaptations to their specialized lifestyle, including the ability to process the large amount of fat in their seal-based diet. This is shown by their unique DNA sequence of genes related to fat processing and heart development.

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Watching Our Seas Rise:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The collective efforts of many scientists enable us to measure how fast Earth's sea levels are rising, past and present. Presently, satellites are measuring sea levels and have showed significant increases in the last 20 years due to glacial melting and the expansion of sea water. Evidence from the past shows sea levels have risen and fallen steadily with the ice ages, until a sudden spike around the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. Coastal areas and islands are expected to be most affected by rising sea levels.

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Undead-End: Fungus that Controls Zombie-Ants has own Fungal Stalker:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Zombies may seem like science fiction, but that's exactly what scientists are calling the behavior in some species of ants. This article looks at the parasitic relationship between a form of fungus and carpenter ant that causes this zombie-like behavior. It also looks at a further complication to the process as the parasitic fungus has a parasite of its own.

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Warming Arctic May Be Causing Jet Stream to Lose Its Way:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The text explains that changing weather patterns can be linked to a weakening of the jet stream. It is known that the jet stream is responsible for changeable weather patterns, and the weakening of the stream is causing weather conditions to stay in locations for longer periods of time. The article concludes that the fuel source of the jet stream (the differences in temperature between the tropics and the arctic) is becoming less dramatic, which in turn is weakening the winds.

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Havard-Smithsonian Astrophysicist Discovers New Method to Weigh Some Distant Stars:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Astrophysicist David Kipping has discovered a new method for weighing distant stars without relying on computer models. For the method to work, a star must have a planet with an orbiting moon cross in front of it, a circumstance not yet known to scientists, but it shows promise for future solar discoveries.

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Molten Salts Could Improve Fuel Economy:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This text describes a new technology that might a boost car engine's efficiency by 2% by adding ionic liquids called "molten salts" to lubricating engine oil. The addition of the molten salts has the potential to reduce millions of barrels of oils from being imported into the United States annually.

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Newly Discovered Paddle Prints Show How Ancient Sea Reptiles Swam:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area.

Scientists have found fossils in seabeds in China that are tracks left by nothosaurs, ancient sea reptiles. These tracks provide evidence that these reptiles moved by rowing their forelimbs in unison, answering a long-standing question about how they propelled themselves.

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Brewing a New Fuel Source:

Mano Misra at the University of Nevada has proposed the use of old coffee grounds to make a biodiesel fuel. The benefits include the reduction of harmful emissions that trap greenhouse gases. Misra suggests ways in which the hurdle of gathering grounds for fuel production can be overcome.

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The Infinite Struggle Against Invasive Species in the Galapagos:

The Galapagos Islands provide some of the most unique flora and fauna in the world, and the islands have served as a hot spot for modern evolutionary theory, thanks to the work of Charles Darwin. However, the island's unique biodiversity is threatened by invasive species. This article delves into the struggle we face to preserve the species which are native to the islands.

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What is the Electromagnetic Spectrum?:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article describes the entire range of light waves which constitute the electromagnetic spectrum. Excellent graphics aid in illustrating the differences in types of light. The article also uses the electromagnetic spectrum to explore the universe, from visible light to X-rays and gamma rays.

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Debate Tests Accuracy of Tree Ring Data :

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article explains the controversy surrounding the research of scientists Mann, Fuentes, and Rutherford, whose work suggests that tree rings may not be as accurate a record of past climate changes as once thought. The author explains how the reliance on one type or source of data is a limitation in science and discusses the other information available to reconstruct climates of the past.

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The Weird, Wild World of Citizen Science is Already Here:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article describes the collision course between citizens and scientists as "makers" and "hobbyists" begin aiding and supplementing the scientific community more and more. The article gives many examples of amateurs helping out on active projects, especially when science cannot dedicate the hours or money necessary to complete them.

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Meteorites May Have Sparked Life on Earth:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Scientists have formulated and tested another theory to explain how life began on Earth: meteorites crashing into the surface of the ancient planet brought with them the elements of life's building blocks. The results of the scientists' simulations are promising.

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Space Weather: Sunspots, Solar Flares & Coronal Mass Ejections :

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This text describes three kinds of solar phenomena: sunspots, solar flares, and coronal mass ejections. Each is explained in relation to its effect on the weather, climate, and technology of Earth. NASA programs that monitor the activity of the Sun are also described.

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A Fuel Cell for Home: Tested in Private Households:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute in Dresden have developed an energy-efficient fuel cell superior to combustion engines and other traditional ways of heating homes. The stacked fuel cells convert natural gas directly into electrical energy without resulting in energy loss. The fuel cell prototypes are being tried in homes and signal promise for the future.

Type: Text Resource

The Big Bang: What Really Happened at Our Universe's Birth?:

This informational text is intended to support reading in the content area. This article explains the current prevailing theory of the Big Bang by breaking it up into a timeline. At each moment after the Big Bang, the author discusses what happened and what evidence exists for it. The text also explores the mystery of what—if anything—existed before the Big Bang.

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The Unexplained Mystery of Why Hot Water Freezes Faster than Cold:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article describes the Mpemba Effect - the odd phenomenon that causes hot water to freeze faster than cold water. The author discovers how a high school student brought the Mpemba Effect to the attention of a physicists and explores potential hypotheses for the cause of the phenomenon. The author goes on to discuss some experiments that have sought to explain the Mpemba Effect, but none have done so conclusively.

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Math for Hungry Birds:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. A new study indicates that the flying patterns of hunting albatrosses may resemble mathematical designs called fractals. This article describes the basics of fractals and why scientists think the albatross may hunt in such patterns. As it turns out, many animals may use math to find food!

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Evolution Made Ridiculous Flightless Birds Over and Over:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article focuses on the evolution of ratites—large, flightless birds like the ostrich—and how they evolved to become flightless birds. New research shows that ratites evolved from common flying ancestors and that the evolutionary process occurred over and over again.

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Demystifying Gross Stuff:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. From pimples to bad breath to passing gas, this article clears up the science behind some of the gross things our bodies do—acne, bad breath, and flatulence—in an attempt to make the gross seem a little less so.

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The Human Immune System and Infectious Disease:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The text explains the importance and function of the human immune system with a detailed discussion of non-specific versus specific immunity. The text features an embedded animated component showing how vaccines work.

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Cool Jobs: Planet Protectors:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Scientists are looking into newer, futuristic technologies to help humans do less damage to our environment. This article focuses on three very exciting solutions—leafy walls, water conservation, and solar cells—that are close to becoming realities.

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World Cup Raises Epidemic Questions:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Tropical areas such as Brazil can be hotspots for communicable diseases due to warm temperatures and crowded urban spaces. There is a concern that when Brazil hosts the World Cup, mosquito-borne dengue fever may spread to its visitors. The article explores methods of pathogen transfer in a variety of venues (pilgrimages, airplanes, cruise lines) and compares these to conditions at the World Cup.

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NASA Hits Jackpot With Discovery Of 715 New Exoplanets:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article describes the methods scientists have used to discover a large range of planets that exist outside of our solar system. It then details how the technology and techniques involved in planetary identification have evolved to become more efficient. The article also explains that scientists are constantly looking for planets in a "Goldilocks Zone" that could contain liquid water, and therefore sustain life.

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How & Where Hurricanes Form:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article could be called "the life and times of hurricanes," as it explains not only the formation but also the characteristics of hurricanes, including how they gain and lose strength.

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Tornadoes Strike Again. How Do They Work?:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Tornado events seem to be increasing over the years. Computer simulations and high-resolution satellite imagery are a few of the emerging technologies that have helped us to predict and respond more rapidly to this deadly force of nature. The article gives a solid discussion of the role of latent heat and moving air in tornado formation. It also reviews energy transformations and gives an overview of several ways that people can more safely live in Tornado Alley.

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"Greener" Energy Needed Now, Group Warns:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article is based on a climate change report published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It provides another perspective on climate change from the IPCC and includes evidence and possible solutions to the problems caused by manmade pollution.

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Chemists Expand Nature's Genetic Alphabet:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article provides some of the newest and most exciting information relating to the DNA in living things. It is a synopsis of a recent experiment in which scientists were able to successfully add two new "letters" into DNA and have the cell replicate these new bases. This could lead to advances in genetics, medicine, and various other fields of study.

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"Designer" Chromosome for Brewer's Yeast Built from Scratch:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Scientists have been able to create a synthetic functioning chromosome (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) found in yeast. With this breakthrough, they might be able to create customizable bio-fuels, vaccines, or even synthetic organisms in the future.

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Urban Bees Respond to Littering by Adopting Innovative Nest-Building Techniques:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The text explains how some bees living in an urban environment have started to build their nests out of human-made materials such as plastics. Furthermore, the bees seem to prefer the materials to plants! Scientists theorize that these nests may actually prove to be safer for the bees, as they are stronger and protect against parasites.

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Could Common Earthly Organisms Thrive on Mars?:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article asks the question: could life exist on Mars? The research depicted specifically applies to a simple, single-celled organism called a methanogen, which is in the kingdom Archaea. So far, studies have shown that these types of organisms are able to survive in manipulated environments similar to the harsh conditions on Mars.

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The Calamitous Climate Responsible for Florida's Record Rainfall:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article introduces extreme rainfall as an effect of climate change that is both measurable and personal - as it occurred in our own back yard. The article discusses the storm in Pensacola before heading into information about climate change.

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Blood Does a Body Good:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article describes the components of blood (red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and plasma) including their functions and origins, along with a novel medical application for the rare blood-producing stem cells.

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The Weather on the Moon Is Wonderful! Except for One Small Thing...:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article highlights the dangers that solar flares pose to moon colonization and how humans might deal with them. It is a brief article that grabs the reader's attention and leaves him/her thinking.

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How to Win at Rock-Paper-Scissors:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article describes a new study about the game rock-paper-scissors. The study reveals that people do not play randomly; there are patterns and hidden psychology players frequently use. Understanding these potential moves can help a player increase their winning edge. As part of interpreting the results of the study, the article references the Nash equilibrium and the "win-stay lose-shift" strategy.

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International Research Team Close Human Evolution Gap with Discovery of 1.4 Million-Year-Old Fossil :

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Scientists discover a fossil which dates back 1.42 million years and shows the development of a bone not found in human fossils prior to this date.

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How Plants Evolved to Cope with Cold:

This informational text is intended to support reading in the content area. The article reports on recent research into the evolution of plants in cold climates.

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New GPM Video Dissects the Anatomy of a Raindrop :

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article by NASA explains the physical reasons why the shape of a raindrop is more bun-shaped than tear-shaped.

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The Sloth's Busy Inner Life:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article is about how scientists sought to understand why some sloths descend from trees, risking their lives, to defecate on the ground. Their research results suggest that the behavior is to increase the benefit gained from the sloth's mutualists: moths and algae.

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Introduction to Sedimentary Rock:

This informational text is intended to support reading in the content area. The article describes how sedimentary rocks are destroyed and created through the rock cycle via the processes of weathering, transportation, sorting, and deposition.

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Errors in the Movie "Jurassic Park":

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. A group of teachers asked for scientific comments on the film Jurassic Park. The article is an edited compilation of these responses--the paleontological, ecological, and biological "errors" found in the movie. The article attempts to correct many inaccuracies and misconceptions and demonstrates how scientists' backgrounds influence their interpretations.

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Tencent: China’s Hottest Tech Company:

The article describes a successful, China-based company, Tencent, and how the company's product strategy is different than similar U.S.-based companies. Additionally, the article briefly speaks on the challenges and benefits of being a business in China.

This article is also aligned with CTE standards:

  • IIT Standard 04.02: Explore and demonstrate an awareness of current trends in business and the employee's role in maintaining productive business environments in today's global workplace.
  • The International Business Program CTE Standard 26.03: Discuss the reasons why international business is important.

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How the Ingenious Mushroom Creates Its Own Microclimate:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article explains the mushroom's ability to make its own microclimate. Through convection caused by the release of water vapor, mushrooms can efficiently disperse spores.

Type: Text Resource

Deforestation: Facts, Causes & Effects:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article explains the causes and locations of deforestation and explores the environmental consequences that occur because of the practice.

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What is the Difference Between Linux and Windows?:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article describes the difference between Linux and Windows. This article aligns with IIT Standard 13.04: Explain the history and purpose of various operating systems (e.g., DOS, Windows, Mac, and Unix/Linux).

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The Hidden World under Our Feet:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article discusses the contribution that soil biodiversity has to the larger ecosystem. It addresses the consequences of the loss of soil biodiversity resulting from human activity.

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Why Did Penguins Stop Flying? The Answer Is Evolutionary:

This informational text is intended to support reading in the content area. This news article describes evidence from a recent study of seabirds that may help explain why penguins lost the ability to fly.

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Some Ducks Let Young Be Raised by Relatives:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This text is a news article describing three reproductive strategies of goldeneye ducks. The text provides evidence regarding the reasons for such behaviors and also notes how the hypotheses regarding them have changed over time.

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Swine Flu Goes Global:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article is about the swine flu. It explains where and how the virus originated, what countries it can be found in, facts about the virus, and whether a vaccine might be developed.

Type: Text Resource

Fireworks!:

This informational text is intended to support reading in the content area. The article describes the composition and workings of fireworks. Details are also given as to how the colors, lights, sounds and propulsion are produced by fireworks' components.

Type: Text Resource

Life's Little Essential:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article explains why water is so essential and the properties of water that make it critical for life on Earth.

Type: Text Resource

Monster Sunspot Larger Than Jupiter Stars in Amazing Sun Photos:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This text describes a large sunspot on the sun. It also briefly mentions some characteristics of the sun as well as the effects of the sunspots on earth.

Type: Text Resource

Probing Question: What is a Molecular Clock?:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article explains what molecular clocks are and how they are used to calculate evolutionary divergence and other evolutionary events.

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Seahorse Heads Have a 'No Wake Zone' That's Made for Catching Prey:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article explains how seahorse heads are specialized to eliminate vibrations in the water, which might alert prey to their presence.

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Skull Fossil Suggests Simpler Human Lineage:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article discusses the discovery of "Skull 5" and the traits that have led scientists to the conclusion that early Homo was a more diverse genus than realized before.

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What are the Differences between MS-DOS and Windows?:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article explains the difference between MS-DOS and Windows.

This article aligns with IIT Standard 13.04--Explain the history and purpose of various operating systems (e.g., DOS, Windows, Mac, and Unix/Linux).

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New Housecat-Size Feline Species Discovered:

This informational text is intended to support reading in the content area. The article discusses how scientists have discovered a species of Oncilla (little tiger cats) in Northeastern Brazil, which are a genetically different species than those in the rest of South America.

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Cannibalistic Mantis Invades New Zealand, Eats Natives:

This informational text is intended to support reading in the content area. The article describes a species of invasive South African Mantis. These insects have invaded New Zealand and the female of the species makes a habit of eating males that try to mate with them. Scientist are trying to uncover the reason for this attraction to the invasive species.

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The Real-Life Neuroscience Behind Zombies:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This text discusses the possible real-life brain disorders that could contribute to fictional zombie behavior. There is also a TED Talk video that explains these disorders further.

Type: Text Resource

Pimp Your PowerPoint:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This text is an online article which gives suggestions to presenters on how to create a PowerPoint presentation that is not the same-old, boring list of bullets. This article is aligned with IIT Standard 03.0- Use technology to enhance the effectiveness of communication skills and Standard 03.01- Use database, spreadsheet, and presentation software, scheduling, and integrated software packages to enhance communication.

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Easy Mobile Payments are Almost Here:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This text is about the emerging technology to use smart phones to pay for common purchases like meals, coffee, and transportation. Note: This article aligns with IIT Standard 21.03--Compare and contrast emerging technologies and describe how they impact business in the global marketplace (e.g., wireless, wireless web, cell phones, portables/handhelds, smart appliances, home networks, peer-to-peer, etc.).

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Bacteria Learn New Trick:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article shows how, through experimentation, bacteria evolve over a short period of time. The E.coli bacteria show the ability to eat a new food, citrate, after 13,000 generations of gene mutation.

Type: Text Resource

Teen Reported to Police after Finding Security Hole in Website:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This is an article about a teenager who found a security hole in a web site so reported it as a good deed; however, he was then reported to the police. It also mentions others who have been in the same situation. Note: This article aligns with IIT Standard: 18.03--Explain the emergence of a paperless society.

Type: Text Resource

Thermometers:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This text classifies the different types of thermometers, the history of each, and the advantages and disadvantages of each type.

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Bactreia and Fungi Together: A Biofuel Dream Team?:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The text describes use of bacteria and fungi to share the process of changing cellulose in corn husks to isobutanol. In contrast to current methods of producing biofuels, this process requires a simple, one bioreactor process.

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The Electromagnetic Spectrum:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The text explains the source of electromagnetic waves and surveys the types, including examples of each.

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Noble Gas Molecule Discovered in Space:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article discusses how the noble gas compound was discovered along with suggestions on how it might have formed and some of its properties.

Type: Text Resource

Are There Mysterious Forces Lurking in Our Atoms and Galaxies?:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article discusses a physicist's search for a new universal force, along with details regarding the four fundamental/universal forces (gravity, electromagnetism, strong nuclear force and weak nuclear force).

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Slug-Inspired Glue Can Heal a Broken Heart:

This informational text is intended to support reading in the content area. The article describes a new glue, mimicking the sea slug, that can be used to mend heart defects.

Type: Text Resource

New Problem Linked to 'Jet Lag':

This resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Scientists have discovered that when they disrupt waking and sleeping times in mice, their immune systems responded in a harmful way causing disease, asthma, allergies and maybe even immune disorders.

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Tiles May Help Shrink Carbon Footprint by Harnessing Pedestrian Power:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The text describes the development of floor tiles that provide a green, alternative energy source. These tiles work on the principle that pressure (footsteps) generates an electric current from certain crystals in an application of the piezoelectric effect.

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The Surprisingly Scientific Flash Behind the Fireworks:

This resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Chemists create pyrotechnics to give viewers the most spectacular fireworks show that they can by using basic chemistry concepts and physics. Readers of this article might be surprised to learn that conserving energy, preventing explosions, and cooling-down reactions are part of this process.

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What is Chemiluminescence?:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The text defines chemiluminescence as an exothermic chemical process. It contrasts endothermic and exothermic reactions. To better understand chemiluminescence, the author compares the process to incandescence and gives examples of chemiluminescence in everyday life and in nature.

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How Phase Change Materials Can Keep Your Coffee Hot:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article discusses the concept of phase change materials (PCM) and how they can be used to maintain constant temperatures through application of the Law of Conservation of Energy and energy transfer.

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The Story of Serendipity:

The article explains how some famous scientific discoveries that happened "by accident" more accurately resulted from scientific habits of mind, which allowed researchers to take full advantage of these serendipitous moments.

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Graphene: The Next Wonder Material?:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article places special attention on the properties of graphene and its future potential uses.

Type: Text Resource

Open-Cycle:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This text describes the open cycle method of converting the energy of warmed, surface seawater into electricity and the benefits of using this method.

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Discovery of New Enzyme Could Yield Better Plants for Biofuel:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The text describes the discovery of a new gene that produces an enzyme that controls lignin production in plants. Withholding the gene results in less lignin in plants and makes it easier to extract sugars used in the production of biofuels.

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Spider Webs More Effective at Snaring Electrically Charged Insects:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area.

The text describes how negatively charged spider webs attract positively charged insects. The article includes a link to an optional video and two good pictures of insects interacting with spider webs. This resource also includes text-dependent questions.

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The Lingering Clouds:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Pollution can cause thunderstorms to leave behind larger, deeper, and longer lasting clouds. This may have important effects on climate change.

Type: Text Resource

X-ray 'Eyes':

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Scientists have discovered that X-rays can be used to photograph the movement of atoms and molecules in chemical reactions (i.e., photosynthesis).

Type: Text Resource

Clue to How the Circulatory System is Wired:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The text describes the discovery of an enzyme's role in blood vessel growth and development. The enzyme may be essential for advances in cancer research.

Type: Text Resource

Oil Found in Gulf Beach Sand, Even after Cleanups:

This informational text is intended to support reading in the content area. This article discusses the unseen effects from the Gulf oil spill which lie beneath the surface of the "clean" sand along the Gulf Coast of the United States.

Type: Text Resource

Paintball: Chemistry Hits its Mark:

This informational text is intended to support reading in the content area. The article discusses how the concept of paintball originated and how it has changed into the sport of today. It also describes how the different states of matter are all present in the components of paintball.

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Blood Made Suitable For All:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The text explains how blood is classified into types based on the presence of antigens. It describes a process whereby antigens can be removed by an enzyme to make all blood types the same as the universal donor.

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Animal Cells Can Communicate by Reaching Out and Touching, UCSF Team Discovers:

This resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Scientists have discovered that animal cells can communicate by sending out thin tubes of cytoplasm called cytonemes that extend across many cells to reach a cell that will receive the signal, much like neuron communication.

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Do Diamonds Really Come from Coal?:

This resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article debunks a popular Superman myth. Even though diamonds and coal are both different forms of carbon, and pressure is a key part of turning carbon into diamonds, the author explains why Superman cannot crush coal to make diamonds. The article goes on to explain how diamonds are actually formed.

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Illuminating the Perils of Pollution, Nature's Way:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article explores the work of Dr. Edith Widder in researching animals that make light. Specifically, she has has found a way use bioluminescence to fight pollution in the Indian River Lagoon.

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How Sinkholes Form:

This informational text is intended to support reading in the content area. This article discusses how sinkholes form, ways to recognize impending sinkholes, and ways to prevent them.

Type: Text Resource

Threatened Coral Get Fishy Rescue:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article describes an experiment that was done by scientists to show how corals are being destroyed by a certain type of seaweed and how gobie fish rescue the coral.

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IVF Pioneer Wins Medicine Nobel Prize:

This informational text is intended to support reading in the content area. This article covers the topics of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), bioengineering, the scientific pioneers, and the ethical debate surrounding it.

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Meet the Oldest Member of the Human Family:

This informational text is intended to support reading in the content area. This article from Scientific American describes a fossil skull of a new genus and species of hominid thought to be 7 million years old, which was found in central Africa.

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A Century of Melaleuca Invasion in South Florida:

This informational text is intended to support reading in the content area. This article deals with the invasive exotic species of tree known as melaleuca, which is mainly an issue in Southern Florida and Everglades National Park.

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New Fossils Reveal Older Human Ancestor:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This text is about the finding of a hominid fossil that is 1.5 million years older than other hominid fossils found to date.

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Climate Change Affects Forest Floor Ecosystem:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article presents experimental results from an investigation of how the amount of rainfall, predicted by climate change models, affects fungal decomposition on the forest floor. It discusses how spiders, springtails, and fungi form an important part of the nutrient-cycling food web in a forest ecosystem and how decomposition rates are influenced by precipitation in unique ways.

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STEM Lessons - Model Eliciting Activity

Looking for the best Employment Option:

Students will reaffirm their knowledge about linear equations. Will be able to apply the concept to real life situations.

Macromolecule Snack Attack:

In this MEA, students will be introduced to the four biological macromolecules through common snack foods found in vending machines. They will act as dietitians selecting and ranking snack foods based on given their nutrition labels and knowledge of the structure and function of the four biological macromolecules.

Magnificent Microscope Tradeoffs MEA:

Students will learn about the four types of microscopes (compound, dissection, transmission electron, and scanning electron) and compare them using the Model Eliciting Activity, or MEA, approach. Students act as a materials selection committee who will help a teacher decide which type(s) of microscopes are best suited for his classroom.

Marketing for the National Blood Pressure Association:

This MEA supports reading in the content area. Students create a model that the client can use to rank treatments for hypertension (high blood pressure) to choose the subject of their marketing campaign.

Parker County Public Works Project:

Have you ever considered what sort of discussion is done before deciding to build a water park or hospital in your town or county? What about the roads? The schools? This resource is a valuable tool in teaching students about the importance of developing a thought process and about the value in public works. The students will be conducting an MEA that revolves around the premise of deciding on what is the most important public works project for Parker County, FL.

Sustainability and Tourism Location MEA:

This MEA gives the students an opportunity to learn about sustainability and then apply that knowledge to help EcoAthletica determine the location for their next sustainable tourism resort. The students will use a variety of criteria and the definition of sustainability and sustainable tourism to create a model for choosing locations.

The Friendly Confines or The Nat - who has the best ballpark?:

Students will use basic arithmetic, simple functions, averages, and possibly weighted averages to rank 6 Major League Baseball Parks by home field advantage. Students will write a description of their process using correct terminology and appropriate tone.

Turning Tires Model Eliciting Activity:

The Turning Tires MEA provides students with an engineering problem in which they must work as a team to design a procedure to select the best tire material for certain situations. The main focus of the MEA is applying geometric concepts through modeling.

Student Resources

Vetted resources students can use to learn the concepts and skills in this benchmark.

Parent Resources

Vetted resources caregivers can use to help students learn the concepts and skills in this benchmark.