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From My House to the White House


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Grades 2-up

News Content

One boy walked 668 miles this summer to draw attention to the plight of homeless children.

Anticipation Guide

Reading the News

You might use a variety of approaches to reading the news:

Read aloud the news story to students as they follow along.

Students might first read the news story to themselves; then you might call on individual students to read sections of the news aloud for the class.

Photocopy the news story onto a transparency and project it onto a screen. (Or use your classroom computer's projector to project the story.) Read the story aloud as a class, or ask students to take turns reading it.

Arrange students into small groups. Each student in the group will read a paragraph of the story. As that student reads, others might underline important information or write notes in the margin of the story. After each student finishes reading, others in the group might say something -- a comment, a question, a clarification -- about the text.

Write on a board or chart the expression Things I Take for Granted. Ask students to define what take for granted means (accept reasoned responses such as things we cant imagine living without, things we assume we will always have, and so on). Then invite them to list some of the things that they might take for granted in their own lives. The students list might include things such as electricity, food, family, warmth... Do their lists include things like computer access, a Game Boy, two parents, and an allowance?

News Words

Next, introduce these words that appear in the News Word Box on the students printable page: attention, comfortable, segment, and capital. Discuss the meanings of any of those words that might be unfamiliar. Then ask students to use one of those words to complete each of these sentences:

  • I didnt get much sleep last night because the hotel room bed was not very _____. (comfortable)
  • Do you know which city is the _____ of Texas? (capital [note: the capital of Texas is Austin])
  • I never found out who won the game because the last _____ of the TV game show was interrupted by late-breaking news. (segment)
  • The U.S. Senate has been devoting a lot of _____ to the issue of healthcare. (attention)
  • Read the News

    Click for a printable version of this weeks student activity page From My House to the White House.

    More Facts to Share

  • Zachary "Zach" Bonner was born in Arkansas on November 17, 1997. He now lives in Tampa, Florida, with his mother Laurie, sister Kelley, and brother Matt. Zac is a sixth-grade student of the Florida Virtual Academy, an online school.
  • When Hurricane Charlie hit Florida in 2004, Zach collected 27 pickup trucks full of water.
  • Zach received the Presidential Call to Service Award from President George W. Bush in 2006. In the same year, he received the Points of Light Award from Florida governor Jeb Bush.
  • In 2008, he received the Alexandra Scott Butterfly Award from the Volvo for Life Awards. The video below was produced for that award; it shares Zachs story and some of the projects he has led.

  • In his free time, Zach has played Little League baseball. He also plays tennis and goes on bike rides with his friends. He hopes to go to college so he can become a lawyer.
  • This summer, when Zach reached Washington, D.C., he spent 24 hours in the Sasha Bruce youth shelter where he got to learn firsthand how homeless kids get by. When CBS-TV news anchor Bob Schieffer interviewed Zach outside the shelter, he asked if there were times when Zach felt like giving up on the walk. There were definitely times during the walk where you get tired and you don't want to go any further, Zach responded, but a child that's homeless doesn't get to quit being homeless, so why should I quit? To see what other lessons Zach learned from his time in Washington, D.C., share the complete video interview below.

  • Watch CBS Videos Online

    Use the News

    Print out this weeks Use the News student activity page. Or use the questions on that page to check student comprehension.

    Use the News: Answer Key
    Comprehension Check. 1. homelessness; 2. helping others; 3. a group that helps others; 4. snacks; 5. pleasant.
    Main Idea. Zach Bonner is doing many things to draw attention to homelessness.
    Vocabulary Check. 1.c, 2.a, 3.f, 4.e, 5.d, 6.b.

    Follow-Up Activities

    Geography. Explore the map of Zachs planned trip for the summer of 2010. That trip will take Zach from Tampa, Florida, to Los Angeles, California. Ask students to identify (and perhaps learn about) some of the cities through which Zach will travel.


    Use the Use the News activity (see above) as an assessment. Or have students work on their own (in their journals) or in their small groups to respond to the Think About the News questions on the news story page.

    Lesson Plan Source

    Education World

    National Standards

    LANGUAGE ARTS: English
    GRADES K - 12
    NL-ENG.K-12.1 Reading for Perspective
    NL-ENG.K-12.2 Reading for Understanding
    NL-ENG.K-12.6 Applying Knowledge
    NL-ENG.K-12.11 Participating in Society
    NL-ENG.K-12.12 Applying Language Skills

    GRADES K - 4
    NSS-C.K-4.5 Roles of the Citizen

    GRADES 5 - 8
    NSS-C.5-8.5 Roles of the Citizen
    GRADES 9 - 12
    NSS-C.9-12.5 Roles of the Citizen

    SOCIAL SCIENCES: Geography
    GRADES K - 12
    NSS-G.K-12.1 The World in Spatial Terms

    GRADES K - 12
    NT.K-12.1 Basic Operations and Concepts
    NT.K-12.4 Technology Communications Tools

    See recent news stories in Education Worlds News Story of the Week Archive.

    Article by Gary Hopkins
    Education World®
    Copyright © 2009 Education World