Upfront® Meets the NCSS Standards Grades 9-12

The New York Times Upfront, a news magazine for grades 9-12 published jointly by Scholastic, Inc., and The New York Times, is closely aligned to the National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies, developed by the National Council for the Social Studies.

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1. culture

Social studies programs should include experiences that provide for the study of culture and cultural diversity.

For example, students should understand that:

  1. Culture examines the socially transmitted beliefs, values, institutions, behaviors, traditions and way of life of a group of people.
  2. Culture encompasses other attributes and products, such as language, literature, music, arts and artifacts, and foods.
  3. Human cultures exhibit both similarities and differences.
  4. Cultures are dynamic and change over time.
How Upfront Aligns to this Standard
  • Upfront’s Student Edition includes many articles about culture and cultural diversity, from news briefs to in-depth investigations and debates.
  • Articles cover topics in American culture such as immigration, religion, social media trends, and sports.
  • Articles cover topics about cultures of other nations such as human rights in China, Muslim veils in Europe, Africa’s rise, and child labor around the world.
  • Articles typically include historical context, allowing students to analyze how a culture might have changed over time.
  • The Teacher’s Guide includes a variety of features—critical-thinking questions, discussion questions, quizzes, debate topics, writing prompts, and photo and cartoon analysis exercises—that help students understand the nature of culture, the details of specific cultures, and how different cultures compare and contrast with one another.
  • A Teacher’s Guide graph exercise sometimes addresses issues related to culture.
  • Upfront’s website suggests Weblinks where students can learn more about cultures discussed in the magazine.
  • Upfront’s website offers videos, timelines, and slideshows to complement articles in the print issue. Some focus on culture.
  • Upfront’s World Affairs Annual is a 40- page resource full of facts and figures on 196 countries, including cultural data such as major languages, life expectancy, and literacy rate.
2. time, continuity, and change

Social studies programs should include experiences that provide for the study of the past and its legacy.

For example, students should understand that:

  1. The historical experiences of societies, peoples and nations reveal patterns of continuity and change.
  2. Understanding the past enables us to analyze the causes and consequences of events and developments, and to place these in the context of the institutions, values and beliefs of the periods in which they took place.
How Upfront Aligns to this Standard
  • Upfront’s Student Edition includes many articles that connect current events to events of the past, from news briefs to in-depth investigations and debates.
  • Articles cover topics such as authoritarianism in Russia, U.S.-Cuba relations, and the history of birthright citizenship in the U.S.
  • The “Times Past” feature in every issue explores a pivotal historic event, often in connection to an anniversary or other milestone. Articles cover topics such as the Civil War, the civil rights movement, World War II, and the Holocaust.
  • The Teacher’s Guide includes a variety of features—critical-thinking questions, discussion questions, quizzes, debate topics, writing prompts, and photo and cartoon analysis exercises—that help students understand events in historical context.
  • A Teacher’s Guide graph exercise sometimes addresses historic events.
  • A primary source appears in every Teacher’s Guide, encouraging students to analyze historical events and issues through firsthand accounts.
  • Upfront’s website suggests Weblinks where students can learn more about historical events and periods discussed in the magazine.
  • Upfront’s website offers videos, timelines, and slideshows to complement articles in the print issue. Some focus on historic events.
  • Upfront’s World Affairs Annual is a 40- page resource full of facts and figures on 196 countries, including historical data such as a nation’s date of origin.
3. people, places, and enviroments

Social studies programs should include experiences that provide for the study of people, places, and environments.

For example, students should understand that:

  1. Physical systems, such as climate, weather and seasons, and natural resources, such as land and water, have an effect on human populations.
  2. Human settlement and migration often follow patterns.
  3. Human activities have an impact on the environment.
How Upfront Aligns to this Standard
  • Upfront’s Student Edition includes many articles about people, places, and environments, from news briefs to in- depth investigations and debates. Many articles are supported by maps.
  • Articles cover topics such as climate change, undocumented immigrants, and teens who are making a difference in the world
  • The Teacher’s Guide includes a variety of features—critical-thinking questions, discussion questions, quizzes, debate topics, writing prompts, and photo and cartoon analysis exercises—that help students understand the interactions between human populations and their environments.
  • A Teacher’s Guide graph exercise sometimes addresses issues related to the connectedness between people and their environments.
  • Upfront’s website suggests Weblinks where students can learn more about populations and environments discussed in the magazine.
  • Upfront’s website offers videos, timelines, and slideshows to complement articles in the print issue. Some focus on humans and their environments.
  • Upfront’s World Affairs Annual is a 40- page resource full of facts and figures on 196 countries, including environmental data such as the percentage of the population living in urban areas.
4. individual development and identity

Social studies programs should include experiences that provide for the study of individual development and identity.

For example, students should understand that:

  1. Personal identity is shaped by an individual’s culture, by groups, by institutional influences, and by lived experiences shared with people inside and outside the individual’s own culture.
  2. Ethical principles underly individual action.
How Upfront Aligns to this Standard
  • Upfront’s Student Edition includes many articles that delve into issues of individual development and identity, from news briefs to in-depth investigations and debates.
  • Articles cover topics such as college life, digital profiles, and race.
  • Our “What Would You Do?” column, which weighs in on real-life moral dilemmas, provides students with a chance to reflect on their own guiding ethical principles.
  • The Teacher’s Guide includes a variety of features—critical-thinking questions, discussion questions, quizzes, debate topics, writing prompts, and photo and cartoon analysis exercises—that support Student Edition articles and get students thinking about how individual identity is shaped.
  • A Teacher’s Guide graph exercise sometimes addresses issues related to individual development.
  • Upfront’s website suggests Weblinks where students can learn more about issues discussed in the magazine.
  • Upfront’s website offers videos, timelines, and slideshows to complement articles in the print issue. Some focus on issues relating to personal development.
  • Upfront’s World Affairs Annual is a 40- page resource full of facts and figures on 196 countries, including data that relates to individual development, such as literacy rate.
5. individuals, groups, and institutions

programs should include experiences that provide for the study of interactions among individuals, groups, and institutions.

For example, students should understand that:

  1. Institutions are the formal and informal political, economic, and social organizations that help us carry out, organize, and manage our daily affairs.
  2. Schools, religious institutions, families, government agencies, and the courts all play an integral role in our lives.
  3. People and groups organize themselves around common needs, beliefs, and interests.
How Upfront Aligns to this Standard
  • Upfront’s Student Edition includes many articles that explore the role that schools, government agencies, and other institutions play in people’s lives, from news briefs to in-depth investigations and debates.
  • Articles cover topics such as labor strikes in America, the criminal justice system, and political parties in the U.S.
  • The Teacher’s Guide includes a variety of features—critical-thinking questions, discussion questions, quizzes, debate topics, writing prompts, and photo and cartoon analysis exercises—that support Student Edition articles and get students thinking about why people organize into groups and the role that institutions play in their lives.
  • A Teacher’s Guide graph exercise sometimes addresses groups and institutions.
  • Upfront’s website suggests Weblinks where students can learn more about issues discussed in the magazine.
  • Upfront’s website offers videos, timelines, and slideshows to complement articles in the print issue. Some focus on issues relating to schools and other institutions.
6. power, authority, and governance

Social studies programs should include experiences that provide for the study of how people create, interact with, and change structures of power, authority, and governance.

For example, students should understand that:

  1. Various systems have been developed over the centuries to allocate and employ power and authority in the governing process.
  2. Different governance systems have different purposes and defining characeristics.
  3. There are dynamic relationships between individual rights and responsibilities, the needs of social groups, and concepts of a just society.
How Upfront Aligns to this Standard
  • Upfront’s Student Edition includes many articles about the U.S. government and governments around the world, from news briefs to in-depth investigations and debates.
  • Articles cover topics such as the job of the president, gridlock in Congress, political systems around the world, and revolutions in the Middle East.
  • The Teacher’s Guide includes a variety of features—critical-thinking questions, discussion questions, quizzes, debate topics, writing prompts, and photo and cartoon analysis exercises—that support Student Edition articles and get students thinking about governments, power, and authority.
  • A Teacher’s Guide graph exercise sometimes addresses issues related to governments.
  • Upfront’s website suggests Weblinks where students can learn more about issues discussed in the magazine.
  • Upfront’s website offers videos, timelines, and slideshows to complement articles in the print issue. Some focus on issues relating to governance.
  • Upfront’s World Affairs Annual is a 40- page resource full of facts and figures on 196 countries, including data that relates to government, such as political system and head of government.
7. production, distribution, and consumption

Social studies programs should include experiences that provide for the study of how people organize for the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services.

For example, students should understand that:

  1. The unequal distribution of resources necessitates systems of exchange, including trade, to improve the well- being of the economy.
  2. Globalization has led to interdependence, impacting local economies and social systems.
How Upfront Aligns to this Standard
  • Upfront’s Student Edition includes many articles about economics, from news briefs to in-depth investigations and debates. Many articles are supported by maps.
  • Articles cover topics such as India’s economic rise, the debate over the minimum wage in the U.S., and income inequality.
  • The Teacher’s Guide includes a variety of features—critical-thinking questions, discussion questions, quizzes, debate topics, writing prompts, and photo and cartoon analysis exercises—that support Student Edition articles and get students thinking about economics.
  • A Teacher’s Guide graph exercise sometimes addresses economics.
  • Upfront’s website suggests Weblinks where students can learn more about issues discussed in the magazine.
  • Upfront’s website offers videos, timelines, and slideshows to complement articles in the print issue. Some focus on issues relating to the U.S. and global economies.
  • Upfront’s World Affairs Annual is a 40- page resource full of facts and figures on 196 countries, including data that relates to production, distribution, and consumption, such as per capita gross domestic product and the human development index.
8. science, technology, and society

Social studies programs should include experiences that provide for the study of the relationships among science, technology, and society.

For example, students should understand that:

  1. Science, and its practical application, technology, have had a major influence on social and cultural change.
  2. Disparate cultures, geographically separated but impacted by global events, are often brought together by technology.
  3. There are gaps in access to benefits of science and technology.
How Upfront Aligns to this Standard
  • Upfront’s Student Edition includes many articles about science, technology, and society, from news briefs to in-depth investigations and debates.
  • Articles cover topics such as drones, nuclear power, technology and the law, and polar bears in the Arctic
  • The Teacher’s Guide includes a variety of features—critical-thinking questions, discussion questions, quizzes, debate topics, writing prompts, and photo and cartoon analysis exercises—that support Student Edition articles and get students thinking about science, technology, and society.
  • A Teacher’s Guide graph exercise sometimes addresses issues related to science and technology.
  • Upfront’s website suggests Weblinks where students can learn more about issues discussed in the magazine.
  • Upfront’s website offers videos, timelines, and slideshows to complement articles in the print issue. Some focus on science and technology.
9. global connections

Social studies programs should include experiences that provide for the study of global connections and interdependence.

For example, students should understand that:

  1. World trade has expanded and technology has removed or lowered many barriers, bringing far-flung cultures, institutions, and systems together.
  2. Connections among nations and regions of the world provide opportunities as well as uncertainties.
How Upfront Aligns to this Standard
  • Upfront’s Student Edition includes many articles about the interdependence of nations, from news briefs to in-depth investigations and debates. Many articles are supported by maps.
  • Articles cover topics such as immigration, terrorism, and child labor
  • The Teacher’s Guide includes a variety of features—critical-thinking questions, discussion questions, quizzes, debate topics, writing prompts, and photo and cartoon analysis exercises—that support Student Edition articles and help students recognize the interconnectedness of far-flung nations.
  • A Teacher’s Guide graph exercise sometimes addresses global connections.
  • Upfront’s website suggests Weblinks where students can learn more about issues discussed in the magazine.
  • Upfront’s website offers videos, timelines, and slideshows to complement articles in the print issue. Some focus on global connections.
  • Upfront’s World Affairs Annual is a 26- page resource full of facts and figures on 196 countries. Its tables and maps can be used all year long to provide data on nations under study.
10. civic ideals and practices

Social studies programs should include experiences that provide for the study of the ideals, principles, and practices of citizenship in a democratic republic.

For example, students should understand that:

  1. An understanding of civic ideals and practices is critical to full participation in society.
  2. It is important to have knowledge of the institutions and practices that support and protect freedoms and rights—as well as the important historical documents that articulate them.
How Upfront Aligns to this Standard
  • Upfront’s Student Edition includes many articles about the ideals, principles, and practices of citizenship in a democratic republic, from news briefs to in-depth investigations and debates.
  • Articles cover topics such as the death penalty, the gun debate, constitutional amendments, and voting and elections
  • The Teacher’s Guide includes a variety of features—critical-thinking questions, discussion questions, quizzes, debate topics, writing prompts, and photo and carton analysis exercises—that support Student Edition articles and get students thinking about civic ideals and practices.
  • A Teacher’s Guide graph exercise sometimes addresses issues related to citizenship.
  • The Teacher’s Guide sometimes features primary source documents that articulate Americans’ rights and freedoms, from the Bill of Rights to Supreme Court decisions.
  • Upfront’s website suggests Weblinks where students can learn more about issues discussed in the magazine.
  • Upfront’s website offers videos, issue. Some focus on civics and citizenship.

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