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Lessons
Perks and Perils: Analyzing the Lives of White House Children
Discipline
Reading
Grades
6, 7, 8
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Professional Commentary

In this lesson, students read an article about The Obama family's move to the White House, consider what life would be like as a "White House kid," and write letters advising the Obamas how best to raise their children in the public spotlight. A quiz about other children who lived in the White House is provided to pique students' interest. Discussion questions help students speculate about the possible "perks and perils" of living in the White House and the issue of media coverage. (author/sec)

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Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts
Grades 6–12
Reading: Informational Text
Grade 6
Key Ideas and Details
RI.6.1 
Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity
RI.6.10 
By the end of the year, read and comprehend literary nonfiction in the grades 6–8 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.
Grade 7
Key Ideas and Details
RI.7.1 
Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity
RI.7.10 
By the end of the year, read and comprehend literary nonfiction in the grades 6–8 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.
Grade 8
Key Ideas and Details
RI.8.1 
Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
RI.8.3 
Analyze how a text makes connections among and distinctions between individuals, ideas, or events (e.g., through comparisons, analogies, or categories).
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
RI.8.9 
Analyze a case in which two or more texts provide conflicting information on the same topic and identify where the texts disagree on matters of fact or interpretation.
Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity
RI.8.10 
By the end of the year, read and comprehend literary nonfiction at the high end of the grades 6–8 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
Writing
Grade 6
Text Types and Purposes
W.6.2 
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.
  1. Introduce a topic; organize ideas, concepts, and information, using strategies such as definition, classification, comparison/contrast, and cause/effect; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., charts, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.
  2. Develop the topic with relevant facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples.
  3. Use appropriate transitions to clarify the relationships among ideas and concepts.
  4. Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.
  5. Establish and maintain a formal style.
  6. Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from the information or explanation presented.
Production and Distribution of Writing
W.6.4 
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1–3 above.)
Research to Build and Present Knowledge
W.6.7 
Conduct short research projects to answer a question, drawing on several sources and refocusing the inquiry when appropriate.
W.6.8 
Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources; assess the credibility of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and providing basic bibliographic information for sources.
Grade 7
Text Types and Purposes
W.7.2 
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.
  1. Introduce a topic clearly, previewing what is to follow; organize ideas, concepts, and information, using strategies such as definition, classification, comparison/contrast, and cause/ effect; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., charts, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.
  2. Develop the topic with relevant facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples.
  3. Use appropriate transitions to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among ideas and concepts.
  4. Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.
  5. Establish and maintain a formal style.
  6. Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation presented.
Production and Distribution of Writing
W.7.4 
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1–3 above.)
Research to Build and Present Knowledge
W.7.7 
Conduct short research projects to answer a question, drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions for further research and investigation.
W.7.8 
Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, using search terms effectively; assess the credibility and accuracy of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation.
Grade 8
Text Types and Purposes
W.8.2 
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.
  1. Introduce a topic clearly, previewing what is to follow; organize ideas, concepts, and information into broader categories; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., charts, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.
  2. Develop the topic with relevant, well-chosen facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples.
  3. Use appropriate and varied transitions to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among ideas and concepts.
  4. Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.
  5. Establish and maintain a formal style.
  6. Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation presented.
Production and Distribution of Writing
W.8.4 
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1–3 above.)
Research to Build and Present Knowledge
W.8.7 
Conduct short research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question), drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions that allow for multiple avenues of exploration.
W.8.8 
Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, using search terms effectively; assess the credibility and accuracy of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation.
Ohio English Language Arts Standards (2001)
Reading Process: Concepts of Print, Comprehension Strategies and Self-Monitoring Strategies Standard
Benchmarks (4–7)
C.
Make meaning through asking and responding to a variety of questions related to text.
Benchmarks (8–10)
B.
Demonstrate comprehension of print and electronic text by responding to questions (e.g., literal, inferential, evaluative and synthesizing).
Grade Level Indicators (Grade 6)
6.
Answer literal, inferential, evaluative and synthesizing questions to demonstrate comprehension of grade-appropriate print texts, electronic and visual media.
Grade Level Indicators (Grade 7)
6.
Answer literal, inferential, evaluative and synthesizing questions to demonstrate comprehension of grade-appropriate print texts and electronic and visual media.
Grade Level Indicators (Grade 8)
2.
Answer literal, inferential, evaluative and synthesizing questions to demonstrate comprehension of grade-appropriate print texts and electronic and visual media.
Writing Applications Standard
Benchmarks (5–7)
C.
Produce letters (e.g., business, letters to the editor, job applications) that address audience needs, stated purpose and context in a clear and efficient manner.
Benchmarks (8–10)
C.
Produce letters (e.g., business, letters to the editor, job applications) that follow the conventional style appropriate to the text, include appropriate details and exclude extraneous details and inconsistencies.