Friday, October 2, 2009

Olympics 2016

Today is a big day for the entire sports world and the Olympic Games. The International Olympic Committee is selecting/has selected the host city of the 2016 Summer Games. Newspapers around the world are reporting on this event.

Questions for Younger Children

1. What is your favorite game? Why do you like to play this game?

2. If you had a choice between going into outer space or going to the bottom of the ocean where would you prefer to go? Why? (Adults, consider how this question connects to the news story in my mind.)

3. Have you ever been in a contest? What kind of a contest was it? Did you have fun? Why or why not?

4. If your mother was in a contest against another child's mother do you think that the other child should be allowed to decide the winner? Why or why not? Should you be allowed to decide the winner? Why or why not?

Discussion Questions for Older Students

1. Vocabulary terms to discuss: Bid; I.O.C.; Decathlete; and, Encompasses.

2. If you could visit any one of the four cities that bid on the Olympics in the final round what city would you visit? Why!

3. If you were a part of the I.O.C. Voting on the location of the 2016 Olympics what three issues would you keep in mind as you voted?

4. If somebody from the Nineteenth Century came back alive today and saw how fast information travels around the globe what do you think that they would say if they had to talk for five minutes?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Iran enters Negotiations

The New York Times is running an article entitled, "Iran Meets U.S. and Allies for Nuclear Talks in Geneva." The article begins, Critical talks over Iran’s nuclear ambitions began Thursday morning in the Geneva countryside, with Washington and its allies hoping to draw Iran into a serious negotiation that will open up the country to serious nuclear inspections, suspend Iran’s nuclear enrichment program and reassure its neighbors that its intentions are peaceful." But according to the article, Iran's atomic energy chief, Ali Akbar Salehi, said "We will not discuss about our rights (to enrich uranium)...But we are ready to discuss about nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation.”

Discussion Questions for Younger Children
1. Have you ever disagreed with somebody else who lives in your house? What was the disagreement about? What did you do to end the disagreement?
2. In your home, is there anything that you are allowed to do now that you would not have been allowed to do a year ago? What? Why do you think that you are allowed to do this now?
3. After you get into a fight with somebody do you think it's important to talk to them? Why or why not? What kinds of things should you say to one another? What do the words, "I'm sorry" mean?
4. Do you think that your mom or dad ever have disagreements with people? How do they work out their disagreements with other people? Is there anything that you can learn from this? If so, what?

Discussion Questions for Older Students
1. Vocabulary terms to discuss: Bilateral; Unfettered; Ensuing; and, Derision.
2. What does it mean to enrich uranium? How does one go about doing this? To what kinds of purposes can enriched uranium be put? Where might you find answers to these questions?
3. Do you think that Iran should be allowed to enrich its own uranium and use it? Imagine that you were an advisor to the president of Iran, how would you respond to this question? How would you recommend resolving the tension between the two sides of this question?
4. According to this article, Iran will likely show up to the negotiations with a host of issues to discuss: "overhauling the United Nations; giving greater voice to non-Western countries; and universal nuclear disarmament." Why do you think that Iran will raise these other issues at the negotiations? Do you think that Iran is correctly concerned with these issues? Why or why not? How might these issues play into the over-all negotiations?