The youth-written stories in Represent give inspiration and information to teens in foster care while offering staff insight into those teens’ struggles.

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Teacher Lesson Return to "Crazy Kids?"
Crazy Kids?
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Health Lesson: Reading comprehension/writing response

Note to health teachers: There has been a lot of research in the past decade that identifies differences between teen and adult brains. Researchers are beginning to suspect that these differences help to account for why teens lag in moral development and impulse control. This research was cited by the Supreme Court in the recent decision that life imprisonment without parole constitutes cruel and unusual punishment when applied to juveniles (except those who commit murder). Following is a worksheet that teens can use to explore one writer’s experience with his own “teen brain.” (You may also want to review the “vocabulary check” following the worksheet.)

The Teen Brain



Directions: Answer the following questions about “Crazy Kids?” in essay answer format. (This means you should use parts of the question to start your answer.) Write 3-5 complete sentences for each question. The answer for the first question has been started for you.

1. What is the full title of this story? Who wrote the story? Why do you think the writer thought it was important to write the story? [Example: The full title of the story is… FOLLOWED BY: The writer wanted to tell readers about how the brain and teen behavior… ]

2. Stories and articles often describe problems that people have and how they try to solve them. What is the main problem described in this story? Is the problem solved?

3. What kind of evidence or facts did the writer present to the reader? What does the story at the start of the article have to do with the article? What about the story at the end?

4. Name some emotions the writer expressed in the article. What events caused these emotions?

5. What does the illustration have to do with the story?

6. What change does the writer go through in the article?

Vocabulary check

As your group reads the story, ask to look for these words. Do they know what they mean? If not, ask them to use a dictionary to find the meanings so they know what the writer is talking about.

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