For Grades 5-8 , week of Oct. 31, 2011

1. Tunisian Election

A lot is happening in the northern Africa nation of Tunisia. Use the newspaper and the Internet to answer the questions below about events in Tunisia. Be sure to cite the stories and sources you used to answer the questions.

Core/National Standard: Citing several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

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B. Why were people around the world paying attention?
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C. What percentage of the population voted?
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D. Who won?
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E. When will the next elections be held?
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2. You Remind Me of Someone

Great literature is both specific and universal. Fictional characters may remind you of real people as you read. Think of a character that you find interesting in a short story, play or a novel that the class is reading. Then try to find a newsmaker in today's paper that you think is similar to this character. Write an essay comparing and contrasting them.

Core/National Standards: Describing and discussing archetypal human experiences that appear in literature and other texts from around the world.

3. Halloween

October 31 is Halloween. Imagine you and two neighbors are in charge of supplying Halloween treats for a neighborhood party for 100 people with a budget (between the three of you) of \$45. Look in todayis newspaper for an ad offering a sale on treats. Figure out what youid like to buy for the party. Write down the name of the treats, the number of each type youid like, the price for each and total price. In this scenario, you are responsible for paying for 1/3 of the treats, while your neighbors are responsible for 2/3 of the treats. How would you express this in a simple ratio? What would the ratio look like using the prices? Use a ratio to figure out what your share and your neighborsi share would be if the number of guests and the budget were doubled.

Core/National Standards: Understanding ratio concepts and using ratio reasoning to solve problems.

4. Giant Amoebas

Amoebas are some of the Earthis most amazing creatures. They consist of just one cell but they come in all sizes. And some are huge! Scientists recently have discovered a community of amoebas 4 inches across living at the bottom of the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean. The Mariana Trench is the deepest known part of the world's oceans, and scientists at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in California found the amoebas by dropping mobile video cameras 6.6 miles down into the trench. That was a record depth for finding amoebas, easily besting the past record of 4.7 miles. Find a story in the newspaper about a scientific discovery or expedition. Write a summary of what has been found or discovered and why it is significant. Present your summary to the class.

Core/National Standards: Determining a central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; writing informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts and information

5. We and I

Read a story in todayis newspaper about someone who is doing something positive. Write a few sentences describing what he or she does in the present tense. Then rewrite the sentence in the first person (as if you did those things). Pay attention to how the verb endings change. Then write the sentences again as if you and someone else (iwei) did those things.

Core/National Standards: Demonstrating command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.