For Grades K-4 , week of Mar. 05, 2012

1. What a Change!

Chandra Bahadur Dangi’s life expanded greatly due to his small size. The 72-year-old Nepal resident traveled outside his village to the Asian country’s capital for the first time to meet with representatives from the Guinness Book of World Records. Dangi is the world’s shortest adult man at just 21.5 inches. Previously, the shortest man was 23.5-inch-tall Jurey Balawing of the Philippines. Dangi lives in a remote village in northern Nepal with his brother, who provides him assistance in getting around. He doesn’t know why he didn’t grow taller, because he has never seen a doctor. Search the newspaper for a story about someone who has had something significant happen to them in a way that has changed their life. As a class, put together a cause-and-effect chart to show how they’ve changed. Then, discuss ways you have changed in your life, and why.

Core/National Standard: Explaining events, procedures, ideas or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text, including what happened and why.

2. Numbers Game

Newspapers give you great ways to practice math. Search the news, sports and business sections of today's newspaper and find the following kinds of numbers: a 1-digit number; a 2-digit number; a 3-digit number; a 4-digit number; a 5-digit number. Practice your math by doing the following: Subtract the 2-digit number from the 3-digit number. Multiply the 1-digit number by the 2-digit number. Divide the 4-digit number by the 1-digit number. Add all the numbers together.

Core/National Standard: Applying understanding of number systems in solving problems.

3. Celebrating Strong Women

The first great woman you meet is usually your mom, a grandmother or an aunt. But many great women came before them, working to make the lives of themselves and others better. In March, we recognize them during Women’s History Month. This celebration began in 1978 as a Women’s History Week in Sonoma, California, that connected with International Women’s Day on March 8. As the celebration gained attention, it was adopted nationally in 1981. It was changed to a month-long celebration in 1987 by a vote of the U.S. Congress. The National Women’s Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls, New York, honors women from politics, arts, sports, business, education and more. Among those honored are women’s rights pioneers Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. Search your newspaper for a woman who is making a difference in your community, your state or the nation. Write a brief summary of what she is doing and why it is important. Create a drawing to illustrate your summary.

Core/National Standard: Writing informative/explanatory texts to convey ideas and information clearly.

4. My Plate’s in Shape!

“Get Your Plate in Shape” is the theme of this year’s National Nutrition Month. This annual March event is sponsored by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and is intended to teach people about healthy eating habits. Experts say the way to get your plate in shape is to make sure half of it is filled with fruits and vegetables. One quarter should include a variety of grains – half of which should be whole grains. The remaining quarter should be a variety of low-fat proteins. Experts say it’s best to switch out the types of proteins you eat, choosing between fish, seafood, chicken, red meats and legumes. As a class, search your newspaper for stories about nutrition or recipes to get ideas on filling your plate with healthy food. Or find examples online. Create a placemat showing a plate divided into four parts with pictures of fruits, vegetables, grains and proteins.

Core/National Standard: Using illustrations and details to describe key ideas.

5. Going Crazy Over Shoes

It took more than 100 police officers to break up a riot over — wait for it — shoes. But not just any shoes: Glow-in-the-dark Nike shoes. Police were called to a Florida mall near Orlando recently when several hundred people started a riot while waiting for the $220 Nike Galaxy Air Foamposite Ones to go on sale. Several Foot Locker stores canceled the shoe’s release, because they were concerned about the safety of shoppers. The intense interest was caused because the shoes were released in very limited numbers around the country. As a class, find a newspaper story about people going crazy over a new product. Or find one online. Write an opinion piece about whether the all the craziness made sense. Include information about a product you or your friends have gone “crazy” over.

Core/National Standards: Writing opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.