Resources for Teachers and Students
, week of
May 13, 2013
1. News Cast
Reading the newspaper is a great way to keep up with what’s happening in the world. It’s also a great way to build reading and speaking skills. Imagine your class is going to put on a TV news show. First, split into small groups. Your teacher will hand each group a short article from today’s newspaper. As a group discuss, write and practice a short TV-style newscast that informs the rest of the class about the information contained in the article. Your presentation should last about 30 seconds.
Common Core/National Standards: Reading closely what a text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; citing specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions; engaging effectively in a range of collaborative discussions.
2. Helping Hands ????Volunteering is good for you. Studies show it improves the way young people feel about themselves, the American Youth Policy Forum has reported. Other studies show that students who do some kind of volunteer or community work tend to be more involved in their schooling and have better attendance. As a class or in teams, look for articles in the newspaper about good things being done by young people. Talk about what the young people are doing and how it has helped the community. Then talk about some activities you could take part in as a volunteer with your class or your family. Common Core/National Standards: Engaging effectively in a range of collaborative discussions; responding thoughtfully to diverse perspectives, summarizing points of agreement and disagreement; participating in projects designed to help others in the local community.????
3. Phones and Animals in Orbit
Scientists are always looking for new information about how space travel affects things. Recently, America’s NASA space agency sent three smart phones into orbit, hoping to see whether the technology inside them is powerful enough to serve as the core of future low-cost satellites. NASA also has joined with Russian scientists to send a menagerie of small animals into orbit in a project designed to help determine how long space flights might affect human astronauts. The smart phones — named “Alexander,” “Graham” and “Bell” — are off-the-shelf Google HTC Nexus One phones. They are supposed to beam photos and other information back to Earth, and eventually burn up in the process of re-entering the atmosphere. The animals, including geckos, mice, gerbils and snails, will be brought back to Earth in a month and studied. Space missions often are in the news. Find one in the newspaper or online at www.nasa.gov. Write a complete sentence stating what the mission seeks to achieve. Then draw an illustration showing the mission in action.
Common Core/National Standards: Reading closely what a text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; citing specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions; using drawings or visual displays when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or points.
4. Salmon Are Sick
A disease has been attacking wild Pacific salmon, but scientists have not been able to agree on just what it is. The virus is not harmful to humans who eat the fish, but it threatens local ecosystems in areas where salmon play a key role, such as the Pacific Northwest of the United States. If the virus mutates into a more deadly strain in the crowded fish farms of British Columbia, a Canadian biologist has predicted, wild and farmed salmon could be devastated and businesses threatened. Other scientists say the findings are insufficient for alarm, and that the risks remain unclear. As a class, talk about businesses that are connected with wildlife or the environment. Find one in the newspaper or online. Write a paragraph describing how the business and the environment are connected.
Common Core/National Standards: Engaging effectively in a range of collaborative discussions; producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task, purpose and audience.
5. Physical Fitness Month
Some kids like to run. Some kids like to play soccer. Some kids like to swim. Whatever sport you like, this is the month to do it. May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. The United States was a sporting country even before the Pilgrims landed in Massachusetts. Native Americans first played a game called paddle ball, which is like badminton. They also enjoyed archery contests and ring and dart games. And Native Americans also were the ones who invented the game of lacrosse. Lacrosse is growing in popularity around the country with many high schools and universities now fielding teams. As a class, talk about sports you like to play. Then search the newspaper for a story about a sport you like or play. Write a paragraph or short essay on why you like that sport and who your favorite player is. Draw a picture of yourself playing this sport.
Common Core/National Standards: Conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic; integrating information presented in different media or formats to develop a coherent understanding of a topic; reading and writing with developing fluency, speaking confidently, listening and interacting appropriately, viewing strategically and representing creatively.
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