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For Grades K-4 , week of June 06, 2016

1. MVP! MVP!

For the first time ever, the Most Valuable Player in the National Basketball Association has been a unanimous choice of voters. Every one of the 131 first-place votes that were cast went to the Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry. Curry led his team to a best-ever 73-9 record and hit a record-setting 402 three-point shots while doing it. The day his MVP selection was announced, he came back from injury to score 40 points (17 of them in overtime) in a playoff victory over the Portland Trail Blazers. He later led a comeback that put the Warriors in the NBA finals after they fell behind three games to one to the Oklahoma Thunder. In the finals Stephen Curry is facing off against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read stories about great things that Curry, James or other players are doing in NBA finals. Write the word “GREATEST” down the side of a sheet of paper. Then use each letter of the word to write adjectives to describe one standout player and his achievements in the NBA playoffs.

Common Core State Standards: Reading closely what a text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; applying knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts.

2. Our National Mammal – the Bison

This just in: The United States now has an official national mammal — the bison. President Obama signed the National Bison Legacy Act into law after both houses of Congress approved the bill by what appeared to be a unanimous voice vote. The bison was nearly wiped out during the westward expansion of the United States, but a concerted early 20th century effort by conservationists brought the animal back from the verge of extinction. The bill recognizes the bison for its historical and cultural significance to western settlers and Native Americans. Bison, also known as buffalo, are huge, horned grazing animals that can grow to be 15 feet long and weigh 3,500 pounds. Bison play a large role in American history. In the newspaper or online, closely read stories about the naming of the bison as the first national mammal. Do additional research on the Internet and use what you read to draw a series of comic strips showing the importance of bison in history. Make a bison the lead character in your strips, if you like.

Common Core State Standards: Using drawings or visual displays when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or points; conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic; reading closely what a text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it.

3. Babies and Detergent

Laundry detergent packets are getting into the hands — and mouths — of an increasing number of small children, a new study reports. And that is leading to serious and even deadly results. Babies and young children “explore their environment by putting things in their mouth,” according to a report in the medical journal Pediatrics. When the packets burst, their contents shoot into the throat. The report urges parents to use “effective, safer alternatives” to the detergent packets. But if the packets are used, the researchers advise they “be kept away and out of sight of children … preferably in a locked cabinet.” The risks of detergent packets are a safety issue for small children. As a class, use the newspaper and Internet to closely read a story about another safety issue affecting children. Use what you read to design a poster or newspaper ad to highlight the most important things families should know about the issue.

Common Core State Standards: Using drawings or visual displays when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or points; conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic; reading closely what a text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it.

4. Protecting the Wolverine

Wolverines are fierce predators that live in mountains and forests of the northwestern United States and Alaska. They are not friendly to people, but they have a friend in a federal judge in Montana. U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen has ordered the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect the wolverines as their survival becomes more at risk due to global warming and climate change. Wolverines need deep mountain snows in which to make dens to breed cubs, but global warming and climate change are decreasing the amount of snow and areas where wolverines can live. For that reason, scientists had protested the decision by the Fish and Wildlife Service not to declare the wolverine an endangered species. In an 85-page ruling, however, Judge Christensen said “the time is now” to take action to protect the wolverine. When wildlife become endangered, people often take action to protect them. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about an endangered species and what is being done to protect it. Use what you read to write a paragraph summarizing what steps are being taken and which you think will work best.

Common Core State Standards: Reading closely what a text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task.

5. Root Words

Figuring out words you don’t know is an important skill in reading. Sometimes “root” words can help you out. Root words are words that are part of larger words. “Read” would be a root word of “reader” or “reading” for example. Skim stories on the front page of the newspaper. Make a list of 10 words that contain a root word. Write what you think each word means. Then look them up in a dictionary. Use three of the words you found in complete sentences.

Common Core State Standards: Applying knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts; conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic.