Yak’s Corner
A print and online children’s news magazine published on 30 Thursdays from September through May for Michigan kids ages 6-13. Each eight-page issue is filled with educational and entertaining stories about places, people and events in Michigan and around the world. The Yak’s Corner online page also includes “Yaktivities” for each issue, a Yak Art Gallery, student writing and more.
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for Grades K-4

May 25, 2015
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For Grades K-4 , week of May 25, 2015

1. Hungry? Order with Google

There are a lot of things you can get in a Google search — weather, flight times, sports scores — and now you can get food delivery. Google recently added a new food delivery option in its search program that actually allows you to place an order through your smart phone when you have found a restaurant you like. The option not only connects users to restaurants, but to six delivery services that can bring you the food. Technology is changing the way people live, work and play. As a class, talk about ways you and your family use technology to help you in life. Then find a technology product that families and kids use in the ads of the newspaper. Draw a series of comic strips showing how this product helps users.

Common Core State Standards: Engaging effectively in a range of collaborative discussions; 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.

2. Spacecraft Makes a Splash

A Russian spacecraft malfunctioned on its way to the International Space Station last month, and its mission had to be canceled. So what became of spacecraft named Progress, which was supposed to carry supplies to the space station? It orbited the Earth for a while, and then burned up when it re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere. Wreckage from the flame-out then fell into the Pacific Ocean. Lost with Progress were 6,000 pounds of food, fuel and other supplies, but mission officials report that the Space Station has enough supplies to serve the six astronauts on board until the next supply flight in June. Space missions often are in the news. Use the newspaper or the website www.nasa.gov to find and closely read a story about another mission. Use what you read to write a paragraph summarizing the most important things about the mission.

Common Core State 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.

3. Measles Shots

Measles vaccine shots not only prevent measles but also help the body fight off other illnesses for years. “Not only is the vaccine safe and effective against measles,” a specialist notes in a recent study, “but it may also save a child’s life by helping guard against other infections.” Measles weakens the immune system, putting people at increased risk of contracting other diseases, even fatal infections, the researchers say in the study. By preventing measles, the vaccine reduces the risks from other diseases. Health issues often are in the news because they affect so many people. As a class, find and closely read a story about a health issue important to kids your age or to families. Use what you read to design a public service ad for the newspaper, highlighting key things families should know about the issue. Give your ad an eye-catching headline.

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

4. ‘Just Asking’

A man accused of robbing a bank in Virginia Beach, Virginia was arrested after posting two videos and a photo of the incident on his Instagram account on the Internet. In a jailhouse interview, however, he insisted he was not guilty because the note he handed the teller asking for $150,000 included the word “please” — and asking for money is not the same as robbery. He recorded the incident on his cell phone and posted videos — including one of the teller putting stacks of cash in a bag — online. Police arrested him 20 minutes later, carrying a gym bag full of money. People often make news by doing odd things, or things that don’t make sense to other people. Use the newspaper and Internet to find and read such a story. Then pretend you are an advice columnist for the newspaper. Write a paragraph offering advice to the person who made news doing something odd or unwise.

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

5. Stolen Art

A New York art dealer has been charged with selling three ancient sculptures that were stolen from temples in the Asian nations of India and Nepal. The sculptures are worth about a half-million dollars. One is a 13th century gold covered statue of a Buddhist religious figure, which was stolen from a temple in Kathmandu in 1983 and sold for $370,000. Recovering stolen art requires good police work. In every community good police work solves crimes or helps people when they need it. In the newspaper or online, find and read a story about local police doing good work in some way. Use what you read to write a letter to the editor thanking the police for their work. Be sure to use details from the story in your thank-you letter.

Common Core State Standards: Writing informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly; closely reading what a text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it.