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For Grades K-4 , week of Oct. 10, 2011

1. Creative Advertising

A lot of times companies plan big events to celebrate a new product. Creative marketing people at the Ford car company came up with a "brick" of an idea. They had a life-sized model of their latest Explorer SUV made out of Lego bricks. The Connecticut-based team of builders used about 380,000 bricks, worked for 2,500 hours and ended up with a 2,600-pound vehicle that doesn't even run. In fact, the doors don't open. Search your newspaper's auto section to find an article or ad that pictures a new car. Using the picture and details in the article, try and create a small model of it out of Legos. Or draw what it would look like made of Legos.

Core/National Standards: Reading for purpose and understanding; adding drawings or other visual displays to descriptions to provide additional details.

2. Fire Prevention Week

This week is Fire Prevention Week. As a class, read an article in the newspaper about a fire that has happened locally in the past week. Brainstorm ways that the fire could have been prevented. Then use the newspaper, your list and other resources to make a list of fire-prevention safety tips. Design a newspaper ad to tell people about these ways to be safe. Present your ad to the class.

Core/National Standards: Applying knowledge, ideas and issues drawn from texts to students' lives and the lives of others; including visual displays in presentations.

3. My Museum

Have you ever been "dragged" to an art museum? One where you had to walk around and look at paintings of old people in funny clothes or paintings that look like your baby sister did them? Well, you might have had more fun at Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum in Farmington, Michigan. It's a museum that features hundreds of old coin-operated games and machines. Or, you might want to stop by the National Yo-Yo Museum the next time you're in Chico, California. It's the headquarters for the yearly National Yo-Yo Contest and also houses the world's biggest Yo-Yo. These are just some of the weird and wonderful museums in the United States. There's also a Toilet Seat Art Museum, a Spam Museum and the Kansas City Barbed Wire Museum. Find an article or advertisement in the newspaper about an everyday object. Using a large piece of white paper, design a museum of your own dedicated to that object. Write a paragraph describing things you would display and describe them using strong adjectives.

Core/National Standard: Writing informative/explanatory texts clearly and accurately.

4. Buggin' Good Time

The next time you want a snack, how about chocolate chip mealworms or cricket lollipops? Native Australians, known as Aborigines (AB-or-IJ-in-ees), have been eating grubs for centuries, but now Skye Blackburn, an insect scientist, is breeding and raising edible bugs. She is selling them to Australians as special treats at company parties or children's celebrations. Blackburn said that mealworms have "a nutty, mild flavor and are a bit more crunchy than crickets." In a Reuters article, Blackburn also said bugs are very nutritious. Crickets are high in calcium, termites are high in iron and silkworms have special amino acids. And all bugs provide protein. In the food section of your newspaper, find a recipe in which you might be able to substitute bugs for other sources of protein like chicken. Write out the recipe. Then write a recipe headline that would make people want to try it.

Core/National Standard: Writing informative/explanatory texts clearly and accurately.

5. A Shark's Best Friend

Recently, a California man did the last thing most men would ever do. He put his hand and forearm inside the mouth of a Great White Shark. According to a Yahoo! Sports story, a baby shark washed up on the shore of Venice Beach. It was struggling to survive, and some surfers ran to its rescue. They found a fishhook in its mouth, and one surfer put his hand into the shark's mouth to work the hook loose. Once the hook was out of the shark's mouth, several surfers dragged the shark back into the water, and it swam away. Find a newspaper article about a person who goes above and beyond what is expected to help someone or something. Write a summary of the article and share with the class.

Core/National Standards: Determining the main idea of a text and explaining how it is supported by key details; summarizing the text.


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