, week of
Mar. 10, 2014
1. Spring Forward
Daylight Saving Time began on Sunday, March 9, at 2 a.m. At that time, people moved their clocks ahead one hour. As a class or in teams, read about Daylight Saving Time, including why it was created and what it’s intended to do. Find three things in the newspaper that are affected by Daylight Saving Time. For each, write a sentence or two explaining how it will be affected, and why that is interesting or important.
Common Core State Standards: Writing informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly; citing specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions.
2. Second-Hand Smoke
It’s well known that children with the breathing condition asthma are more likely to suffer greater problems if exposed to cigarette smoke. Now researchers have come up with a way to record how much exposure has occurred. In recent research, saliva tests of fluids in the mouth revealed that about 80 percent of children brought to the hospital for asthma or breathing problems had been exposed to tobacco smoke — even though only a third of the parents had reported contact with smoke. What’s more, evidence of nicotine in the saliva proves a better predictor of whether the child would need to return to the hospital later. Children’s health issues are often in the news because they affect so many families. As a class, talk about children’s health issues that would be important to families. Then find an example in news stories in the newspaper or online. Read the story together. Then design a public service ad for the newspaper, highlighting key points from the story. Give your ad an eye-catching headline.
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.
3. Antlers That Glow in the Dark?
Thousands of caribou reindeer are hit by cars in the European nation of Finland each year, damaging cars and damaging the animals even more. The Finnish Reindeer Herders Association now thinks it has a solution. In an experiment, the antlers of 20 reindeer have been painted with glow-in-the-dark fluorescent dyes to see whether the colors will reduce the number of collisions between cars and reindeer. If so, more animals with glowing antlers will be introduced to the Lapland region of northern Finland, where herders tend to about 200,000 animals. People often take steps to help animals. In the newspaper or online, find an example of someone helping a wild or tame animal. Pretend you are the animal and write a short poem, rap or rhyme describing how you might feel about being helped.
Common Core State Standards: Demonstrating understanding of figurative language; applying knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts.
4. Shrek Theme Parks
The four animated Shrek movies have been hugely popular, selling $3.5 billion worth of tickets around the world. Now a chain of Shrek theme parks is being planned. The first, called Shrek’s Far Far Away Adventure, is due to open next year in the European city of London in Great Britain, with five others planned for Europe, Asia and America. The parks will be based on the adventures of the popular green ogre and will feature actors, puppets, animation, theater and lots of fun. Theme parks often are inspired by movie characters, stories or even people from real life. In the newspaper find a person or movie that a theme park could be built around. Write a paragraph summarizing what would be in the park, why people would enjoy it and what it should be called. Draw a picture of what your park might look like.
Common Core State Standards: Producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task; using drawings or visual displays when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or points.
5. Home-Plate Collisions
A new Major League Baseball season is about to begin, and a new rule is about to take effect as an experiment. The rule would prohibit the worst collisions at home plate by giving umpires greater authority to determine if they are dangerous. If an umpire determines a runner has initiated contact with whoever is covering home plate, he can declare the runner out. If a catcher blocks the runner’s pathway without holding the ball, the runner can be called safe. Potential violations will be reviewed by umpires through instant replay. The collision rule has caused a lot of talk and debate among baseball fans, because it changes the way the game has been played for years. Talk about the rule as a class. Then draw a comic strip for the newspaper, showing the rule in action, for better or worse.
Common Core State Standards: Using drawings or visual displays when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or points; responding thoughtfully to diverse perspectives, summarizing points of agreement and disagreement.