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for Grades K-4

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For Grades K-4 , week of Dec. 05, 2011

1. Honoring Our Leaders

Washington, D.C., is a city known for monuments to our nation’s leaders. There is the Lincoln Memorial, the Jefferson Memorial and the Washington Memorial, to name just a few. The large white monument honoring George Washington was completed on December 6, 1884, even though the U.S. Congress had decided to create a monument back in 1783. It was designed by Robert Mills and is made of 36,000 blocks of marble and granite stacked 555 feet in the air. In teams or as a class, find a story about President Obama or past presidents in the newspaper. Or find an example online. Pick a president and have a class competition to design a monument for that president. Write a paragraph explaining your choices.

Core/National Standards: Writing informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts and information; adding drawings or other visual displays when appropriate to clarify ideas, thoughts and feelings.

2. Winter

While it won't be winter officially until December 22, you've probably noticed the colder weather recently. Read in the newspaper about the preparations your community is making for winter weather. Discuss ways your life changes in the winter.

Core/National Standards: Building on others’ talk in conversations by linking students’ own comments to the remarks of others; describing seasonal changes in weather.

3. Help! I’m Lost!

Naturalist and aspiring photographer Markus Thompson went scuba diving in Deep Bay near Vancouver, British Columbia, looking for ocean wildlife. Instead he found a camera sitting at the bottom of the ocean. When he surfaced, he took out the camera’s memory card and actually was able to download about 50 photos of a firefighter and his family. Thompson was determined to find the camera’s owner, so he posted a picture of the camera and a few of the pictures he was able to recover on Google+, a social networking site. Slowly, information began to trickle in and the owner of the camera was identified, contacted and got the camera back. The camera doesn’t work, but the family got their treasured photos. Search your newspaper’s Classified Ad section for lost items. Pick one and write a creative story about the item, where you think it might be and what it might be going through.

Core/National Standard: Writing narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details and clear event sequence.

4. Royal Rescuer

Every little girl who dreams of being rescued by Prince Charming might be interested to know there is a real life prince out there rescuing people from terrible situations. Prince William of England recently helped rescue people from a Russian cargo ship sinking in the Irish Sea. The prince is a helicopter pilot in the British Royal Air Force and was part of the search and rescue team that flew out to the site after the cargo ship’s hull cracked open in high winds off the coast of Wales between the European countries of Ireland and Great Britain. He and his crew pulled two people off the ship and took them to safety. Russia’s ambassador to Great Britain wrote the prince, thanking him for his “selfless effort under the bad weather conditions.” Find a newspaper article about a hero in your community. Draw a picture or comic strip showing the person’s brave deed.

Core/National Standard: Adding drawings or other visual displays when appropriate to clarify ideas, thoughts and feelings.

5. A Life in Movies

The holiday season is upon us, and Hollywood has given families the gift of fun movies to watch. With kids out of school, the holidays are a popular time for families to go to movies and for movie studios to make money. This year the Muppets have made a comeback and made more than $40 million by the end of Thanksgiving weekend! “Arthur’s Christmas,” an animated movie about Santa’s high-tech toy-making operation, also is playing and made almost $17 million. Another movie for children is the story of “Hugo,” a young boy searching for the answer to a mystery his father left him, which made $15 million. With a partner, search your newspaper for an interesting story about a young person. Write an idea for a movie based on that person’s life.

Core/National Standard: Writing narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details and clear event sequence