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Grades 5-8
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for Grades K-4

Sep. 18, 2023
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For Grades K-4 , week of Apr 17, 2023

1. Record-Setting Season

The Boston Bruins have had an amazing season in the National Hockey League. In fact, it’s been one for the record books in pro hockey. The Bruins have become the first team ever to win 63 games in the regular season, and finished with a record 65. With 135 points accumulated for wins and overtime losses, the Bruins also have set a new league record for most points in a regular season. In addition, the Bruins set NHL records for the fastest team to 50 wins (64 games) and the fastest to accumulate 100 points (61 games), ESPN News reported. They also set a new team record for wins at their home arena in Boston, Massachusetts (34). On top of all that David Pastr?ák is now the first Bruin to score 60 goals in a season since Hall of Famer Phil Esposito did it 48 years ago in 1975. Founded 99 years ago in 1924, the Bruins are one of the Original Six teams in the NHL and the first in the United States. They have won six Stanley Cup championships. Athletes and sports teams set new records for achievement every year. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a new record that has been set in sports this year. Use what you read to write a paragraph telling what skills, character and personal qualities it took for the athlete or team to set the record. Discuss which of those qualities you or your friends have.

Common Core State Standards: Writing opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information; reading closely what a text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it.

2. What a Ruby!

Rubies are precious gemstones that are famous for their bright red color. They are used to make fancy jewelry, and people pay millions of dollars for them. In June an “exceedingly rare” ruby may set a new record for a sale price. The ruby is the largest ever to be offered at an auction sale, and it could also become the most expensive ever sold. Named the Star of Fura, the ruby is expected to sell for more than $30-million, according to the Sotheby’s auction house, which is handling the sale. The ruby was unearthed at an underground mine in the nation of Mozambique on the east coast of the continent of Africa, CNN News reported. At a weight of 55.22 carats, it is more than double the size of the current record-holder for a ruby sale. The record holder, called the Sunrise Ruby, also holds top honors for price at $30.3-million. Wealthy people often pay great amounts of money for rare or unusual things. Imagine you had unlimited money. Find something advertised or written about in the newspaper or online that you would be willing to pay a lot for. It can be an item you would want for yourself or a family member or something connected to a person you admire. Write a letter to a classmate, describing the item you chose and why you would be willing to pay a lot for it. Share letters as a class.

Common Core State Standards: Producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task; citing specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions.

3. Scary Plane Ride

In a movie called “Snakes on a Plane,” dozens of passengers panicked when poisonous snakes were released in an effort to harm a traveler who was a witness to a crime. In the nation of South Africa this month, a pilot of a small plane is being hailed as a hero for NOT panicking when a highly poisonous Cape Cobra snake was discovered on board. Even though the snake briefly tried to get under the shirt of pilot Rudolf Erasmus, the New York Times newspaper reported. Erasmus, who is 30, was flying four passengers from the western part of the country to an eastern region when the snake was discovered. The plane was traveling at an elevation of 11,000 feet, and Erasmus knew he had to get the craft back on the ground as fast as possible. While sitting very still, he radioed the nearest airport to make an emergency landing. He also notified the passengers that an “uninvited guest” was on board. The passengers quickly left the plane after landing, and Erasmus was the last to leave. Once outside, he moved his pilot’s seat forward and “saw this snake curled up in a nice little bundle underneath.” The ordeal was over quickly but “That was definitely the longest 10, 15 minutes of my life,” he said. People often have to stay calm when faced with an emergency. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read about a person doing this. Use what you read to write a short editorial for the newspaper telling how the person staying calm helped in the situation and how it could be a model for others.

Common Core State Standards: Writing informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly; citing specific textual evidence when writing.

4. Volunteers

Volunteers can make a big difference in schools, neighborhoods and communities. They help coach sports teams, run art programs, clean up litter and help the elderly, among other things. Every April, the nation honors people who volunteer their time and services, while encouraging others to get involved. In celebration of National Volunteer Month, find and closely read a story about volunteers making a difference in their community. Use what you read to brainstorm an idea for your class, family or school to volunteer to help others or the community. Write a summary of what your volunteers could do and why that would be important to others.

Common Core State Standards: Producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task; citing specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions.

5. They Really Dig It

With strong front legs and long claws, badgers are amazing diggers. With great strength and energy, they can dig underground burrows as long as a football field and even disrupt human activities. In the European nation of the Netherlands, badgers did just that recently by digging burrows under train tracks on a popular railroad line. The digging caused the ProRail organization that runs the railroad to shut down the line to make sure the tracks did not collapse — and to move the badgers out. The shutdown lasted several weeks while rail workers removed sections of track so that the badger dens could be dug out. Workers also had to create a new “castle” for the animals, because they are a protected species in the Netherlands. Badgers are cousins to ferrets, otters, weasels and minks, and the European badger is the largest species. European badgers can grow up to 40 inches long and weigh 35 pounds. They have gray/brown body fur and a white-and-black head. The badgers in the Netherlands made news by doing something unusual. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about another animal making news by doing something unusual. Use what you read to create a series of comic strips showing this animal acting in an unusual way and what happened as a result. Share with the class and discuss.

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.