, week of
Apr 16, 2018
1. Free Seeds
Earth Day is next Sunday, and people all over the world are looking for ways to “go green.” In many communities, public libraries are getting into the act by offering people free fruit and vegetable seeds. The goal of these “seed library” programs is to get people involved with the environment and to encourage “sustainable” living by teaching people they can grow food themselves. Seeds are donated from garden clubs and seed companies, and there’s even an online Seed Library Social Network for people who want to learn more or start a program. Seed libraries are now operating in more than 46 U.S. states and 15 other countries. Each year on Earth Day, people and communities plan programs and projects to help the environment. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about an Earth Day project planned for your state or community. Use what you read to design a poster to encourage people to take part in the event. Give your poster an eye-catching headline.
Common Core State Standards: 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.
2. New Life for a Light
Every community has special buildings that are important to local history. In Port Washington, Wisconsin, one of the most famous is an unusual lighthouse at the end of a stone pier. The North Pierhead Lighthouse has been protecting the city’s harbor for the last 90 years on the shore of Lake Michigan. Now it is getting new attention and a plan for renewal. The lighthouse has been acquired by the city from the federal government, and will receive some long-needed repairs as a result. The move will preserve a structure that is popular with tourists and other visitors. Its unusual design features four curved arches that form a platform supporting the light tower. What buildings are important or unusual in your community or state? In the newspaper or online, find and study a story or picture of one building that is important for its appearance or history. Write a letter to the editor explaining what makes this building special.
Common Core State Standards: Writing informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly; citing specific textual evidence when writing.
3. He Sure Loves Baseball!
If you love what you do, it will never seem like a job. That has certainly been true for Phil Coyne of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He loved being an usher for the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team so much that he did it for 81 years! Coyne started helping fans find their seats way back in 1936, and continued as an usher through last season. He turns 100 on April 27, and the team announced he has decided to give up his duties in his familiar section behind the third base line at PNC Park. But that doesn’t mean he’ll be staying away. The Pirates plan to throw him a big party to celebrate his 100th birthday and thank him for all his years of service. Pirates President Frank Coonelly said Coyne deserves the spotlight for serving fans “with incredible grace and distinction” through the years. What kind of job would you love to do? In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story or ad for a job you would like. Use what you read to write a poem, rap or rhyme telling how “I’d Love It!” if you had the job.
Common Core State Standards: Demonstrating understanding of figurative language; applying knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts.
4. Dino Discovery
The European nation of Scotland is famous for its cattle and sheep herds, but 170 million years ago dinosaurs roamed the land. And sometimes they had close encounters with each other. A discovery on the Isle of Skye in the northern part of Scotland has revealed that giant plant-eaters known as sauropods were active at the same time and place as two-legged meat-eaters known as theropods. Scientists searching the area for dinosaur teeth found huge fossil footprints of the long-necked sauropods mixed in with claw-footed tracks of the theropods. “We’re actually seeing these dinosaurs interacting with each other,” one scientist said. About 50 footprints were found in all, some more than two feet wide. Fossil discoveries help scientists understand how dinosaurs and other creatures lived long ago. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a fossil discovery. Use what you read to write a paragraph explaining what scientists have learned from the discovery, and why that is important.
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. Tropical Jungle Dome
On the continent of Europe, northern France isn’t usually considered a tropical jungle paradise. But it soon will be in at least one spot, if plans to construct a one-of-a-kind tourist attraction go forward. Officials of two French companies have announced they plan to build the world’s largest, single-domed, tropical greenhouse near the city of Calais on the English Channel. The greenhouse, called Tropicalia, will cost $62 million to build and feature rain forest habitats, an 82-foot waterfall and a giant pool filled with fish from the Amazon jungle. The dome will be built of plastic and steel and cover 215,000 square feet of space. More than 500,000 people a year are expected to visit Tropicalia when it opens in 2021, according to officials from the Dalkia energy company and the Coldefy & Associates architectural firm. People like to visit theme parks and tourist attractions that give them unusual experiences. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a theme park or attraction you would like to visit with your family. Use what you read to write a friendly letter to your family telling them why this attraction would be a great place to visit. Include details from your reading.
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.