1. Such Sportsmanship
Sportsmanship can take many forms, but it always shows the best side of young athletes and adults. In a Little League baseball game in the state of Texas, a batter who had been hit in the head by a pitch stopped the game to hug the pitcher who had hit him. In a scary moment in the Little League Southwest Region championship game, 12-year-old Oklahoma batter Isaiah Jarvis was hit in the head by a pitch from Texas East pitcher Kaiden Shelton, who is also 12. The ball was traveling so fast it knocked Jarvis’s helmet off and left him sprawled on the ground by home plate. Isaiah quickly got up and was awarded first base for the hit. But Kaiden was still really upset on the pitcher’s mound. So in a moment that went viral on the Internet, Isaiah went to the mound and hugged Kaiden to tell him he was all right. “I wanted to go over there and spread God’s love and make sure that he’s OK, and make sure that he knows that I’m OK and that I’ll be OK,” Isaiah told CNN News. “It felt like he cared," Kaiden said. “I also cared about him, and that just showed that baseball is sportsmanship.” Texas East won the game and advanced to the Little League World Series taking place this week in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Good sportsmanship is all around us. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about someone showing good sportsmanship to another person. Use what you read to write a paragraph, telling how this example of good sportsmanship made you feel. Include a time you showed good sportsmanship or benefited from it.
Common Core State Standards: Producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task; reading closely what a text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it.
2. That Special Teacher
It’s often said that teachers change students’ lives. That certainly was the case for author Jamil Jan Kochai, who knew no English when he started school in America after his family left the Asian nation of Pakistan. At home, his family only spoke the Pashto and Farsi languages, and Kochai struggled to pick up a new language in kindergarten and first grade. Then he met Susannah Lung, who taught second grade at Alyce Norman Elementary School in West Sacramento, California. Mrs. Lung dedicated herself to teaching him English, sitting with him after school to teach him how to read and write, the Washington Post newspaper reported. By the end of second grade, Kochai had mastered his new language, and the next year he even won a reading award. “She showed me that I didn’t have to be afraid of [English], and it could actually be something that I could come to love,” he said. Kochai, who is now 30, grew up to be a writer of books, essays and short stories and teaches writing at two universities. He and Mrs. Lung lost touch with each other until this summer when the publication of his newest book brought them back together. Mrs. Lung learned he had a book reading nearby and decided to surprise him with a visit. When he saw her “My heart dropped,” he said. “I gave her a big hug. … I felt like a 7-year-old kid with his beloved teacher again.” Mrs. Lung felt the same way. “Proud is the right word,” she said. “Teachers rarely ever get to follow their kids into adulthood and find them doing good things. “He is something else.” Teachers help their students in many positive ways. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a teacher who has done this. Use what you read to write a letter to a teacher you have had, telling how the teacher in the story made you think of your own teacher. Be sure to thank your teacher for special things that helped you.
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.
3. Miracle Rescue
It’s often said that pets can find their way home, but a dog from the state of Missouri couldn’t do that when she got trapped in the state’s second largest cave. The dog, a poodle-hound mix named Abby, went missing June 9 and was rescued August 6 by cave explorers in the Berome Moore Cave, USA Today reported. She was 500 feet underground and 200 feet from the cave’s main entrance. Abby, who is 13 years old, was found by a group of recreational cave explorers and rescued by a team that was mapping the cave’s 18 miles of tunnels. She was weak and undernourished after living in complete darkness for up to two months. Her owner said she had lost half her 50-pound body weight and apparently had been living off her body fat. Since her rescue, she has regained weight and started to get back the voice she likely lost barking for help. She’s also wagging her tail again. “It’s amazing how she’s springing back already,” her owner said. Animals often make news by doing unusual or amazing things. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about an animal like that. Use what you read to brainstorm an idea for a short movie starring the animal. Write an outline for your movie and give it a title that would make kids your age want to watch it.
Common Core State Standards: Writing narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events; citing specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions.
4. Oink, Oink Here
In communities across America, kids in kindergarten and pre-school love to sing the song “Old MacDonald Had a Farm.” In a town in the state of Maine, a “Young MacDonald” is running a farm — and he’s just 12 years old! Seventh grader Bryden Nadeau has taken over most of the work on his grandfather’s 25-acre farm in Minot, Maine, plus 250-acres used to grow hay for animals next door. On top of that he runs Brayden’s Vegetable Stand at the edge of the farm, selling favorite vegetables like corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, broccoli and more to local residents. He works on the farm and at his store 10 hours a day in the summer, and four hours a day (mostly after school) when classes start in the fall, the Washington Post reports. Like most farmers he gets up early — sometimes at 5 a.m. — to feed 100 chickens, 60 pigs, 30 egg-laying hens, 20 turkeys and six cows and drive his grandfather’s tractor out to the fields to pick whatever vegetables are ripe each day. He puts most of earnings into a savings account, but has also earned enough to pay $7,000 for a new structure for the farm stand. “I really enjoy it — even getting up at 5 in the morning,” Brayden says. “I’m not into video games and goofing around on my phone like some of my friends. I’d rather be busy on the farm.” Young people often make news by achieving unusual things. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a young person who has achieved success doing something unusual. Use what you read to write a letter to the editor telling how this person’s achievements could inspire 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.
5. New Cookie Flavor
Girl Scout cookies are among the most popular treats in America, and next year buyers will have a new flavor to enjoy. Starting in January scouts will be offering Raspberry Rally cookies along with popular favorites like Thin Mints, S’mores and Do-Si-Dos. The new Raspberry Rally is actually a “sister” cookie to Thin Mints, replacing the mint filling with a raspberry flavored one. It’s still dipped in the “same delicious chocolaty coating” as Thin Mints, the Girl Scouts said. For the first time, the new cookie flavor will be sold only online, CNN News reported, to improve girls’ “e-commerce skills.” The Girl Scouts frequently offer new flavors. In recent years they have introduced Adventurefuls (chocolate cookies filled with caramel-flavored crème), Toast-Yay! (French toast flavored cookies shaped like a miniature piece of bread) and crispy lemon wafers called Lemon-Ups. Companies that make treats often are looking for new flavors. With a partner, search the newspaper and Internet for stories and ads about a treat you love. Brainstorm an idea for a new flavor for this treat. Write a paragraph explaining why you think people would like this flavor.
Common Core State Standards: Conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic; engaging effectively in a range of collaborative discussions.