Resources for Teachers and Students
, week of
Oct. 14, 2019
1. Temple Discovery
The African nation of Egypt is home to some of the greatest treasures of the ancient world. Now a new one has been added to the Sphinx, the Great Pyramids and other attractions. A long-lost temple has been found near the banks of the Nile River, and it has been traced to the Pharaoh Ptolemy IV who ruled 2,200 years ago. The temple was discovered by workers drilling a sewage drain, according to Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities. Archaeologists found stone inscriptions and text featuring the name of Ptolemy IV (pronounced TOL-eh-me), CNN News reported. Researchers have found two walls plus engraved carvings showing birds, flowers and the god Hapi, who was said to oversee the yearly flooding of the Nile. The flooding was important to Egyptians because it renewed the soil for farmers. Discoveries of ancient places help scientists understand how people lived in the past. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a discovery of a place from the past. Use what you read to write a paragraph telling what this discovery has revealed about life in the past, and why that is 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.
Animals often make news in amazing ways. The latest example comes from the Caribbean nation of the Bahamas, which suffered great damage and destruction when it was hit by Hurricane Dorian in early September. A month after the hurricane, a one-year-old puppy was found alive in the rubble of a destroyed building. The mixed-breed puppy was trapped by pieces of metal and an air conditioner and had been surviving on rain water that collected in its space. It had lost so much weight that rescuers could see its rib bones under its skin, the Washington Post newspaper reported. “It’s a miracle this little dog had the will to live and to survive in the conditions he was in,” said the founder of Big Dog Ranch Rescue, which found the puppy. As a result, rescuers named the puppy “Miracle.” Animals often make news for doing unusual or amazing things. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about one animal like this. Use what you read to write a creative story, telling about this animal’s experience from the animal’s point of view. Give your story a creative title.
Common Core State Standards: Writing narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events; conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic.
3. Presidential Art
Since leaving the White House as the nation’s 43rd president, George W. Bush has stayed out of the spotlight of politics and national life. He retired to his home in Texas and developed his talents as a painter with portraits of wounded military veterans and others. The portraits drew attention when he published them in a book, and this fall they are getting a national spotlight at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. A collection of 66 paintings by the former president are featured in a new exhibit at the Center called “Portraits of Courage,” which runs through November 15. The paintings are the first exhibit to be showcased in the Kennedy Center’s new arts space called the Reach. Money from sales of Bush’s book helps support wounded veterans across the country. Art often can reveal the emotions and personalities of people by the way the artist draws or paints them. In the newspaper or online, find and study examples of artists painting portraits of people. Then find and study a photo of a person in the newspaper or on the Internet. Think like an artist and draw a portrait that shows the personality or emotions of the person. Share and discuss your portrait with the class.
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.
4. Rock Paper
In the game paper-rock-scissors, people who make the paper sign defeat those who make the rock sign because paper can cover a rock. But what if rock and paper were the same thing? Two inventors from the southern Pacific nation of Australia have created that problem for game-players by coming up with a way to make paper from the dust of rocks and stones. Their approach replaces the traditional way for making paper from the chopped-up wood of trees. Their company, Karst Stone Paper, uses ground up limestone from construction sites to make a paper that is waterproof, difficult to tear and recyclable. Their approach also is good for the environment, producing 67 percent fewer greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming. Inventors often create new products or find new ways of doing things. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about an inventor doing this. Use what you read to write a short business story describing the invention and how people will benefit from it.
Common Core State Standards: Producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task; citing textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions.
5. ‘Shipwreck’ Building
If it is approved by local officials, the building called the “Top Tower” would be the tallest in the European city of Prague in the nation of the Czech Republic. It also would be the ugliest, in the view of many Prague residents. The proposed $84.5 million building has many things cities like: a cultural center, roof garden and shops on the ground floor. But its look is what has caused controversy. The 443-foot tower is designed to look like a shipwrecked oil tanker stuck on end into the ground like something from a sci-fi movie. The design is supposed to serve as a warning about the climate dangers of relying too much on oil as a fuel, according to its creators. But with exposed steel beams and a red and green color scheme, Prague residents just don’t like it as an addition to the city’s skyline. People often have strong feelings about buildings in their community. As a class, discuss new or existing buildings in your community that are unusual or noteworthy. Pick one and write a paragraph or short paper, telling what makes the building unusual or noteworthy and whether you like its design.
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.
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