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for Grades 5-8

Aug. 10, 2020
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June 08, 2020
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For Grades 5-8 , week of June 08, 2020

1. Food Generosity

For more than a week, protesters have filled the streets of cities and smaller communities to protest the death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Many of those protests were peaceful, but many turned violent with the burning of cars, looting of businesses and closing of grocery stores. In Minneapolis, a middle school located near where Floyd died stepped up to provide food for families who suddenly had nowhere to buy it. A call for food help led to donation of more than 30,000 “food kits” for families — 200 times more than the 150 that officials at Hudson Middle School thought they would get. “There were miles of cars holding food, wrapped around our city blocks,” one school official told the Washington Post newspaper. The excess food was distributed to families beyond the immediate neighborhood. These are difficult and stressful times for families and communities, and many people are stepping up to help others. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read stories about people offering different kinds of help. Use what you read to write a short editorial encouraging people to look for ways to help others during this difficult time. Include examples from your reading or from your own experience.

Common Core State Standards: Producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task; reading closely what written and visual texts say and to making logical inferences from them.

2. Space Milestone

For the first time in history, American astronauts have been launched into space on a privately owned rocket ship and transported to the International Space Station. On May 30 astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley blasted off atop a Falcon 9 rocket in a Crew Dragon capsule that transported them to a smooth docking with the space station orbiting 200 miles above the Earth. The capsule and rocket were built and operated by the private SpaceX company from California. The successful launch was the first time in almost 10 years that America’s NASA space agency had sent astronauts into space from U.S. soil. Since the last launch from the U.S., American astronauts have traveled on Russian spacecraft to missions on board the space station. President Trump, who watched the launch from a rooftop at NASA’s Cape Canaveral space center in Florida, called it “an inspiration for our country.” NASA would like private companies to play a bigger and bigger role in America’s space program. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read stories about ways private companies could be involved in space missions. Use what you read to write a letter to the editor giving your view on whether reliance on private companies is a good or bad idea.

Common Core State Standards: Writing opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information; citing specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions.

3. NBA & NHL Coming Back

After being idle since the middle of March due to the coronavirus, the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League have announced plans to return to action at the end of July or early August. The NHL cancelled the rest of its regular season and will return with an expanded 24-team playoff competition. The NBA will play an eight-game regular season schedule with for all but the eight teams with the worst records before starting the playoffs. All NBA games will be played in Orlando, Florida, home of Disney World. NHL games will be played in two as-yet-to-be named cities. In both leagues players will be tested daily for the virus. America’s pro sports leagues are all grappling with how to return to action. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read stories about different approaches. Prepare a multi-media presentation showing different approaches under consideration by the leagues. Share your presentation with family or friends.

Common Core State Standards: Integrating information presented in different media or formats to develop a coherent understanding of a topic; conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic; citing specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions.

4. Dolphin Drive-In

With many regular movie theaters closed down due to the coronavirus, drive-in movies are becoming popular again. At a drive-in, you watch a movie on a big screen from your car rather than from an indoor space. They are becoming popular as people seek to practice safe social distancing and avoid indoor spaces. All across the country, “pop-up” drive-ins are setting up in parking lots or unused spaces, and pro football’s Miami Dolphins will create one of the largest in the nation. The Dolphins have announced they will turn Hard Rock Stadium where the team plays into a drive-in theater in the city of Miami, Florida, showing classic movies, concerts, and films of action from the Dolphins’ 54-year history. The Dolphins’ drive-in will be able to accommodate up to 230 vehicles while keeping people a safe distance apart. Members of the audience will be able to get food and drinks delivered to them via an online ordering system, and stadium restrooms will be available for use, the team said. Maintaining safe social distancing is one of the big challenges for restaurants and entertainment sites as the nation reopens from the coronavirus shutdown. In the newspaper or online, find and read stories about what restaurants or entertainment sites are doing to re-open safely. Use what you read to write a consumer column analyzing which approaches you think will be most successful.

Common Core State Standards: Conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic; producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task.

5. Light Bulb History

The General Electric Company was founded by Thomas Edison, who invented the light bulb. Now, 129 years after Edison started the company, G.E. is getting out of the light bulb business. G.E. has announced it is selling its lighting division to a company called Savant Systems, which makes lighting, security, climate and entertainment products. The sale does not mean that G.E. lightbulbs will disappear, however. Under an agreement with G.E., Savant will continue to market light bulbs using the G.E. brand. To remain profitable, companies often reorganize, sell some of their operations, merge with other companies or buy other companies. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a company doing one of these things. Use what you read to write a paragraph or short paper explaining why the company is taking this action and whether you think it will be successful.

Common Core State Standards: Reading closely what written and visual texts say and to making logical inferences from them; citing textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions.