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Grades 5-8
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for Grades K-4

Dec. 09, 2019
Dec. 02, 2019
Nov. 25, 2019
Nov. 18, 2019
Nov. 11, 2019
Nov. 04, 2019
Nov. 04, 2019
Oct. 28, 2019
Oct. 21, 2019
Oct. 14, 2019
Oct. 07, 2019
Sep. 30, 2019
Sep. 23, 2019
Sep. 16, 2019
Sep. 09, 2019
Sep. 02, 2019
Aug. 26, 2019
Aug. 19, 2019
Aug. 12, 2019
Aug. 05, 2019
July 29, 2019
July 22, 2019
July 15, 2019
July 08, 2019
June 24, 2019
June 17, 2019
June 10, 2019
June 03, 2019
May 27, 2019
May 20, 2019
May 13, 2019
May 06, 2019
Apr 29, 2019
Apr 22, 2019
Apr 15, 2019
Apr 15, 2019
Apr 08, 2019
Apr 01, 2019
Mar. 25, 2019
Mar. 18, 2019

For Grades K-4 , week of Nov. 04, 2019

1. So Many Harrys!

All over the world people love Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling’s wizard stories. But a town in the European nation of Ireland has shown its love in a record-setting way. This month the town of Bandon in County Cork set a new mark for the number of people dressed as Harry Potter in one place. About 1,080 people dressed as the wizard hero, to top the previous record of 997 set by a town in the south Pacific nation of Australia. The world-record attempt was set up by the Secret Society of the Bandon Banshee — a group that celebrates Bandon’s connection to the Harry Potter world. In the second Harry Potter book — “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” — a fake hero named Gilderoy Lockhart claims he fought and banished a banshee monster in Bandon, County Cork. The Harry Potter books are loved by readers all over the world. In groups or as a class, discuss books you like and give reasons why. Then choose one book and brainstorm an idea for a short video or film telling why kids your age would like this book. Write an outline for what you would say in your video and images you would use. Choose a celebrity to narrate your video if you like. Share with the class.

Common Core State Standards: Writing narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events; engaging effectively in a range of collaborative discussions.

2. Very Special Help

Police officers often do unexpected things to help people. In the city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, one officer recently used his own money to buy car seats for the children of a woman who couldn’t afford them. Officer Kevin Zimmerman’s kindness began when he pulled over mom Andrella Jackson for having the wrong registration on her car. While talking to her, he noticed she had children in the back seat, but no car seats, WTMJ-TV reported. When he asked why, she told him she couldn’t afford them because “with winter coming up I have to get coats and boots and shoes for my kids.” Zimmermann, who has three children of his own, didn’t give Jackson a ticket for her violation. Instead he went to a nearby Walmart and bought two car seats for Jackson’s children. “He’s awesome,” Jackson said later. “I really love him. I really appreciate everything he did for me.” People offer help or kindness to others in many ways. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story of someone being kind or helpful to another person. Use what you read to write a letter to the editor publicly thanking the person who was kind, and telling how such actions make the community a better place.

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.

3. Tiger, Tiger

Tiger Woods is one of the greatest golfers in history, and this month he added another milestone to his career. He won a championship in the Asian nation of Japan to tie golf legend Sam Snead for the most career victories on the professional PGA Tour. By winning the Zozo Championship, Woods earned his 82nd PGA victory, tying Snead’s record that had stood for 54 years. Woods had to overcome a rain delay that pushed the tournament to five days to earn his third win in his last 14 starts. In April he won the world famous Masters Golf Tournament to achieve his 15th championship in a major PGA event. Tiger Woods has been a top athlete for many years. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about another athlete who has been successful for many years. Pretend you are going to interview this athlete. Write out three questions you would like to ask to learn more about how this athlete remained successful for such a long time. Then write out answers you think the athlete might give.

Common Core State Standards: Reading closely what a text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task.

4. ‘Spirit Moose’

All-white animals are rare in the wild, but this month wildlife lovers spotted not one but two white moose in the Canadian province of Ontario. The two moose known as “spirit moose” were videotaped on Highway 101 in northern Ontario after a series of sightings in the previous two weeks. One of the moose was an adult female and the other was a young juvenile. The two moose are not completely albino with white coats and pink eyes. Experts say the moose are “leucistic,” which means they have some color along with their white coats. The adult female has a round gray spot on her back hip. “Spirit moose” are believed in native cultures to bring good luck to those who see them. They are protected from hunting by Canadian law. People love to see unusual or beautiful animals in the wild. In the newspaper or online, find and closely study a story or photo of an animal you would like to see in the wild. Use what you read and previous knowledge to write a paragraph telling why you would like to see this animal in the wild and how that would be different from seeing it in a zoo.

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

5. ‘Figure 8’

One of the most unusual challenges in the world of sailing is to complete a “Figure 8” trip around North and South America and Antarctica. A 57-year-old man from San Francisco, California just completed the trip on a 45-foot sailboat — and he did it all by himself. Randall Reeves left San Francisco a year ago and sailed down the west coasts of North and South America. When he reached the tip of South America, he turned east and circled the continent of Antarctica at the Earth’s South Pole. He then sailed up the east coasts of North and South America and around the northernmost points of North America near the North Pole. He finished his journey by sailing down the western edge of North America and back to San Francisco. In making the 40,000-mile trip, Reeves had no human voice contact for 200 days and slept only 90 minutes at a time for more than 230 days. Randall Reeves’s “Figure 8” sail was an unusual adventure. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about an adventure you would like to have. Use what you read to create a song about the adventure and why you would like to have it. Take the tune of a song you like and re-write the words to talk about the adventure. Then share or perform it for the class.

Common Core State Standards: Demonstrating understanding of figurative language; applying knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts.

For Grades K-4 , week of Nov. 04, 2019

1. Fires Rage On

At this time of year, wildfires are a deadly danger in the state of California. Last week two huge fires were burning in the northern and southern parts of the state, fueled by dry conditions and high winds. In northern California, a blaze known as the Kincade Fire forced the evacuation of nearly 200,000 people, the most ever in Sonoma County north of the City of San Francisco. In southern California, fast-moving fires threatened Los Angeles neighborhoods that are home to some of America’s wealthiest and most famous celebrities. As the flames approached, both NBA star LeBron James and movie hero Arnold Schwarzenegger had to evacuate with their families. California Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a statewide emergency until the fires could be controlled. Wildfires driven by high winds continue to threaten homes and neighborhoods in California. In the newspaper or online find and closely read stories about the wildfires, the source of the winds that are feeding them and the damage to homes and neighborhoods. Use what you read to prepare a three-minute report for television news detailing the latest developments. Choose images from the Internet or newspaper to go with your report. Write out the text for your report and read it aloud to make sure it does not run longer than three minutes.

Common Core State Standards: Writing narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events; citing visual and textual evidence when writing or speaking.

2. Paying It Forward

Many people would like to help individuals or organizations in need, but they don’t have the money to offer assistance. A church outside Cincinnati, Ohio removed that obstacle this fall, giving members blank checks to go out into the community and “do something meaningful.” At a Sunday service last month, pastor Heidi Johns gave out checks of $100, $250 and $500 and challenged families that received them to think of ways they could use the money to “make the most impact.” The money had come from a woman who had died and left the money to the church as a gift, the Washington Post newspaper reported. All together, about $60,000 was distributed, and it was used in a wide variety of ways. Some church members donated their checks for hurricane relief, homeless shelters, or food pantries that feed hungry people. Others helped out people they knew who had lost a job or had medical bills they couldn’t pay. “It was a heartwarming experience to see what everyone came up with,” Pastor Johns said. What would you do if you were given $500 to help others? In the newspaper or online, find and closely read stories about people or organizations that need help. Pick one and write a paragraph telling how would use your $500 to help, and what impact you would hope to have.

Common Core State Standards: Writing informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly; conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic.

3. What a Treasure!

Discovering hidden treasure isn’t just something that pirates do. It also happens in the art world. And it happened in a big way this summer in the European nation of France. A painting an elderly woman had hanging over a hot plate in her kitchen was discovered to be a rare masterpiece from the 13th century by the Italian artist known as Cimabue. The value of the 10-inch-by-8-inch painting was revealed this month when it sold for nearly $27 MILLION at an auction sale in France. The painting, titled “The Mocking of Christ,” was part of a series on the crucifixion of Jesus Christ in the Bible. The artwork is believed to have been painted nearly 740 years ago in the year 1280, CNN News reported, and is one of just 11 paintings by Cimabue known to exist in the world. The recent discovery of the painting by Cimabue was an extremely rare event in the world of art. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about another discovery of a rare item. Use what you read to write a letter to the editor, telling what this discovery can teach people and why it is important.

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.

4. Record for a Climber

It requires great skill, strength and endurance to climb the world’s tallest mountains. It also takes courage to tackle peaks like Mount Everest, whose summit is more than five miles above sea level. This year, a mountain climber from the Asian nation of Nepal set a new world record for climbing when he not only climbed Everest but scaled the next 13 tallest mountains as well. And he did it in just 189 days. Climber Nirmal Purja began his quest on April 23 when he climbed Mount Annpurna in Nepal and finished October 29 when he reached the peak of Mount Shishapangma in China. All the mountains climbed by Purja are taller than 8,000 meters, or 26,240 feet, in height. The 36-year-old Purja set a new record in the world of mountain climbing when he scaled the world’s 14 tallest peaks in just 189 days. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about someone else setting a new record. Use what you read to write a personal column explaining the challenges this person had to overcome to set the new record.

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.

5. Oh So Dumb

There are many dumb selfie stunts in the world, but a woman traveling on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship may have tried one of the dumbest of all. And she earned a lifetime ban from the cruise company for her actions. The woman was a passenger on the ship called the Allure of the Seas when she was observed standing on the top of her balcony railing trying to get a dramatic photo with the ocean behind her. Another passenger saw the dangerous stunt, and alerted security. The woman was posing with her hands over her head while perched on the top rail, CNN News reported. The ship's crew tracked down the woman and removed her from the ship at the next port. Royal Caribbean did not identify the woman, but confirmed she had been “banned for life” as a result of the incident. Selfie stunts can be extremely dangerous. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read stories about such stunts and how they turned out. Use what you read to brainstorm an idea for an animated public service ad discouraging people from trying selfie stunts. Draw a scene from the opening of your ad in cartoon style. Share and discuss with the class.

Common Core State Standards: Using drawings or visual displays when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or points; engaging effectively in a range of collaborative discussions.