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Grades 1-4
Grades 9-12

Past lessons
for Grades 5-8

Sep. 18, 2017
Sep. 11, 2017
Sep. 04, 2017
Aug. 28, 2017
Aug. 21, 2017
Aug. 14, 2017
Aug. 07, 2017
July 31, 2017
July 24, 2017
July 17, 2017
July 10, 2017
June 26, 2017
June 19, 2017
June 12, 2017
June 05, 2017
May 29, 2017
May 22, 2017
May 15, 2017
May 08, 2017
May 01, 2017
Apr 24, 2017
Apr 17, 2017
Apr 10, 2017
Apr 03, 2017
Mar. 27, 2017
Mar. 20, 2017
Mar. 13, 2017
Mar. 06, 2017
Feb. 27, 2017
Feb. 20, 2017
Feb. 13, 2017
Feb. 06, 2017
Jan. 30, 2017
Jan. 23, 2017
Jan. 16, 2017
Jan. 09, 2017
Jan. 02, 2017
Dec. 12, 2016
Dec. 05, 2016
Nov. 28, 2016

For Grades 5-8 , week of Sep. 18, 2017

1. Powerless Florida

Hurricane Irma was not as powerful as originally feared, but it still caused widespread damage that will take the state of Florida weeks — if not months — to recover from. The powerful winds knocked out power for as many as 15 million people, a number that represents about three-quarters of the state’s entire population. More than half of Florida homes and businesses were affected, including wide shutdowns of air conditioning and refrigerators at a time when the state’s weather is hot, sticky and wet. Even people with generators faced obstacles, because a statewide gasoline shortage limited the fuel available to run them. “It’s going to take us a long time to get the power back up,” Governor Rick Scott said. When people lose electric power, they face challenges many had never imagined. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read stories about people in Florida dealing with the loss of electric power. Use what you read to write a paragraph summarizing the biggest challenges they face. Then write a paragraph describing the biggest challenges you and your family would face if you lost electricity for an extended period of time.

Common Core State Standards: Writing informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly; closely reading written or visual text to make logical inferences from it.

2. ‘It’ Makes a Killing

“It” is a horror movie based on a famous horror story by one of the most famous horror writers. But its opening weekend was anything but a horror for the studios that made the movie. “It” set a new record for ticket sales for a movie opening in September and a new record for the opening of a horror movie in any month. Based on Stephen King’s novel about a terrifying clown named Pennywise, “It” brought in an estimated $123.1 million in ticket sales in the United States in its first weekend and another $62 million in sales in other countries. “It” topped the U.S. record for a September opening by nearly $75 million and the record for a horror movie by $70 million. The previous September record was held by “Hotel Transylvania 2” with $48.5 million in its opening weekend in 2015. The horror record had been held by “Paranormal Activity 3,” which earned $52.6 million in 2011. Many of the year’s biggest movies will come out between now and the winter holiday season. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read stories about movies that are coming out that you would like to see. Think like a movie critic and write a column about one you would like to see, and why. Is it the plot, the stars or something else that makes it interesting to you? Discuss as a class.

Common Core State Standards: Writing opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information; engaging effectively in a range of collaborative discussions.

3. Warrior Princess

The Vikings were fierce warriors and early explorers of what is now known as North America. Sailing from northern Europe in long boats, they battled for wealth and power across a wide region. Most of these warriors were men, but at least one was a “warrior princess,” according to a new study. Examination of the remains of a powerful Viking long thought to be a man has revealed that this warrior was a woman. The remains were buried in Sweden in the mid-10th century along with a sword, an axe, a spear, armor-piercing arrows, a battle knife, shields, and two horses — all of which led archaeologists and historians to assume she was a man, according to findings published in in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology. Several years ago, however, a bone expert noticed the remains had delicate cheekbones and feminine hip bones and DNA testing determined they belonged to a woman. In addition, a kind of board game used to try out battle tactics was found in her lap, indicating to researchers that “she most likely planned, led and [took] part in battles.” The Viking “warrior princess” was a woman succeeding in a male-dominated world. Many women today also succeed in careers dominated (or previously dominated) by men. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about one of these women. Use what you read to write a letter to the editor detailing the skills and qualities this woman had that made it possible for her to succeed — and how they could inspire other women.

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. Anti-Terror Nets

An increase in terrorist attacks using cars and trucks has led to deployment of futuristic anti-terrorism equipment in the European city of London, England. “Talon” nets bristling with steel spikes are being laid on roadways at events where large numbers of people are expected to gather. The nets can be activated by police in less than a minute if a vehicle attack is launched, and ensnare vehicles like something out of a “Spiderman” movie. The spikes puncture the tires and the net tangles up the front tires and controls the vehicle. Terrorists have used vehicles to attack pedestrians several times in London this year, and a similar attack in Barcelona, Spain left 14 people dead. All over the world, police and governments are trying new things to stop or prevent attacks by terrorists. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read stories about some new approaches. Use what you read to write a short editorial discussing one approach you think could be effective. 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. NFL Know, Wonder & Learn

The 2017 NFL football season is under way, and fans all over the country are excited. Following the NFL in the newspaper or online is a great way to build reading skills if you use the approach called Know, Wonder and Learn. With this approach, called KWL for short, you ask yourself questions every time you read something. First, you ask what you already KNOW about the subject. Then you ask what you WONDER or WANT TO KNOW about the subject. Then you read and ask what you have LEARNED about the subject by reading. Practice KWL by finding a story in the newspaper or online about the new NFL season. Write out what you already KNOW about the subject of the story. Then write what you WONDER or WANT TO KNOW about the subject of the story. Then read the story and write what you LEARNED about the subject of the story by reading.

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.