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Grades 1-4
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for Grades 5-8

Nov. 12, 2018
Oct. 29, 2018
Oct. 22, 2018
Oct. 15, 2018
Oct. 08, 2018
Oct. 01, 2018
Sep. 24, 2018
Sep. 17, 2018
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Mar. 26, 2018
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Mar. 12, 2018
Mar. 05, 2018
Feb. 26, 2018
Feb. 19, 2018
Feb. 12, 2018
Feb. 05, 2018
Jan. 29, 2018

For Grades 5-8 , week of Nov. 12, 2018

1. More Records for Simone

Simone Biles is one of the world’s greatest gymnasts, and this month she proved it again. At the World Gymnastics Championships, she won her fourth all-around world title — the first female athlete ever to do that. She also became the first American to win a medal in every event in the Worlds competition. The 21-year-old Biles wasn’t in top form at the competition, after discovering she had a kidney stone just before the start. But she survived two falls — and a trip to the emergency room — to outscore the field and win her fourth all-around world title. At the 2016 Olympics, Biles won four gold medals. Simone Biles is one of the top athletes in the world. In the newspaper or online find and closely read a story about another woman who is a top athlete. Pretend you are a sports reporter who is going to interview her. Write out five questions you would ask about what it took to be a success.

Common Core State Standards: Producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task; citing specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions.

2. ‘Misfit’ Foods

When Americans shop for fresh food, “eye appeal” plays a big role in what they buy. They want things that taste good, but also things that LOOK good. So what happens to healthy fruits and vegetables that don’t have perfect shape or color? Many are thrown out. A new company called the Misfits Market wants to change that. Rather than throw out oddly shaped organic foods, Misfits is collecting them from farms and selling them at prices below what is charged at supermarkets. The foods are shipped directly from farms to customers, providing high health and nutrition at a lower cost for consumers. Misfits says the approach is a “win-win” for both farmers and shoppers because it reduces food waste and finds customers for food that would otherwise be thrown away. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that 30 to 40 percent of all food produced in the country each year goes to waste. The Misfits Market company has come up with a new way to serve the public. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about another company that has found a new way to help customers. Use what you read to write a business column for the newspaper, assessing what the company is doing, how it could help people, and whether you think it will be a success.

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

3. New National Monument

Since taking office, President Trump has used his executive powers to downsize national monuments in the American West. But this month he created a new one in the state of Kentucky. The new national monument at Camp Nelson honors the role of African Americans as soldiers in America’s Civil War. Camp Nelson was a training site for African Americans who volunteered after being freed as slaves, and it prepared 23,000 of them to serve in the Union armies of the North. Kentucky tried to stay neutral in the Civil War but later asked the Union army for protection against Confederate forces. The Camp Nelson national monument seeks to recognize contributions made by African Americans in U.S. history. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about another contribution made by African Americans to the nation’s history. Use what you read to brainstorm an idea for recognizing this contribution locally or at the national level. Write a formal proposal to send to a government leader or body. Give specific reasons this contribution should be recognized.

Common Core State Standards: Reading closely what a text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; citing specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions.

4. Whale of a Rescue

People often want to help wildlife, but few go as far as a fisherman in the state of California. Sam Synstelien climbed up on the back of a humpback whale to save it! Synstelien and his partner Nicholas Taron were working the ocean waters off the central California coast when they encountered the whale. It had gotten tangled in fishing rope and couldn’t do anything but swim in a circle. The men maneuvered their boat close enough to cut off ropes tangling the whale’s tale. But they couldn’t reach another rope around its middle. At that point Synstelien jumped into the water and used the rope to climb up on the whale’s back. He worked a knife under the rope to cut it, and just before the whale dived he cut it free. People often do extraordinary things to help wildlife. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about someone doing something unusual or noteworthy to help wildlife. Use what you read to brainstorm an idea for a TV special telling the story of this person’s efforts. Write an outline for your special, including images you would show. Then write the opening scene.

Common Core State Standards: Writing narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events; conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic.

5. Doughnut Love

Thanksgiving is next week and a shop owner in the state of California has something special to be thankful for this year. The community of Seal Beach has opened its hearts — and wallets — to help him through a difficult time. John Chhan owns the Donut City shop, and until a few weeks ago he ran it with his wife Stella. Then Stella suffered an aneurysm in a blood artery and had to go to a nursing home to recover. John Chhan told customers he could only visit her after he closed his shop at 2 p.m. each day. And then customers took action. They started coming in early in the morning and buying dozens of doughnuts so he would sell out and be able to close earlier. As a result, he was able to spend more time with his wife. “I so appreciate it,” he said in an interview with the Washington Post. “I just can’t say enough thank yous.” People often do special things to help others. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about someone doing something special to help other people. Use what you read to write a letter to the editor, detailing how the person’s helpful actions could inspire others to be helpful in the community.

Common Core State Standards: Producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task; citing specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions.