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For Grades K-4 , week of Jan. 04, 2021

1. Tiger & Son

For nearly 25 years, Tiger Woods has been one of the greatest golfers in the world. Now the world has learned that his 11-year-old son Charlie is pretty great, too. Tiger and Charlie Woods teamed up late last month to play against other golf champions paired with family members, and Charlie had the tournament buzzing. In the two-day PNC Championship, Charlie played with the confidence and skill of a player far older, earning praise from both his father and other players. Charlie was the youngest competitor in the tournament’s history, and hit some “incredible golf shots,” his father said. His drives were straight and accurate and often he placed his approach shots right alongside his father’s. The Woods duo finished seventh in the field of champions, but the “quality time” of playing together was what mattered most. “I don’t think words can describe it,” Father Woods said. “It’s memories for a lifetime.” Parents and children often do special things together. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a parent doing something special with one or more of their children. Write the word SPECIAL down the side of a sheet of paper. Use each letter of the word to begin a phrase or sentence telling why the activity was special for the parent and/or the children. Talk with family members about special things they have done with their children.

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.

2. It’s ‘Ryan’s World’

YouTube is an incredibly popular website on the Internet, showing videos, music and movies that people share to “channels” they set up. The most popular channels also can earn a great deal of money for the people who create them. In 2020, for the third year in a row, the same person has earned the most from sponsors and advertisers — and he’s just 9 years old! According to Forbes business magazine, Ryan Kaji earned $29.5 million from his YouTube channel “Ryan's World” in 2020, topping all other channels. “Ryan’s World,” which started out as a channel on which Ryan shared his views about new toys, now offers a mix of fun and educational videos, do-it-yourself science experiments and a variety of physical challenges. Ryan and his parents also run eight other channels. Kids often do remarkable things or achieve great success at an early age. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a student in elementary or middle school who is doing this. Use what you read to write an advice column telling what skills and personal traits the student needed to succeed, and how those skills and traits could help other young people.

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. Homeless Hero

It’s often said that anyone can be a hero, no matter what your background is or your situation in life. A homeless man in the city of Atlanta, Georgia demonstrated that over the holidays by risking his life to rescue animals trapped in a shelter that had caught on fire. Keith Walker, 53, rushed into the W-Underdogs shelter to rescue six dogs and 10 cats from their cages after fire broke out in the shelter’s kitchen. “I’m not going to lie. I was really scared to go in there with all that smoke,” Walker told CNN News. “But God put me there to save those animals.” The founder of the shelter couldn’t say enough about Walker’s heroics. “He is my guardian angel,” founder Gracie Hamlin said. “I can’t thank him enough for saving my animals.” Hamlin said. Many people become heroes when confronted with unexpected challenges or emergencies. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about someone who became a hero this way. Use what you read to create a poster or drawing showing this person being a hero. Give your poster a headline that will get people’s attention. Then write a paragraph telling what the person did and why it was important.

Core State Standards: Using drawings or visual displays when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or points; reading closely what written and visual texts say and to making logical inferences from them.

4. Tattoo Dad

People often do amazing things to make children feel better about themselves. In the Canadian province of Alberta recently, a father took extreme steps to make his son feel better about a large birthmark he had on his chest and torso. The father, Derek Prue Sr., went to a tattoo parlor and had the tattoo artist create a tattoo on his torso that looked just like his 8-year-old son’s birthmark! Prue decided to get the tattoo after he noticed his son Derek Jr. was embarrassed to take his shirt off when he went swimming. So it was fitting that he revealed the tattoo at a swimming pool. Derek Jr. was surprised but happy at his dad’s action. “It felt good to do it,” said his father. “It’s a long process. … I thought it was going to be a few hours. It was, like, 30.” There are many ways people can help children feel better about themselves. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about someone doing this. Use what you read to write a letter to the editor telling what the person did and why it could inspire others to do things to help children.

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.

5. Tic-Tac-Toe

The game of tic-tac-toe has been amusing children and families for thousands of years. In 2020, a mail carrier in the state of Georgia turned it into daily activity to cheer up two young girls on his route who were cooped up at home due to the coronavirus emergency. Carrier Adam Finley decided to start playing the X’s and O’s game with Eva and Aria Jones, ages 7 and 6, to lift their spirits when they were missing their classmates, CNN News reported. After getting permission from the girls’ parents, he would make one move a day in the game and leave it in the family’s mailbox. The girls would then make their moves and leave them in the mailbox for Finley. “It was what they looked forward to every morning, seeing what move he would make,” the girls’ mother said. “Thank you, Mr. Adam, for bringing such light to … a dark year.” As the world starts 2021, many people are looking for ways to make things better or brighter for others. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a person or group doing this. Use what you read to write an editorial for the newspaper, offering suggestions on how people could make things better or more cheerful for others in your community in 2021. Share and discuss with family, friends and classmates.

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.