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for Grades K-4

Mar. 12, 2018
Mar. 05, 2018
Feb. 26, 2018
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Feb. 12, 2018
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May 22, 2017

For Grades K-4 , week of Mar. 12, 2018

1. Oscar for Kobe

In a 20-year career in the NBA, Kobe Bryant won five championships with the Los Angeles Lakers, was league MVP in 2008 and earned All-Star honors 18 times. Now he has earned another honor: an Academy Award for creating the year's best animated short film. At this year's Academy Awards ceremony, Bryant earned the coveted gold Oscar statue for "Dear Basketball," a movie based on a poem he wrote when he announced he was retiring from the NBA. After winning an Oscar for his very first film, Bryant said "I feel better than winning a championship, to be honest with you." The movie tells how Bryant fell in love with the game and worked hard to achieve success and greatness. He created it with Disney animation artist Glen Keane. The "Dear Basketball" movie uses art to help tell a story. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story that interests you. Use what you read to create three drawings that could illustrate key facts or events in the story. Share with the class.

Common Core State Standards: Using drawings or visual displays when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or points; reading closely what a text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it.

2. Awesome First Lady

The official portrait of former First Lady Michelle Obama is now on display at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC. And one young fan has become an Internet sensation for her reaction to the painting. Two-year-old Parker Curry couldn't take her eyes off the artwork and was so impressed she couldn't move, even though her mother asked her to turn around for a picture. Another visitor took Parker's picture, though, and caught her with her mouth open in awe of the larger-than-life painting. When he posted it online, it "went viral" and was liked by thousands and thousands of people. It really "blew up," said Parker's mother. "It's been unbelievable." Even more unbelievable, Michelle Obama later invited Parker and her mom to visit her at her Washington office. People in the news inspire others in many different ways. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a person who inspires you. Use what you read to write a personal letter to the person, detailing why he/she inspires you.

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.

3. Wild, Lucky Eagles

Bald eagles are America's national bird - and fierce fighters in the wild. Too fierce, sometimes, as two males battling over territory found out last month in the state of Pennsylvania. The birds attacked each other in the air and their sharp claws got tangled up, making it impossible for them to separate. That meant they couldn't fly, and they plunged out of the sky into the Susquehanna River in the north central part of the state. Fortunately, an 11-year-old girl heard the eagles struggling in the water and alerted her family. They were able to get the birds out of the river and take them to a nearby fire company in the town of Bloomsburg. The firefighters were able to separate the birds, dry them out at the station and release them. People often help wild animals. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about wild animals that could use some help. Use what you read to write a letter to the editor, suggesting ways people could help these animals.

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.

4. Beep, Beep Easter

Easter is less than three weeks away, and that means communities are planning Easter egg hunts for children. In New York City a mother of two has enlisted some high-tech help to plan a hunt for kids who might otherwise be left out. Holly Bonner is creating a Beeping Egg Hunt so that children who are blind or visually impaired can share the holiday fun. To create the electronically beeping eggs, Bonner has recruited local members of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Bureau employees usually dismantle bombs and other devices so they're having fun building things to help kids. Bonner, who lost most of her sight six years ago, says the goal is to "just add a little element of accessibility, a little element of inclusivity" to the holiday. Like many people, Holly Bonner is doing something to help children. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about other people or groups helping children in some way. Write the word HELPING down the side of a sheet of paper. Use each letter to start a phrase or sentence describing how the person or group is helping - and why that is important.

Common Core State Standards: Conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic; organizing data using concrete objects, pictures, tallies, tables, charts, diagrams and graphs.

5. Message in a Bottle

People love to walk on beaches to see what interesting things wash up. In the nation of Australia, a woman found something really interesting this month - and really old. The woman found a bottle with a message inside that was tossed into the ocean 132 years ago! The message was dated June 12, 1886, and later research proved that it had been tossed into the ocean from a German sailing ship as part of a scientific experiment. The experiment used floating bottles to track the direction of ocean currents, CNN News reported. The message is the oldest ever found in a bottle recovered from an ocean. Many things wash up on beaches near oceans, rivers or lakes. And people often wonder how they got there. In the newspaper or online, find a photo or ad containing an item that might wash up on a beach. Use what you read and see to brainstorm an idea for a creative story telling how the item got to the beach and from where. Write the opening scene of your story.

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