For Grades K-4 , week of Oct. 28, 2019

1. Halloween Costumes

Halloween will be celebrated on Thursday, and in communities across the nation people will be dressing up in spooky, scary or funny costumes. Or they’ll be pretending to be superheroes, sports stars or characters from books or movies. In the newspaper or online, find and study stories, ads and photos of people planning Halloween costumes. Then talk as a class about costumes you or your classmates will be wearing. Finish by drawing a picture of a costume you would like to wear, and writing a paragraph explaining why.

Common Core State Standards: Engaging effectively in a range of collaborative discussions; using drawings or visual displays when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or points; producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task.

2. Women’s Space History

In every career field, women are achieving success and re-writing history. Christina Koch and Jessica Meir did that this month, and their achievement was out of this world! Koch and Meir teamed up to successfully complete the first all-female spacewalk in the history of space exploration. On their historic walk, the two U.S. astronauts replaced a damaged battery unit and spent more than five hours outside the International Space Station orbiting 200 miles above the Earth. In an interview with NPR Radio, Koch noted that “In the past, women haven’t always been at the table,” but now “it’s wonderful to be contributing to the human spaceflight program at a time when … everyone is having a role.” Meir said the spacewalk was not only an honor for her but for “all of the women who worked to get us to where we are today. … It’s really nice to see how far we have come.” Christina Koch and Jessica Meir are two women achieving success and making history in their career fields. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about another woman achieving success or making history in a career. Use what you read to write a poem, rap or rhyme telling the story of this woman and why her success is important. Share with the class.

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

3. ‘Baby Shark’

All over the world, children’s songs bring joy and happiness to little kids. In the Middle East nation of Lebanon this month, a popular children’s song brought comfort and calm to a toddler caught in the middle of a noisy protest march. Fifteen-month-old Robin Jabbour was riding with his mother south of the city of Beirut when protestors suddenly surrounded their car. Robin’s mother told the protestors she had a baby in the car and didn’t want him to be frightened by the noise. Then the protestors did something surprising: They started singing the popular children’s song “Baby Shark” (“Baby Shark, do-do do-do-do-do”). “He likes this song,” mom Eliane Jabbour told CNN News. “He hears it many times at home and laughs.” A video of the sing-along went viral so quickly on the Internet that Jabbour’s husband saw it before she had a chance to tell him what had happened. The protestors were marching to oppose taxes and seek changes from the government. Songs, TV shows and movies entertain children, but they often teach lessons or help them deal with situations. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a song, show or movie that does this. Or think of one you know or have seen. Write a letter to a friend telling how the song, show or movie teaches a lesson or helps children deal with a situation.

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. How Tall Is Everest?

Mount Everest is the tallest mountain in the world. Located on the border between the Asian nations of Nepal and China, Everest soars to a height of 29,029 feet above sea level — or nearly 5.5 miles. That has been recognized as the official height of Everest since the 1950s, but a team of Nepal scientists is now investigating whether it is still accurate. With the latest technology and a satellite navigation system, the scientists are trying to determine if Everest has shrunk in size since a powerful earthquake struck Nepal in 2015. The high-tech equipment will enable the scientists to determine the tallest point of Everest under all its snow and figure out where sea level would be located under the mountain’s rock and ice. After carefully reviewing the information they have gathered, the scientists will announce Everest’s present height sometime next year. Scientists study the natural world to better understand the Earth and changes that are happening. With a partner, use the newspaper or Internet to find and closely read a story about scientists studying the natural world. Use what you read to prepare a short oral report telling what the scientists are doing, what they have learned and why that is important.

Common Core State Standards: Citing textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions; conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic.

5. Ambulance for Kids

When children are hurt or injured, they often have to be taken to the hospital in an ambulance. It is a frightening experience for kids who are already upset because they’re hurt. To make ambulance trips less frightening, a hospital in the city of Des Moines, Iowa has rolled out a new ambulance designed specifically for kids. The ambulance has all the high-tech medical equipment of other ambulances, but it also includes special features to make trips less stressful. On the ceiling of the patient area, for example, a special lighting system shows stars, shooting stars and fireworks to calm kids down or distract them from their situation. The ambulance also provides more family support for young patients, with an oversized cab that lets up to four family members ride along. “That feature is very important,” a hospital spokesman said. “It was one of the key features in the … design.” In addition to riding along, family members can observe what is going on through a camera set up in the cab. Many products are designed specifically for kids. In the newspaper or online, find and closely study a story or ad for a product designed for children. Use what you read to write a “review” of this product, telling what features are designed to benefit kids, and how well you think they will work or succeed.

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.