For Grades K-4 , week of June 15, 2020

1. Treasure Found!

Everyone loves a treasure hunt, and one of the most famous in recent U.S. history has ended after 10 years. The hunt was for a chest containing gold, rubies, diamonds and precious artifacts buried in the Rocky Mountains by a millionaire art collector. More than 350,000 people took part in the hunt over the years, and one of them found the treasure earlier this month, art collector Forrest Fenn announced on his website. The finder discovered the riches just where they were buried 10 years ago “under a canopy of stars in the lush, forested vegetation of the Rocky Mountains,” Fenn said in his announcement. The value of the treasure is estimated between $1-million and $2-million, and Fenn gave clues to where it was buried in a 24-line poem contained in his autobiography “The Thrill of the Chase.” Treasure hunts can be a fun way to learn more about the news, your community or your neighborhood. With family and friends, create treasure hunts of 10 things to find in the newspaper or a website you like. Items in your treasure hunt list could include such things as a photo of an animal, a story about a sports star or a headline about a leader. Exchange lists and see if you can complete each other’s hunts. Write a paragraph telling one thing you learned from the treasure hunt. For added fun, create a treasure hunt list of things to find in your community or neighborhood.

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

2. Spotlight on Women

The year 2020 marks 100 years since women gained the right to vote in America through passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Celebrations are being planned from coast to coast, but none may be more unusual than what’s in the works for one of the nation’s leading landmarks. This summer, the images of 14 women who were active in the voting and civil rights movements will be projected for display alongside those of the four presidents featured at Mount Rushmore in South Dakota. The project is called “Look Up to Her” and will call attention to pioneering and courageous women like Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony, Abigail Adams, Clara Barton, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Ida B. Wells, Alice Paul, Jeannette Rankin, Gladys Pyle, Mabel Ping-Hua Lee, Zitkala-Sa and Nellie Tayloe Ross. In late August and early September, their images will be displayed in pairs alongside those of presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt. Celebrations of the 19th Amendment are putting new focus on the achievements of women in all career fields. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a woman who has achieved success in her field. Use what you read to write a paragraph telling what the woman achieved, why it was important and challenges she may have faced that men might not have faced. Discuss with family and friends.

Common Core State Standards: Producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task; reading closely what written and visual texts say and to making logical inferences from them.

3. All About Alliteration

In classes for English Language Arts, students learn that alliteration is a writing technique that uses words that begin with the same letter — “Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.” A rapper from New Haven, Connecticut certainly learned that lesson: He has just set a record for the world’s “longest alliteration” in English with a poem called “The Epic Poem: Mastermind.” Chris Elliott, who records under the name The Real Frii, earned the honor by creating a poem that uses 340 alliterative words beginning with the letter M that do not repeat and are separated by 3 syllables or less. You can have fun with alliteration by creating your own poem from words you find in the newspaper or online. Pick a letter (other than X or Z) and make a list of words from the newspaper or Internet that begin with that letter. Then put your creativity to work to create a poem using these words. You may add conjunctions such as “and,” “but” or “when,” articles such as “the,” “a” or “an” or prepositions such as “for,” “to” or “under” to make your poems read more smoothly. Read your poem aloud with family or friends.

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

4. Purr-Fect Re-Opening

In the United States and around the world, businesses and communities are re-opening after being shut down due to the coronavirus emergency. In the Asian city of Bangkok, Thailand, one business is re-opening — and providing customers a purr-fect way to deal with the stresses caused by the virus. The business is the Caturday Cat Café, which offers customers several dozen cats to pat, touch and snuggle with as they get coffee, tea or light snacks. “Earlier, we could not go … anywhere, which makes us a bit stressed out,” regular customer Pantip Keeseeree told Reuters News. “But since we can come to meet the cats, we feel more at ease and relaxed.” Like other businesses the Cat Café has had to change the way it operates. Customers must wear a mask at all times, and before entering, must have their temperature checked and wash their hands. The cats also have had to change the way they “do business.” They now get regular dry baths and brushings to make sure they don’t spread the disease. Businesses that are re-opening after the coronavirus shutdown are changing the way they operate to keep customers safe and healthy. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read stories about what different businesses are doing to re-open. Use what you read to write a letter to the editor discussing the challenges these changes pose to businesses.

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.

5. Buried City Revealed

Modern technology is changing the way people do things in career fields ranging from medicine to space exploration. In the European nation of Italy, it has enabled archaeologists to map an ancient Roman city that had been buried under layers of dirt and debris for more than 1,300 years after it was abandoned. Using ground-penetrating radar, researchers were able to record “astonishing details” of the city of Faleri Novi just north of the Italian capital of Rome, CNN News reported. The technology revealed that Faleri Novi had a layout different from other ancient Roman cities and had such features as a market, a temple, an amphitheater, a bath complex and a network of water pipes spread out over 75 acres. Archaeologists feel the success of ground-penetrating radar at Faleri Novi could change the way buried sites are studied in the future. In many fields technology is being used in new ways. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about another example of technology being used in a new way. Use what you read to write a short consumer column explaining this new use of technology and how it helps 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.