, week of
Sep. 17, 2018
1. Hurricane Heroes
Hurricane Florence caused great damage to coastal states in the southeastern United States last weekend. And as with other hurricanes, people stepped up in big ways to help others. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read stories about people who became local heroes for helping others during and after Hurricane Florence. Use what you read to brainstorm an idea for a short video or documentary film telling the stories of “Hurricane Heroes.” Decide which of your heroes you would use for the opening scene. Then write the opening in the form of a movie screenplay, including images you would show.
Common Core State Standards: Writing narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events; conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic.
2. Upset in Tennis
When Naomi Osaka upset Serena Williams to win the U.S. Open, she made tennis history. She also made history for who she is. Osaka is the first person of Japanese and Haitian heritage to win at the Open, the premier Grand Slam tennis event in the United States. Osaka defeated Williams in two sets in a controversial match in which Williams was penalized for protesting and calling an umpire “a thief.” The 20-year-old Osaka, who grew up idolizing the 36-year-old Williams, was unruffled by the controversy and played steadily to win. Osaka has dual citizenship between the United States and Japan. She now is the seventh ranked women’s tennis player in the world. After her U.S. Open win, Naomi Osaka is considered a rising star in professional tennis. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about another person who is considered a rising star in his or her field. Pretend you are going to interview the person for a newspaper story. Write out five questions you would like to ask about the rising star’s success — and why you would ask them.
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; conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic.
The Apple company is known around the world for its high-tech computers and electronic devices. But early in its history, its computers were far simpler. The Apple-1 was just a circuit board of computer electronics that you could hook up to a keyboard and TV screen to operate. Not many Apple-1s still exist but one will come for auction September 25 at a special sale in Boston, Massachusetts. Built in 1976 and still operating, it is expected to sell for more than $300,000 — and possibly a lot more. The Apple-1 didn’t have much firepower and couldn’t perform many tasks compared to the computers of today. But it has historic value because it was one of the first computers you could only buy already assembled. Apple products continue to draw great attention from consumers. And last week the company announced what new items it will introduce this year. Use the newspaper and Internet to closely read stories about Apple’s new products. Use what you read to write a consumer column for the newspaper, analyzing which of the new products you think will be most popular — and why.
Common Core State Standards: Writing informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly; citing specific textual evidence when writing.
4. Baseball Wrap-Up
This year’s Major League Baseball season is down to its final two weeks, and everyone is watching to see which teams will make the playoffs. The Boston Red Sox were the first team in the Majors to secure a spot in the playoffs, but the final spots in the playoffs may not be decided until the last weekend of the regular season September 30. Which teams make the playoffs is often determined by performances by key players in the last two weeks of the season. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read stories about which players are playing key roles in their teams’ bids for the playoffs. Use what you read to write a sports story profiling one player who may be the Most Valuable Player for his team in its push for the playoffs. Use colorful verbs and adjectives in your story and support your choice with details and evidence from your reading.
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.
5. Magical Shoes Return
In the history of movies, no costume is more famous than the ruby red slippers worn in “The Wizard of Oz.” In that famous film, the Kansas farm girl Dorothy wears them when transported in a dream to the magical world of Oz. She is told they can take her back to Kansas if she clicks their heels together three times while saying “There’s no place like home.” In the real world, there were four pairs of ruby slippers worn by the actress Judy Garland in the movie. And in a bit of real-life magic, one of the pairs has been recovered by police after being stolen 13 years ago. The shoes were taken in a break-in at the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, the actress’s hometown. This summer they were recovered after a person tried to extort money from the insurance company that now owns the shoes. Police and the FBI said there have been no arrests in the theft and the investigation continues. In many movies, costumes play a big role to show the personalities of characters or the world they live in. As a class, discuss movies that you have seen in which costumes were memorable or important. Then write a review of one movie’s costumes, telling what they added to the story, mood, or action of the film.
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.