1. Doodling to Fame
Nine-year-old Joe Whale has always liked to doodle, but sometimes he would get in trouble when he did it in class in the European town of Shrewsbury, England. Instead of asking him to stop, however, his parents enrolled him in an after-school art program. The teacher loved his work and posted his doodles on the Instagram site on the Internet. And that’s when things got interesting for the young artist. Owners of a local restaurant saw Joe’s doodles and invited him to come and decorate the walls of their dining room. For two hours a day after school, the left-handed Joe would work with markers to cover the restaurant walls with fun, funny and creative images. Soon he was being called “The Doodle Boy,” and he set up his own website to show his art. Visitors can find it by just searching online for “thedoodleboy.” Artists use their work to express their feelings, show their creativity or comment on events. They tell stories or show the personalities of people they know. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a person, issue or situation that interests you. Use what you read to draw a picture showing your reaction or feelings about the situation. If you like ,you can be like Joe Whale and fill a whole sheet of paper with your drawings. Share with the class.
Common Core State Standards: Using drawings or visual displays when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or points; responding thoughtfully to diverse perspectives, summarizing points of agreement and disagreement.
2. What a Start!
The African nation of Kenya has produced some of the greatest long-distance runners in sports history. And now you can add the name of Joyciline Jepkosgei to the list. In her first try, the 25-year-old Jepkosgei won the New York City Women’s Marathon this month, and came within seven seconds of setting a new record for the event. Even more remarkable, she had never competed in a marathon anywhere before winning the New York event. She completed the 26.2-mile course in 2 hours 22 minutes 38 seconds. The winner in the New York men’s division, Geoffrey Kamworor, also is from Kenya. When people start out in sports, or are playing their first season, they often are referred to as “rookies.” In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a rookie athlete in professional sports. Use what you read to write a short sports column discussing the biggest challenges this rookie faces.
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. NFL Kitty
No doubt about it, the cat had moves. And when the all-black kitty ran onto the field of a pro football game the Monday after Halloween, it became an Internet superstar. TV and radio announcers for the NFL game between the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants reported every move the cat made as if it were a player on a touchdown run. “He’s at the 30, the 25, the 20, the 15,” one announcer shouted. “He’s going all the way! TOUCHDOWN!” After reaching the end zone, the cat zigged and zagged to avoid police and escaped through a tunnel leading from the field. A spokesperson for MetLife Stadium said the cat is likely one of several wild cats that live at the New Jersey sports facility. All over the world, people loved watching the actions of the black cat that ran onto the field during an NFL game. Many also wondered what it might have been thinking. In the newspaper or online, closely read stories about the cat or watch videos of its famous run. Use what you read and watch to write a humorous poem from the cat’s point of view titled “My Big Moment.” Your poems don’t need to rhyme but they should use lots of action words and descriptions. Read your poems aloud — with feeling!
Common Core State Standards: Demonstrating understanding of figurative language; applying knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts.
4. Salute to Veterans
This week the nation observes Veterans Day to honor the men and women who have served the nation in America’s military forces. Military veterans are soldiers who have served in the past, not those serving presently. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read stories about how communities are honoring veterans this year for Veterans Day. Then talk about other ways communities could thank veterans for their service. Use ideas from the class or what you have read to write a “Thank You” note to all veterans, or to a veteran you know.
Common Core State Standards: Engaging effectively in a range of collaborative discussions; producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task.
5. Miles of Ice Balls
In the natural world, nature can do some weird things. In the European nation of Finland this month, freezing temperatures covered the shore of an island with ice balls that looked like frozen eggs. “This was [an] amazing phenomenon,” one local visitor told CNN News. Ice balls have formed on Finland beaches before, but never in such a wide area. Residents said the area seemed to stretch for miles. Weather experts say ice balls such as these form when rough water near the shore breaks up a layer of slushy ice. The layers of slush stick together and grow in size. When they are tossed ashore by waves, the water causes the slush to spin and turn into balls. Unusual weather events often are in the news. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about an unusual weather event. Use what you read to design a poster showing the unusual event and explaining what caused it. Present your poster to the class and explain key points.
Common Core State Standards: Using drawings or visual displays when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or points; engaging effectively in a range of collaborative discussions.