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for Grades K-4

Nov. 23, 2020
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Mar. 30, 2020
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Mar. 09, 2020
Mar. 02, 2020
Feb. 24, 2020

For Grades K-4 , week of Nov. 02, 2020

1. Election 2020

Tuesday is Election Day, and the entire nation will be watching as the votes are counted. Because more than 90-million people cast votes early by mail or in person, the counting will take longer than in most years. It could be days before voters know whether President Donald Trump or former Vice President Joe Biden won the race for president, or who won hotly contested races for U.S. Senate and the U.S. House around the country. Even then the results may be challenged with calls for a recount or legal action in the courts. The election will be big news all this week. With family or friends, use the newspaper or Internet to closely read stories about the most important news events or developments each day following the vote on Tuesday. Make a chart telling what issues made each event or development important on each day. Discuss what you think was the most important event of the week after Election Day.

Common Core State Standards: Reading closely what written and visual texts say and to making logical inferences from them; organizing data using concrete objects, pictures, tallies, tables, charts, diagrams and graphs; engaging effectively in a range of collaborative discussions.

2. Walking With Harriet

Harriet Tubman was one of the great heroes of African American history. From 1850 to 1860 she led dozens of slaves from the state of Maryland to freedom in the neighboring state of Pennsylvania, and even farther north to Canada. This fall, a group of women inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement re-created Tubman’s dangerous journeys to connect with their past and feel first-hand what it was like to travel the Underground Railroad. Led by a Maryland woman named Linda Harris, the “We Walk With Harriet” group traveled 116-miles on foot from Cambridge, Maryland, to Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, the Washington Post newspaper reported. The eight African American women who made up the group did not know each other before training for the journey but shared a sense of purpose and connection to Tubman’s heroic deeds. “We felt Harriet with us as we walked,” Harris said. “We were amazed at how this woman was able to do this, to take on such a journey while being followed by dogs and guns and people who wanted to do her harm.” Harriet Tubman was a great American hero of the past. Many African American women and men are also heroes today. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about one of these men or women. Write a letter to the editor explaining why you consider this African American to be a hero, and how students or the community could honor him/her.

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.

3. Huge Coral Discovery

Coral reefs are complex ocean habitats that are hugely important to the ocean environment. They are made up of hard-shelled living corals and support between a quarter and one-third of all marine species. The Southern Pacific nation of Australia has some of the most famous coral reefs in the world. Its Great Barrier Reef is more than 1,400 miles long and is the largest on Earth. Now, for the first time in 120 years, scientists have discovered another huge reef in Australia’s waters. The free-standing, detached reef is more than 1,600 feet tall from top to bottom, making it about the height of the Empire State Building in New York City, CNN News reported. It is about a mile wide at its base on the ocean floor and has a blade shape that rises to within 130 feet of the surface of the ocean. The reef was discovered by an underwater robot as scientists mapped the area around the northern Great Barrier Reef. The reef is the eighth detached reef discovered in the area. Scientists are constantly discovering new things about nature and the environment both on land and in the ocean. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a new nature discovery. Use what you read to write a paragraph explaining why the discovery is important to scientists. Draw a picture showing the discovery and how it was made.

Common Core State Standards: Reading closely what written and visual texts say and to making logical inferences from them; using drawings or visual displays when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or points; citing specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions.

4. 58 Peaks

To raise money for charity, a woman from the state of Colorado gave herself an unusual challenge this summer and fall. Brittney Woodrum vowed to climb every mountain in her state that is taller than 14,000 feet (2.7 miles). That’s a tall order in Colorado, since the state has 58 peaks that tall! Woodrum, who lives in the city of Denver, made good on her pledge after climbing almost daily from July through the end of September. She raised more than $80,000 for ShelterBox, a non-profit group that offers shelter and aid to people who have lost everything due to natural disasters, war or other causes. With her multi-mountain challenge, she helped ShelterBox purchase building materials, solar lights, mattresses, blankets, food, water and school supplies for families that need them. People do many kinds of things to raise money for charity or special causes. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a charity or cause you would like to support. Brainstorm an idea for raising money for this cause. Write a paragraph outlining your idea and share with family and friends. Discuss how to put your plan into action.

Common Core State Standards: Producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task; engaging effectively in a range of collaborative discussions.

5. Stumbling on a Dino

Many kids love dinosaurs, but few get to discover a real-life dinosaur fossil. A 12-year-old from Canada did just that this summer while out on a hike with his dad. Exploring a rocky hillside in the province of Alberta, seventh grader Nathan Hrushkin stumbled across an arm bone of a young hadrosaur, a duck-billed dinosaur that lived about 69-million years ago, officials said. The fossil was partially uncovered when Nathan found it, and it stuck out like “a scene on a TV show or a cartoon,” Nathan said in an interview with CNN News. He and his dad sent pictures of the bone to the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology, which identified the fossil as a hadrosaur. Hadrosaur fossils aren’t rare in the area Nathan found his, but scientists were excited because Nathan’s was a young one. Most hadrosaur fossils that have been found are of adults. The museum quickly sent a team of scientists to remove the rest of the fossil skeleton from the area known as Horseshoe Canyon. “This young hadrosaur is a very important discovery,” one expert said. Students and young people often make news by doing unusual things. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a student doing something unusual. Use what you read to write a personal opinion column telling how you think the person felt by doing this unusual thing. Compare this person’s feelings to how you felt when you did something unusual or new.

Common Core State Standards: Writing opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information; citing specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions.