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For Grades K-4 , week of July 23, 2018

1. Hot, Hot, Hot

Summer is always a time for hot weather, but this year has been a record breaker. Across the United States and around the world, record temperatures have been set in city after city. In Northern Africa, a city in the nation of Algeria set a new record for the continent with a daily temperature greater than 124 degrees. In the Middle East, several cities in the United Arab Emirates also topped the 124-degree mark, and the nation of Oman posted the world’s hottest LOW temperature ever when it never dropped below 109 degrees on June 28. In the United States, temperatures have soared above 110 degrees to set records in Southern California, and Denver, Colorado hit its highest temperature ever at 109 degrees. Extremely hot weather creates problems for people, animals and businesses. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a community dealing with hot weather. Use what you read to write a letter to the editor, offering tips for helping people, animals or businesses deal with the hot weather.

Common Core State Standards: Writing informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly; citing specific textual evidence when writing.

2. One Giant Croc

In the nation of Australia, a crocodile hunt has ended after more than eight years — and officials are stunned at the size of the reptile they caught. The sea crocodile captured in Australia’s Northern Territory weighed more than 1,300 pounds and was more than 15 feet long. That’s the length of an average car, making this sea crocodile one of the largest ever trapped in the region. Authorities had been looking for the giant croc since it was first spotted in 2010, because it was near two national parks that attract visitors. Wildlife experts estimated it was about 60 years old, and had even given it the nickname of “Big Fella.” Sea crocodiles are the largest reptiles in the world. This one was moved to a crocodile farm where it would not pose a threat to people. Wild animals are often in the news for their size, skills or their interactions with people. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a wild animal in the news. Use what you read to create a series of comic strips showing this wild animal in action.

Common Core State Standards: Using drawings or visual displays when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or points; conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic.

3. Iceberg Threat

In the Arctic nation of Greenland, icebergs are a common sight floating in the sea. But for one village, a giant iceberg has gotten too close for comfort this summer. It drifted near to the shore and got stuck near the village of Innaarsuit in the northwestern region of Greenland south of the Earth’s North Pole. Now it looms over the tiny village of 169 people, and could break apart if temperatures warm up enough. That worries local residents, because a breakup could cause huge waves that could damage homes that are right on the shore. The iceberg is nearly as long as two football fields and rises 300 feet above sea level. It is estimated to weigh 11 million tons. Movies and TV shows often tell stories of people dealing with unusual natural events. With family or friends, talk about movies you have seen that do this. Then find and closely read a story in the newspaper or online about people dealing with an unusual natural event. Brainstorm an idea for a movie based on this event. Write a plot summary for your movie and give it a title that would make people want to see it.

Common Core State Standards: Writing narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events; reading closely what a text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it. brainstorm their behavior and activities.

4. Money Meal

Bank ATM machines have lots of security devices to protect the money inside them. But in the Asian nation of India, security was no match for one intruder — a rat. In the city of Guwahati, the rodent found a way into an ATM and shredded almost $18,000 in Indian rupee money. It was a deadly meal, however. When bank officials opened the ATM to see why it was not working, they discovered the rat had died inside. Security cameras at the bank did not show the rat entering the machine, raising speculation that it got in while it was being filled with cash. The rat didn’t destroy all the money in the ATM. More than $25,000 in rupee notes were recovered undamaged. Many businesses set up security systems to protect stores, people or the money they make. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a local business. Use what you read to write a paragraph describing what kinds of security you would set up if you were the owner. Give reasons for each type you would want.

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.

5. Crime Doesn’t Pay

It’s often said that crime doesn’t pay. And sometimes criminals get what they deserve. That certainly was the case in Pine Bluff, Arkansas this summer when a thief stole a purse from a car parked at a gas station. When 21-year-old Shamon West tried to use a credit card from the purse at a local restaurant, however, his luck ran out. His waitress was the person whose purse he had stolen! Flora Lunsford called police and West was arrested on the spot. He was carrying other items from Lunsford’s purse, the Associated Press reported. Odd crime stories often are in the news. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story in which a criminal does something odd or funny. Use what you read to write a humorous poem telling what happened.

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