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for Grades K-4

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For Grades K-4 , week of Oct. 01, 2018

1. Combat Pizza

Pizza is one of the most popular foods in America, but for years troops in the U.S. military haven’t been able to have it when out on missions. Now, however, military food scientists have come up with a pizza that can stay fresh up to three years and travel anywhere that soldiers go. The pizza comes in a plastic pouch with a device that let’s soldiers heat it up and is topped with cheese and pepperoni. It took military scientists 20 years to develop a pizza that wouldn’t spoil or grow soggy when stored for long times in intense heat or cold. U.S. soldiers had repeatedly requested pizza when asked in surveys what foods they would like to have on their missions. What foods would you like to have if you were going on a long trip or military mission? Use food ads in the newspaper or online to create a menu for three healthy meals for your trip. For each, be sure to include fruits, juices and vegetables as well as your main course. Finish by picking a food you like for dessert. Write out your menus and share with the class.

Common Core State Standards: Conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic; producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task; organizing data using concrete objects, pictures, tallies, tables, charts, diagrams and graphs.

2. Space Trip

From the time of the first rockets, people have dreamed of making trips in space. Up to now, only people working for space programs of the United States or other nations have been able to do it. A billionaire from the Asian nation of Japan wants to change that by becoming the first private citizen to be a “space tourist.” Yusaku Maezawa has signed up with the private Space X company to make a trip around the Earth’s moon on the powerful Big Falcon Rocket the company is developing. The trip won’t take place until 2023 or later, but Maezawa and Space X want to make the most of it by inviting music and other artists along for the ride. Cost of the trip has not been announced, but it likely will run into the millions. Maezawa, 42, is a rock musician who made his fortune with a website selling popular clothing styles in Japan. Space missions gather information for scientists, but they also are adventures for people who take part in them. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a space mission that interests you. Use what you read to write a paragraph or short essay telling why you would like to go on this mission.

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

3. What a Find!

Gold is one of the world’s most valuable metals, and miners go to great lengths to find it. But in the Southern Pacific nation of Australia, miners found a huge amount of gold by accident. After setting off explosives to open a new area in a mining tunnel, miners found gold covering everything from the floor to the walls to the ceiling. Included in the discovery were huge nuggets of gold, one of which weighed more than 200 pounds and another more than 140. All told, about 9,250 ounces of high grade gold was uncovered at the Beta Hunt mine in southwestern Australia. That would be worth about $11-million if put up for sale, experts said. People often are in the news for making unexpected discoveries. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about an unexpected discovery someone has made. It can involve riches like gold, issues in the community or discoveries about other people. Use what you read to write a letter to the editor telling what the discovery taught the person who made it — and taught other people.

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.

4. TV History

Viewers who watched last week’s Thursday Night Football through the Amazon Prime streaming service had a chance to see history made. For the first time ever, two female broadcasters were featured doing the play-by-play and commentary for the game. Hannah Storm and Andrea Kremer were offered by Amazon as an alternative to the all-male broadcast team of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman for the game between the Minnesota Vikings and Los Angeles Rams. Storm and Kremer, who are both experienced broadcasters of sports events, will do play-by-play for 11 Thursday Night Football games this season, Amazon said. Hannah Storm and Andrea Kremer are making history and breaking new ground in the field of sports broadcasting. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a woman breaking new ground or making history in another field. Write a paragraph outlining what you think have been the biggest challenges the woman has faced making history.

Common Core State Standards: Citing specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions; producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task.

5. Cat Paradise

If you judge by the number of videos on the Internet, a lot of people love cats. A lot of people also would like to live in a beautiful place. So it was not exactly surprising that many people jumped to apply to run a cat rescue sanctuary on an island in Greece. What was surprising was HOW many. In just six weeks, more than 40,000 people applied to run the God’s Little People sanctuary, which is home to more than 70 cats on the island of Syros. Applications came from all over the world, and from people of all ages and backgrounds. Screening the applications was a challenge for the sanctuary’s founders, Joan and Richard Bowell, who are moving to the United States. In the end, they chose Jeffyne Telson, a California woman who has been running a shelter for stray cats for the last 21 years. Because Jeffyne Telson shared the Bowells’ belief “that every life is precious and worth saving,” it was “a match made in heaven,” she said. Jeffyne Telson got a job she really wanted by effectively talking about her skills and personal qualities. In the newspaper or online, closely read a story about a job you would really want. Write a paragraph outlining the skills and personal qualities you have that would make you a good person for the job.

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