, week of
Aug. 31, 2020
1. Helping Single Moms
During the coronavirus emergency, many people have stepped up to help others. Among them are kids like 11-year-old Cartier Carey of Hampton, Virginia. For more than a month he has been running a lemonade stand outside his house to raise money to help single moms buy diapers and other things they need for small children. And he has been hugely successful. Since the middle of July, he has raised more than $7,500, the Washington Post newspaper reports — enough to buy 27,500 diapers! Cartier chose single moms as the group he wanted to help because one of his friends has a mom who is raising her family alone. At his stand, Cartier sells lemonade for a dollar, chips for 50 cents and candy for 25 cents, but people often give much more when they see his sign that says “Raising Money for Single Mothers.” “Many will ask to buy a lemonade for a dollar, but they’ll … leave $20,” his own mother said. So far he has helped hundreds of single moms — sometimes as many as 25 in one day. “I want to spend all my free time doing this,” he says. There are many ways to help others when times are tough or people are struggling. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a person or group helping others during the coronavirus emergency. Write a thank you letter to the person or group helping as if you were the person being helped. Share with family or friends.
Core State Standards: Reading closely what written and visual texts say and to making logical inferences from them; producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task.
2. Chocolate Snow
Anyone who has wished they could be in the movie “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” would have loved to have been in a small town in the European nation of Switzerland earlier this month. A problem with the ventilation system at a candy company covered the town of Olten with chocolate powder that looked like delicious brown snow. The problem occurred at a production line processing crushed cocoa beans, which are used to make chocolate. Dust from the beans was sucked up by the ventilation system and spread over houses, cars and yards by a strong wind around the Lindt & Spruengli chocolate company. The powder did not cause any permanent damage, though residents were thrilled to feel like they were in Roald Dahl’s famous “Chocolate Factory” story. Real life events can sometimes inspire plots for movies or TV shows. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about an unusual event that could be turned into a movie or TV show. Write a paragraph describing a plot that could be based on the event. Then write how the movie would start.
Common Core State Standards: Writing narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events; citing specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusion;
3. What a Punishment!
On the Asian island of Borneo, native tribes take great pride in their traditions, history and heritage. And they are greatly offended if anyone insults them. A man from the nation of Pakistan found that out this summer when he was convicted in a court in the Malaysian section of Borneo for insulting native groups that live there. And he was punished in a very unusual way. He was ordered to pay a penalty fine of eight buffaloes and eight gongs for making the comments, the AFP News organization reported. Buffaloes and gongs (a circular percussion instrument) are considered valuable items by people in the region and can be used as a form payment to settle disputes or grievances. The judge in the case said “We want to make this an example so other people don’t do the same thing again.” Judges often punish people in unusual ways. With a family member or friend, find and closely read a story about such a punishment. Then write a paragraph explaining why this punishment might be remembered more in the future by the person being punished. Brainstorm an unusual punishment of your own for someone who breaks a rule or law.
Common Core State Standards: Writing informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly; conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic.
4. Ninja Defense
It is said that a true ninja uses everything in his environment to defend himself. If that is the case, a pizza shop owner in the state of Delaware is a true ninja. When he was closing his shop in the town of Greenwood, the owner was approached by a man wielding a machete and demanding money. The owner was unarmed but he was a quick thinker. He was carrying a pizza and threw it the man, catching him off guard and causing him to run. The pizza owner was unhurt, state police said. No word on what happened to the pizza. Quick thinking can often help people avoid problems or get out of difficult situations. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about someone who demonstrated quick thinking this way. Use what you read to write a letter to a friend describing how this quick thinking got the person out of a difficult situation. Include a time you or someone in your family used quick thinking to avoid a problem.
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. A-Maze-ing Message
In late summer and fall, corn mazes are big attractions for family fun at farms across America. To create the mazes, farmers cut twisty, winding paths through cornfields, and visitors try not to get confused and make it to the end. At a farm in Michigan the maze-makers have added a timely message for a nation struggling to deal with the COVID coronavirus epidemic. Johnson’s Giant Pumpkins in the city of Saginaw has used the paths in the maze to spell out “COVID Go Away” when viewed from above. “Just like everybody, we’re tired of the COVID, so we thought we would put that in our corn maze this year,” said Gerald Johnson, owner of the farm. The COVID coronavirus still will be felt at the Johnson’s maze. Visitors will have to wear face masks and practice social distancing while moving through it. This has been a very stressful year in America, and people are expressing their feelings with messages displayed from cornfields to the Internet. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about an issue that has caused stress for you or your family. Brainstorm a message you would put in a corn maze if you owned one. Write a paragraph explaining why you chose that message.
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.
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