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for Grades K-4

Mar. 12, 2018
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For Grades K-4 , week of July 17, 2017

1.Riptide Rescue

At many ocean beaches, riptides and rip currents are a real danger for people. They pull people in the water away from shore and make it very hard to swim back to safety. In Panama City, Florida this month, a whole family was swept out to sea by a powerful riptide and were rescued only when more than 80 beachgoers formed a human chain out into the water. Six members of the family had gotten stranded in the water after two young boys had been swept 100 yards out to sea on boogie boards. With no lifeguard on duty, quick-thinking beachgoers linked arms to form a human chain and with the help of two strong swimmers passed the family members back to shore. People often do heroic things to help or rescue others. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a rescue or another kind of help. Use what you read to write a poem, rap or rhyme expressing the emotions felt by the person being helped, or the person offering the help.

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

2.Diamonds at Sea

Diamonds are among the Earth’s most valuable jewels and are desired by people all over the world. For years they have been dug up and collected from diamond mines, but now a new source has been discovered. Off the coast of the African nation of Namibia, mining companies are collecting diamonds from the bottom of the sea. The De Beers mining company has set up “floating mines” that suck diamonds up from the ocean floor with giant vacuum machines. Last year, mining companies extracted $600 million worth of diamonds off the Namibian coast, and experts expect the amount to grow rapidly now that equipment is available for ocean mining. Like the De Beers company, businesses are always looking for new ways to do things. With family or friends, use the newspaper or Internet to find and closely read a story about a business doing something in a new way. Use what you read to write a paragraph explaining the new approach of the business and why that is an improvement for the business or its customers.

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.That’s Some Skill!

Johanna Quaas first competed in gymnastics 83 years ago in the European nation of Germany where she grew up. Today at age 91, she’s still earning praise for her gymnastics skills. After doing cartwheels, somersaults and headstands on Steve Harvey’s “Little Big Shots” TV show, she got a shout-out from four-time Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles of the United States. “I’m speechless,” Biles said after Quaas performed on a floor mat and on parallel bars. “I hope I can even walk at 90 years old. She’s amazing.” Quaas, a retired gym teacher who has competed in the sport since 1934, got a medal and a hug from Biles, as well. She is the oldest gymnast in the world. Older adults are much more active than they were in the past and some do remarkable things. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about an older adult doing something remarkable. Use what you read to write a letter to the editor telling how this older adult inspires other people. Finish by talking with family or friends about older adults in your neighborhood who do active or remarkable things.

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.

4.A Bear Run

When people meet a bear in the wild, animal experts say they should stand quietly, speak in a low voice and wave their arms while backing away. In the state of Maine this summer, marathon runner Moninda Marube did just the opposite — and lived to tell the tale. When he met two bears on a wooded road, Marube bet that he could outrun the bears. He did, but only after he reached a house and locked himself inside a porch with the bears right behind him. Eventually, the bears got bored and wandered away. Marube, who is from the African nation of Kenya, said he had once met a leopard while running in his homeland, but the bears were more frightening. People often want to get close to wild animals, but that can be dangerous if not done carefully. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a person having a close encounter with a wild animal. Write a paragraph stating what the person did and what the result was. Finish by reading about a wild animal in the newspaper or online. Write a list of safety tips people should consider when getting close to this animal.

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.

5.Island Attraction

In the state of North Carolina, the Cape Hatteras National Seashore has always been popular with visitors. But this summer it has a new attraction. A new island has appeared in the ocean right off the shore. Spotted first by local residents, the island started out as a sand bar, and quickly grew. Now visitors are flocking to the unusual attraction, which has been nicknamed “Shelly Island” because it’s loaded with sea shells. Located off Cape Point, the island is now roughly one mile long, but that could change. Because Cape Point's shoreline is constantly shifting, “Shelly Island” could disappear as quickly as it arrived. In the summer months, people often want to visit and learn about natural attractions. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a natural attraction you would like to visit. Use what you read to design a travel ad for the newspaper, showing things you would like to see when visiting the attraction, and why you find them interesting.

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.