For Grades K-4 , week of June 01, 2020

1. Skin Tones of the World

More and more around the world, nations and communities are celebrating the diversity of people and their cultures. This summer, the Crayola crayon company is joining the celebration in a big way. In July, Crayola will introduce a new collection representing 40 different skin tones of people from different cultures. The “Colors of the World” collection will feature 24 colors that can be used to create the 40 skin tones, plus an additional 8 crayons that represent eye and hair color. The colors range from “light to deep shades,” as well as undertones like “rose,” “almond” and “golden,” the company said. Each pack will include a side panel that can serve as a color reference. “Every child should be able to creatively and accurately color themselves into the world they see around them,” Crayola said when announcing the new collection. “We want the new ‘Colors of the World’ crayons to advance inclusion … and impact how kids express themselves.” Diversity enriches life in many communities by celebrating the different backgrounds and traditions people have. In the newspaper or online, find examples of diversity in your community or state, or the nation. Use what you find to create a poster or art collage celebrating the benefits of diversity. Give your poster an eye-catching headline and write a paragraph explaining the different examples of diversity it shows.

Common Core State Standards: Using drawings or visual displays when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or points; producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task.

2. ‘Namaste’

The coronavirus and social distancing have changed the way people behave around each other. People now must stay six feet apart, so traditional greetings like handshakes, hugs, high-fives or kisses on the cheek are considered unacceptable. So how can people greet each other safely and politely? Many are turning to a tradition of the Asian nation of India — the greeting known as namaste (NAH-muh-stay). With a namaste greeting you bring your hands together, palms pressed against each other, centered at your chest. Greeters may lean forward or bow their heads slightly as they make the gesture, but at no point do they touch the other person. Namaste, which is part of several yoga exercise positions, makes it possible to be friendly and safe at the same time. Leaders of nations including France, Israel and the United States have adopted namaste as an official greeting and encouraged ordinary citizens to do the same. Namaste is a word from the Sanskrit language that means “the divine spark in me bows to the divine spark in you.” Namaste is a safe and respectful way for people to greet each other without touching. In the newspaper or online, find pictures of people greeting each other in unsafe ways. Use what you find to draw a chapter in a comic book showing how these people could greet each other safely using namaste. Practice namaste greetings with your family and friends.

Common Core State Standards: Writing narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events; integrating information presented in different media or formats to develop a coherent understanding of a topic.

3. ‘Forts’ Are Good for You

When playing at home, a lot of children build “forts” out of pillows, blankets and furniture. They crawl inside, bring books or games and declare their forts to be “my space.” During the coronavirus emergency, building forts has been a good way for kids to deal with stress and create safe spaces for themselves, experts say. “I feel like you’re in a safe place, your own bubble of coziness,” said 11-year-old Grayson Drewry, of Port Townsend, Washington. “There are no other things affecting you — you’re blocked out from the world.” In forts, kids feel in control —of both their emotions and their physical surroundings. That is comforting when so many things in the outside world are uncertain and confusing, the Washington Post newspaper reported. “Whatever kids create in their imaginative world feels safe and predictable,” one expert said. “… It’s like ‘Every time I go into this fort, it will be just like I left it.’ ”. Many things are stressful in the world due to the coronavirus emergency. With family or friends, use the newspaper or Internet to find and closely read stories about some of these stressful things. Discuss how having a “fort” or safe place would help you and your friends deal with these things. Try building a fort of your own in your home or apartment.

Common Core State Standards: Engaging effectively in a range of collaborative discussions; esponding thoughtfully to diverse perspectives, summarizing points of agreement and disagreement.

4. Unusual Honor

Service dogs help people with special needs. They perform tasks the special-needs people can’t and alert others when such people are having difficulty. In the state of Kentucky recently a special-needs service dog got special attention – a photo of her own in the yearbook of St. Patrick’s Catholic School in the city of Louisville. The dog named Ariel is a life-saver for kindergarten student Hadley Jo Lange, who suffers from the condition known as epilepsy. Epilepsy can cause seizures that cause a person to move or twitch uncontrollably, or even stop breathing. Ariel, who is a labradoodle, has been trained to recognize when the seizures are coming and to alert teachers by barking, CNN News reports. Including Ariel’s picture in the yearbook was a surprise for Hadley Jo’s family. “When I got the yearbook and saw that they included our service dog, that was one of the most touching moments of my life,” Hadley Jo’s mother told CNN. “The inclusiveness meant so much.” Putting a picture of the service dog Ariel in the school yearbook was an unusual way to honor her for her service. What unusual ways can people be honored for service? In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about someone who is providing a helpful service for others. Brainstorm a way to honor this person in an unusual way. Write a paragraph explaining your honor and why it would be right for this person.

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. ‘Swan Upping’

The coronavirus emergency has canceled many traditions and events around the world. In the European nation of England, it has put an end to this year’s official counting of the swans for England’s queen. The count, officially called the “Swan Upping,” dates back more than 800 years and was due to take place in July on the famous River Thames on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II. Under English law, the Queen owns all unmarked swans and they must be counted and measured every year. Thousands of children and tourists usually turn out to watch the “Swan Uppers” perform their duties in bright red scarlet uniforms on traditional rowboats known as skiffs. The swans, which are mute and have no voice, were once counted as a source of food, but now are counted for preservation, health and education purposes. “Swan Upping plays an important role in the conservation of the mute swan,” said the website, which is dedicated to the counting effort. Many events and traditions have been canceled this year due to the coronavirus. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a canceled event that you or your family will miss. Use what you read to write a poem, rap, or rhyme describing the sights, sounds and feelings you like about this event.

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