For Grades K-4 , week of Feb. 06, 2023

1. Brother Bowl

Next Sunday is Super Bowl Sunday, and football fans all over the nation are gearing up to see whether the Kansas City Chiefs or the Philadelphia Eagles will win the National Football League championship. The Chiefs won a trip to the Super Bowl by defeating the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20, and the Eagles earned their spot by defeating the San Francisco 49ers 31-7. The game features the two top-ranked teams in the league this season, with each having won 16 of 19 games in the regular season and the playoffs. The game also is the first ever that will have two brothers playing against each other. The Eagles feature All-Pro center Jason Kelce, and the Chiefs have All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce. Jason is the older at age 35 while Travis is 33. Both went to the University of Cincinnati in the state of Ohio. While the Kelces are the first brothers to play against each other in the Super Bowl, two brothers faced each other as head coaches when John and Jim Harbaugh met in Super Bowl 47 in 2013. Jim was the coach of the San Francisco 49ers, and John was head coach of the Baltimore Ravens, who won. Every year newspaper and Internet reporters look for unusual stories to write ahead of the Super Bowl. In the newspaper or online, find and read stories about this year’s Super Bowl. With a partner, brainstorm an idea for a story you would like to produce if you were a newspaper or TV reporter. Write a paragraph describing the story and why people would find it interesting. Follow Super Bowl news coverage this week to see if anyone does your story!

Common Core State Standards: Engaging effectively in a range of collaborative discussions; conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic; writing informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.

2. Amazing Plush Toys

Teachers often do special things to connect with their students — both inside and outside of class. They show love and support in unusual ways, and students remember their kindnesses for their whole lives. In the South Pacific nation of Australia, an elementary grade teacher did something outside of class that her students will never forget. To show students how much she cared for them, she took drawings they had made and turned them into plush toys the students could keep. The teacher, who asked that her name not be used publicly, bought cloth and thread with her own money and sewed them into one-of-a-kind “monster” toys unique to each child, the Modern Met website reported. The toys, which can be viewed here, looked like caterpillars, stars, dinosaurs and blobs, each matching a monster drawing a student had made. “There are teachers out there who do amazing things for their students,” one parent said. In every school, teachers do special things for students. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a teacher doing something special. Use what you read to design and write a thank you card as if you were the student who was helped. Fold a piece of paper in half and draw a picture for the cover and write a message for the inside. For added fun, design a thank you card for a teacher who has done something special for you or the class.

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.

3. Black History Month

February is Black History Month, and communities across the nation are celebrating the achievements of African Americans. Those achievements are happening in all fields — and are influencing all parts of American life. Search the newspaper or Internet to find African Americans influencing news and culture in different fields. See if you can find (1.) an African American politician, (2.) an African American athlete who led a team to victory, (3.) an African American woman who is a leader, (4.) a business owned by an African American, (5.) a TV show with an African American cast, (6.) an African American musician, (7.) a successful African American student and (8.) an African American writer or influencer for newspapers or the Internet. As a class, discuss these people and how they could inspire others by their achievements.

Common Core State Standards: Conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic; engaging effectively in a range of collaborative discussions.

4. High-Wire Act

Daredevils are always looking for new challenges and adventures. In the South American nation of Brazil last month, a tightrope walker looked to the skies in the city of Sao Paulo to set a new record for high-wire achievement. Brazilian Rafael Bridi set the record by walking more than 500 meters between two buildings more than 100 meters above ground. The 25-minute walk was a new distance record for a city in the Americas, the AFP news agency reported. The 510 meters he covered equaled 1,673 feet or about one-third of a mile. The 114-meter height of his tightrope equaled 375 feet or one-and-one-quarter football fields. Bridi, who is 35, is no stranger to challenges. In 2021 he walked between two hot air balloons more than 6,233 feet (1.2 miles) above ground. In 2020, he became the first man in the world to walk a tightrope above an active volcano in the South Pacific nation of Vanuatu. People often take on unusual challenges or have unusual adventures. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a person who has done this. Use what you read to write a letter to a friend describing the adventure, what made it challenging and whether you would like to do something like it.

Common Core State Standards: Reading closely what written and visual texts say and to making logical inferences from them; citing specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions.

5. World’s Oldest

With exercise and better health care, senior adults are living longer and longer around the world. No one now alive has lived longer than Maria Branyas Morera of the European nation of Spain. At almost 116 years old, Morera has been recognized by the Guinness World Records organization as the world’s oldest person. She was born in the United States in the city of San Francisco, California on March 4, 1907, but moved to Spain with her family when she was seven. She later married a Spanish doctor and raised three children. She outlived her husband and for the last 23 years has lived in a nursing home in the Catalonia region of Spain. She survived a case of the coronavirus at age 113 in 2020, and became the world’s oldest person last month following the death of a French nun who was 118. The oldest American is Bessie Hendricks of Lake City, Iowa, a former school teacher who turned 115 in November. In an interview in 2019, Morera said she had lived so long as a result of living “an orderly life that is socially very pleasant … a good life without excesses.” Seniors who live long lives often have advice for younger people. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a senior in the news. Use what you read to write out two pieces of advice this senior might offer to younger people.

Common Core State Standards: Citing specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions; writing informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.