For Grades K-4 , week of Sep. 28, 2020

1. Halloween Rules

Across America and around the world, many events and traditions have been canceled this year due to the coronavirus emergency. Now there’s a chance that popular Halloween activities may be next. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued its first advice for Halloween and the winter holidays, and it has given a thumbs down to face-to-face trick-or-treating, costume masks and Halloween parties. It also recommends not going to indoor haunted houses or on hayrides with strangers. The CDC, which tracks diseases and tries to prevent them from spreading, is not ruling out all Halloween activities. Those that would be OK include “open air costume parades” in which people stay six feet apart, outdoor scavenger hunts finding items in Halloween decorations and “one-way trick-or-treating” in which goodies are placed at the end of a driveway or edge of a yard. Halloween is one of the most popular holidays in America, but it will be different this year. In the newspaper or online, search stories, photos or ads for ideas for a Halloween costume. Design a costume in which a corona safety mask would replace a costume mask. Draw a picture of how you would decorate the safety mask to fit the costume. Share with family and friends.

Common Core State Standards: Conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic; using drawings or visual displays when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or points.

2. Ancient Treasures

Egypt is known for ancient treasures like the Great Pyramids, and more treasures are still being discovered in this country in northern Africa. This month more than two dozen ancient coffins were unearthed in a burial ground south of the city of Cairo, and archaeologists are excited to learn what the mummies inside them will reveal about life more than 2,500 years ago. The coffins were colorfully painted and covered in hieroglyphics (HI-er-o-GLIFF-iks), the picture writing of ancient Egypt. They were found buried in two deep wells more than 30 feet deep. Archaeologists are working to identify who might be buried in the coffins and continue digging at the site to see if more coffins are there. Discoveries of ancient artifacts and items reveal how people lived in the past. What could future archaeologists learn from items we use today? In the newspaper or online, find and study items in ads or photos that your family uses. Pick three and write a paragraph for each telling what it would tell future archaeologists about how people live today.

Common Core State Standards: Writing informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly; reading closely what written and visual texts say and to making logical inferences from them.

3. Here’s Your Litter!

Litter and trash pollution are problems all over the world. Now a national park in the Southeast Asian nation of Thailand has come up with an unusual solution. When people litter at the Khao Yai National Park, officials pack up the trash and mail it back to them! The park is able to do this because visitors and campers have to register to use the park since it reopened after being closed due to the coronavirus. Park officials are able to use registrations to identify people who left trash and litter behind at campgrounds and other sites. The mail-back program is not nationwide in Thailand, but top officials welcome it. Mailing trash back to offenders sends a message, one said, and ensures “we all do our part to help our country remain clean, safe and beautiful.” Many communities have programs to reduce litter and trash pollution. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about one program. Write a letter to the editor describing how this program helps its community and how it could be a model for other communities.

Common Core State Standards: Producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task; reading closely what written and visual texts say and to making logical inferences from them.

4. Surfboard on the Move

Top surfers have a special bond with their surfboards and often have them custom made to match their skills and bodies. So it is a sad occasion when a surfer loses a board while riding a big wave in a place like the state of Hawaii. Two years ago, surfer Doug Falter of Hawaii lost a board while surfing some of “the biggest waves of my life” in the waters off the island of Oahu. Now he’s discovered what happened to his specially made board. Winds and ocean currents carried it 5,200 miles across the Pacific Ocean to waters off the nation of the Philippines. It was found by a fisherman and sold to a teacher named Giovanne Branzuela, who wanted to learn to surf. Branzuela tracked Falter down on Facebook from the label of the maker on the board. They are in touch online are making plans to meet in the Philippines so that Falter can retrieve his board and give Branzuela a beginner’s board to learn on. Ocean currents are like rivers that flow through the waters of oceans around the world. The way they move can affect people, wildlife and communities in many ways. With family, friends or classmates, use the newspaper and Internet to research an ocean current somewhere in the world. Use what you read to prepare a short oral report on where the ocean current is located, how it moves and how it affects people, wildlife or communities.

Common Core State Standards: Citing specIfic textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions; conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic.

5. Crashing the Internet

Broadband Internet service provides fast online connections for homes and businesses at any time of day. But a village in the European nation of Wales didn’t get that from its service provided by the government through the Openreach company. For 18 months, Internet service for the entire village of Aberhosan crashed every morning, leaving residents without service. The shutdown stumped tech specialists for months, until they went door to door looking for possible electronic interference. They found it at one house, where the family had an old, second-hand television, CNN News reported. Every morning at 7 a.m. the family turned it on, and it gave off electrical “noise” that was on the perfect frequency to crash the broadband system. When the family agreed to stop using the old TV, the Internet crashes stopped. Families, schools and businesses rely on the Internet in many ways. In the newspaper or online, find examples of some of the different ways the Internet is used. Write a letter to a friend or classmate, telling how life for your family, your school or your community would change if you lost Internet service.

Common 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.