For Grades K-4 , week of May 28, 2018

1. Love for ‘LOVE’

One of the most famous artworks in the world is the “LOVE” image created by Robert Indiana. The image, which stacks the letters “LO” on top of the “VE,” has been presented as both a painting and a sculpture, displayed in museums and public parks, and even appeared on a U.S. postage stamp that sold more than 300 million copies. Indiana, who died May 19 at age 89, created the first “LOVE” image as a painting in the early 1960s, but its popularity didn’t take off until it was chosen for a Christmas card sent by New York’s Museum of Modern Art in 1965. The first sculpture of “LOVE” was created in 1970 and donated to the Indianapolis Museum of Art in the artist’s home state. Many artists have created works showing what love means to them. Some works are realistic and some are symbolic. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about people showing love in some way. Then create an artwork or drawing, showing this or some other kind of love. Your artwork can be realistic or symbolic.

Common Core State Standards: Reading closely what a text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; using drawings or visual displays when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or points.

2. Great National Parks

America’s National Parks are beautiful and popular attractions in the summer months. And they have inspired a dedicated group of fans committed to visiting all 60 of them. These people have even formed a club of fellow fans called the National Park Travelers Club, which has more than 2,000 members. America’s national parks attracted more than 330 million visitors last year, and will draw millions more this summer. And if you run out of national parks, there are nature preserves, battlefields, historic sites and monuments to see. One dedicated traveler named Dan Elias claims the record for the most places visited. In the last 20 years he has visited a total of 417 sites overseen by the National Park Service, the New York Times newspaper reports. He started on his honeymoon in Hawaii and has been going strong ever since. Families often visit natural areas or parks during summer vacation. In the newspaper or online, find stories or ads for a natural area you would like to visit. Use what you read to write a friendly letter to family members telling why this place would be a great place to visit.

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.

3. Warming on the Mountain

The effects of climate change have been felt all over the world. Now they have reached the top of Mount Everest, the world’s tallest mountain. Melting ice and increased crowds have made Everest’s famed Khumbu Icefall too dangerous, forcing climbers away from the mountain face located in the nation of Nepal. Instead, more people are trying to climb from the northern side of the mountain in the nation of Tibet. Located near the famous Everest Base Camp, the Khumbu Icefall is a risky, 760-yard stretch of ice that tests climbers with dangerous, deep crevasses. About one-fourth of the people who have died on the Nepal side of the mountain have died in the icefall area. “The icefall is obviously a dangerous place to be, especially later on in the season and with increased temperatures … due to climate change,” said Phil Crampton of the climbing company Altitude Junkies in an interview. Research has shown that the area around the Khumbu Icefall faces a greater risk of avalanches because the Khumbu Glacier is retreating at an average of 65 feet per year. Climate change and global warming are affecting natural areas and wildlife all over the world. As a class, find and closely read a story about one effect. Discuss as a class and do additional research using the newspaper and the Internet. Then write a letter to the editor, telling why the situation is important to know about and understand.

Common Core State Standards: Writing opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information; reading closely what a text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it.

4. Riches in Their Yard

Everyone has dreams of finding buried treasure. A New York City man and his wife actually did. When Matthew and Maria Emanuel hired a landscaping crew to replace trees in their back yard, they discovered a big metal box half buried in the ground. They thought it had something to do with cable or electric service, but when the workers dug it out, they saw it had a dial on one side. It was a safe used to store valuables — and what valuables were inside! When the workers opened it with a landscaping tool, the Emanuels discovered it was packed with plastic bags containing cash, gold, diamonds and other jewels. Along with $16,300 in cash, there was a slip of paper that had the name of a neighbor in their Staten Island neighborhood. Matthew Emanuel contacted the neighbor and was told that the safe had been stolen in a burglary seven years earlier. After confirming the robbery through police reports, Emanuel and his wife quickly returned the valuables. There was never a question they would, Maria said. “It wasn't ours.” Matthew and Maria Emanuel were praised for doing the “right thing” when they returned the treasure they found in their yard. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about someone else doing the right thing in a different situation. Use what you read to write a Certificate of Appreciation for the person for his/her actions. Be sure to include details of the person’s actions in your award.

Common Core State Standards: Writing informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly; citing specific textual evidence when writing.

5. Kilauea Dangers

The eruption of the Kilauea volcano in the state of Hawaii has caused one big problem after another. First there was hot lava flying into the air and flowing through neighborhoods. Then air pollution called volcanic smog — or “vog” — caused people to get sick from water vapor mixed with the gases carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide. Now the lava has flowed into the sea and created another health risk. Hot lava hitting the cooler ocean water is turning into “laze” — a combination of “lava” and “haze” that sends hydrochloric acid and glass particles into the air. Like “vog,” laze can cause lung, eye and skin irritation, and in the past it has even caused death. The people of Hawaii are still trying to deal with problems caused by the eruption of the Kilauea volcano. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read stories about problems they are dealing with. Use what you read to write a short editorial outlining what individuals, communities or the federal government could do to help the people of Hawaii.

Common Core State Standards: Citing specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions; producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task.