For Grades K-4 , week of June 04, 2018

1. Hero to Citizen

Around the world, many nations are making it harder for immigrants to enter their countries. But in the European nation of France, an undocumented immigrant earned a path to citizenship by being a hero. Mamoudou Gassama, an immigrant from the West African nation of Mali, became a national hero in France by climbing up four stories of a Paris apartment building to save a 4-year-old boy dangling from a balcony. As bystanders took videos, the 22-year-old Gassama leaped from the ground to pull himself up onto the first floor balcony, and then the second, the third and the fourth. When he reached the fourth floor, he quickly pulled the child to safety, to cheers from the crowd below. After the rescue, Gassama met with French President Emmanuel Macron, was given a medal and residency papers, and was told he would be accepted as a citizen. He also was offered a job as a French firefighter, the office of the president said. People can be heroes in many ways. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about one person doing something heroic. Use what you read to write a letter to the editor praising this person for his/her actions. Your letter should tell what the person did, why it is important and how it could inspire others.

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.

2. K-Pop on Top

K-pop music got its start in the Asian nation of South Korea, but it is growing in popularity around the world. So much so that a South Korean boy band called BTS has made musical history. The latest album from BTS made its debut in the top spot of the highly respected Billboard 200 album chart — the first time a K-pop band has reached the Number 1 position. The album that made history is “Love Yourself: Tear,” which was released May 18. Previously, BTS had an album “Love Yourself: Her” that rose to Number 7 on the Billboard album ranking. Singing in Korean, BTS has won worldwide popularity with songs that combine pop, R&B and hip-hop. What kind of music do you and your friends like? As a class talk about musical artists you like, and why. Then use the newspaper or Internet to find and closely read a story about a music star you like. Use what you read and prior knowledge to write a short review of this artist’s music and why you like it. Support your opinion with specific evidence.

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.

3. Scratch & Sniff Stamps

For years, the U.S. Postal Service has encouraged people to buy stamps by making them pretty or fun to look at. This summer, the Postal Service is taking its efforts a step further — with stamps that smell as nice as they look. Later this month the Postal Service will introduce a series of “Frozen Treats Forever” stamps that will offer pictures of popsicles and the “sweet smell of summer” when scratched. “Each stamp will depict two popsicles, and there will be 10 stamps in the collection,” says Postal Service spokesman Steven Cunningham. While they will show treats in flavors ranging from kiwi to watermelon, “they will all have the same scratch-and-sniff scent,” Cunningham says. The stamps will be issued on June 20 at a children's museum in Austin, Texas and are intended to encourage kids and families to write personal letters and cards to friends. There are many great smells in the world. In the newspaper or online, find a story or photo of something whose smell you like. Use what you find to design a series of postage stamps that would include the smell of this item. Share with the class.

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

4. Hot, Hot, Hot!

Everyone likes playing outside during the summer months, but kids need to be careful when it gets really hot. Metal playground equipment can get so hot during heat waves that it can burn bare skin on hands, arms and legs. According to the National Recreation and Park Association, playground equipment can heat up to 130 degrees Fahrenheit during intense heat — hot enough to cause second-degree burns. That’s “very, very hot,” parent Marquis Young told a local TV station in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Sand and pavement can also burn bare feet on very hot days, experts say. To stay safe, children should always wear shoes or sneakers at playgrounds, and kids and families should check the temperature of metal equipment before playing. Summer is a time of fun, but also a time to stay safe. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read stories about summer safety for students your age. Brainstorm an idea for a TV ad encouraging kids and families to stay safe in summer. Write an outline for your ad, including images you would. Share with the class and discuss.

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.

5. Some Melons!

Many people love fruit, but few love it as much as the owner of a fruit and vegetable company in the Asian nation of Japan. To celebrate his company’s 30th anniversary, the owner paid nearly $30,000 for two special melons grown in a prized region of Japan. The melons sold for $29,436.80 at an auction at a market in the city of Sapporo, topping the record set in 2016 by nearly $2,000. Shinya Noda of the Hokuyu Pack company told a local newspaper that the melons would be put on display until the end of the month and then cut up and given out as samples to be eaten. People often pay huge amounts of money for things they want. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about someone doing this. Then think of an unusual item you would pay a lot for if you had unlimited money. Write a paragraph explaining “Why I Want This” and illustrate it with a drawing.

Common Core State Standards: Writing informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly; using drawings or visual displays when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or points.