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For Grades K-4 , week of Jan. 23, 2012

1. Be Prepared

The Boy Scout movement started on January 24, 1908. Since that time, the organization has sought to provide boys with a program to have fun and learn skills. Look through today's newspaper for stories or advertisements about organizations for kids, or about events that are designed to attract kids. Then imagine you are in charge of making a new club for kids. Write a short paragraph about your club and what it will offer.

Core/National Standards: Reading with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension; producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to task, purpose and audience.

2. Great Sports

People love sports in America, and this is one of the busiest sports seasons. Read an article about your favorite sports team in today's newspaper. Now draw a picture of yourself as the coach of your favorite team, or as a friend of your favorite player. Write a sentence at the bottom of your picture that explains why you chose your favorite.

Core/National Standards: Integrating and evaluating content presented in diverse media and formats; adding visual displays to presentations when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or points.

3. A Visual Impact

The Detroit Free Press recently ran an article about 10-year-old Steve Dreffs, a cancer patient who received the thrill of his life. The story told readers about a day Steve met stars of Monster Truck competitions, and how he got a chance to climb up on “The Grave Digger,” a monster truck. The words of the story were a good description of events, but it was a picture of Steve sitting on top of the truck’s gigantic tires, with brilliant colors and a painting of a skull on the truck, that made the story so powerful. The newspaper also ran a picture of Steve inside the wheel well of one of the tires. In the newspaper, find a story about someone or something that is interesting to you. Plan a class presentation about the topic of the article. Include pictures or artwork that will make the story shine.

Core/National Standard: Adding visual displays to presentations when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or points.

4. Ready! Set! Action!

George Washington didn’t have a Facebook account to reach voters. Thomas Jefferson didn’t Tweet people asking them to vote for him. And Abraham Lincoln certainly didn’t debate his opponents on national television. Technology has really changed the way elections for president are run. This year, the Republican Party is voting in primary elections and caucuses to choose a candidate for president. The people who want the chance to oppose Democrat Barack Obama this fall have participated in more than 26 televised debates and there are more to come. They all have web pages and Facebook pages. In addition, they are campaigning the old-fashioned way by traveling to different states to meet with voters. As a class, search the newspaper for stories about Republican Party candidates for president. Discuss how technology and social media could help candidates win the party nomination.

Core/National Standard: Assessing the influence of television, the Internet and other forms of electronic communication on the creation and diffusion of cultural and political information.

5. First This, Then That

A cruise ship in Italy hit some rocks and sank. John Huntsman, a Republican presidential candidate, didn’t get enough votes in the primary elections and dropped out of the race. San Francisco quarterback Alex Smith threw a pass to Vernon Davis, who ran it in for a touchdown to win the game against the New Orleans Saints. These are all examples of cause and effect. Understanding cause and effect is important when reading to help you understand what you read. In teams, find several newspaper articles that interest you and read them. Then work together to make a chart listing different causes and effects. Share what you find with the class.

Core/National Standard: Using context such as cause and effect relationships and comparisons as a clue to meaning.

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