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For Grades K-4 , week of Apr 09, 2012

1. Bloomin’ Blossoms

Spring has sprung, and plants are blooming everywhere. This time of year is known for blossoming bulb plants, such as tulips, daffodils, iris and lilies. A bulb is a large root from which the stem grows out of the top and the roots grow out of the bottom. Most bulbs are planted in the fall and remain dormant until spring. Some bulbs will grow year after year (or perennially) while others must be replaced or replanted annually. Find a newspaper article about gardening and the advantages of perennials versus annuals. In teams or pairs, do some research on the two types and design newspaper ads to tell people about them.

Core/National Standards: Understanding that plants and animals have different structures that serve different functions in growth, survival and reproduction; adding drawings or visual displays when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or points.

2. Changes

As a class, read an article in today’s newspaper about an event that has happened in another part of the world. Talk about where the place is located in the world, and how living there would be different from living where you live. As a class, discuss what changes might occur in the lives of people who live there as a result of the event. Draw a picture showing some of those changes.

Core/National Standard: Locating major world events and explaining how they have impact on people and the environment.

3. Space Month

When it comes to exploring space, some big things have happened in the month of April. On April 9, 1959, America’s NASA space agency picked its first astronauts for space missions — seven military test pilots who were chosen from a group of 32 candidates. Two years later, on April 12, 1961, the first human made a space flight when a Russian cosmonaut named Yuri Gagarin blasted off in a spacecraft called Vostok 1. Twenty years after that, on April 12, 1981, America’s first space shuttle, the Columbia, launched into space from Cape Canaveral in Florida. As a class, search your newspaper for articles relating to America’s space program. Or find one on the website Look for images of present and past spacecraft and draw a comic strip for the newspaper showing your idea of a great rocket in action.

Core/National Standard: Knowing the different visual characteristics and purposes of art to convey ideas.

4. Nothing Will Stop Him

Joseph “Sepp” Shirey requires crutches to help him keep his balance when he walks. He falls several times a day, but that doesn’t keep him from giving his all in sports. Sepp plays baseball, football and basketball and also swims and skis – all with cerebral palsy (CP). CP is a disorder that affects a person’s ability to control muscles and body movements. Yet tackle football is Sepp’s favorite sport. “I love the hitting, reading the offense and reacting,” he said in a Yahoo! Sports article. Joining a football team presented many challenges for Sepp – not the least of which was convincing his mother that it would be safe for him to play. His two doctors cleared him to play, and play he has. As a class, find a newspaper story about someone who is differently-abled. Or find one online. Read the story and write a summary of it. Then draw an illustration to go with your summary.

Core/National Standards: Producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task, purpose and audience; adding drawings or visual displays when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or points.

5. Kid’s List

Older people sometimes write out a “Bucket List” of all the things they want to do before they die. Kids can make lists like these, too — for things they want to experience in childhood. Yahoo! News recently came up with a list of things that all kids should experience. These are some of their “Kid’s List” items: Play with a sports team, go camping, play in the snow, spend some time on a farm, have a lemonade stand, fly a kite and go bowling. Other people suggest riding a roller coaster, catching a fish and helping others. Search your newspaper’s community section for a listing of events happening in your area. Use what you find to make your own “Kid’s List” of things you want to do before you grow up.

Core/National Standard: Producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task, purpose and audience.

Step onto any school campus and you'll feel its energy. Each school is turbocharged with the power of young minds, bodies, hearts and spirits.

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