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For Grades K-4 , week of Sep. 16, 2019

1. Reward for Helping

There is a lot of bad news when hurricanes or other natural disasters strike. But there also are “good-news” stories about people doing something special to help. And sometimes there are “double-good-news” stories. Meet Jermaine Bell of the state of South Carolina. Jermaine gave the nation a big serving of good news when he used money he had saved to go to Disney World to feed victims of Hurricane Dorian instead. “I just wanted to be generous” by setting up a free food stand offering hot dogs, chips and drinks for storm travelers, he said. The “double good news” came later, when Disney officials heard of Jermaine’s generosity. When he appeared on the “Good Morning America” TV show, Mickey Mouse showed up and announced that Disney was giving Jermaine’s family a free trip to Disney World as thanks for his efforts. Jermaine was thrilled to get the trip of his dreams but was also happy he had been able to help people in need. “If you do good things, you will be rewarded,” he said. Many people are reaching out to help victims of Hurricane Dorian. In teams or as a class, use the newspaper or Internet to find and closely read stories about people offering different kinds of help. Use what you read to hold a class discussion about ways your class or community could help victims of Hurricane Dorian in some way.

Common Core State Standards: Reading closely what a text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; engaging effectively in a range of collaborative discussions.

2. Big Flying Dinosaur

The great thing about studying dinosaurs is that there is always something new to learn. Scientists in the province of Alberta, Canada learned that first-hand this summer by studying dinosaur bones that had been discovered 30 years ago. By taking a new look at the fossils, the scientists identified one of the biggest flying dinosaurs ever. The dinosaur had a wingspan up to 32 feet — twice the height of an average giraffe, Newsweek magazine reported. It lived about 77-million years ago and had a long neck and pointy, stork-like bill, scientists said. It probably fed on small animals, lizards and even baby dinosaurs. The newly identified dinosaur species had previously been mistaken for another species of flying dinosaur in the pterosaur (pterodactyl) family. By re-examining the bones scientist were able to discover clear differences in the skeletons of the two species. Taking a fresh look at things can sometimes lead to new knowledge or discoveries. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a career in which it is important to take a fresh look at things or double check your work. Use what you read to write a paragraph explaining what people can gain by doing this. Write a second paragraph discussing ways you could benefit by doing this in your life.

Common Core State Standards: Reading closely what a text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; writing informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.

3. Gifts for a Giver

Crows are among the most intelligent birds in the world. They also are apparently among the most thankful. A woman who started feeding two families of crows outside her apartment in San Francisco, California soon discovered they were bringing her “gifts” in return. She told UPI News that they brought her all sorts of interesting stuff: gummy bears, colorful rocks, bones, nuts and strange bits of antique electronics. “They're showing appreciation for the food,” she said. Crows are known to collect interesting or shiny objects, and researchers say there have been other cases when they have given “gifts” in exchange for food. Giving gifts is one way crows show their intelligence. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about another animal or bird showing special intelligence or skills. Imagine a conversation between two of these animals talking about the ways they benefit from their intelligence or skills. Write out the conversation and share with the class.

Common Core State Standards: Reading closely what a text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task.

4. What a Vacation!

Everyone likes to go on vacation. But how would you like a vacation that lasts 245 days? The Viking Cruises company is giving people that opportunity this year with the launch of its “Ultimate World Cruise. At the same time, the company is trying to set a new world record for the longest continuous passenger cruise on the world’s oceans. The cruise, which began August 31 in London, England, will visit six continents, 51 countries and 111 port cities along the way. The trip is not cheap: Prices START at $92,990 per person and passengers must be at least 18 to take part. Where would you like to go on vacation, if you could go anywhere in the world? With the newspaper or Internet, study stories or travel ads that involve places you might like to visit. Pick one and design an ad of your own telling what attractions make you want to visit this place.

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

5. Behind-the-Back

In basketball, a well-timed behind-the-back pass can freeze a defender or lead to a score. For two men from the state of Idaho, well-timed behind-the-back passes led to a new world record. David Rush and Jonathan Hannon earned the record by delivering 61 behind-the-back passes in just one minute to set a new Guinness World Record. The 61 successful passes easily beat the previous record of 54 in a minute. The two men practiced their behind-the-back form for several months before trying for the record in the city of Boise. Learning to make behind-the-back passes is a special skill in sports. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story that discusses or shows another special sports skill. Use what you read to write a short sports column explaining how this skill helps an athlete succeed in his or her sport.

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.

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