1. Sesame Gets Listed
Food allergies may be caused by small things, but they can create big problems for those who have them. Many people are familiar with peanut or wheat allergies, but now a new food has been added to America’s list of “major” allergy sources. Sesame, which can be found in sesame seed rolls and other foods, has joined milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, soybeans, peanuts and wheat as the top allergens that cause reactions. As a result, sesame will be listed on the packages of foods that include it, giving parents important information for protecting their children. More than 1-million American children and adults are allergic to sesame, according to medical studies. Allergic reactions include difficulty breathing, nausea, a drop in heart rate and even death. The addition of sesame to the “major allergen” list comes as a result of a new law passed by the U.S. Congress and signed by President Biden. Passage of the law was major health news affecting families across the U.S. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about another important development in health news. Use what you read to write a short editorial, explaining the development, why it is important and whom it will affect most.
Common Core State Standards: Writing informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly; citing specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions.
2. Christmas in April
The Christmas spirit of giving isn’t just something people can celebrate in December. It can bring cheer to others at any time of year. Consider the case of a man from the state of Louisiana who made Christmas extra special for two girls from the state of Kansas — four months after Christmas! It all came about after Alvin Bamburg found a balloon tangled in a tree while hunting in the woods last December. When he pulled the balloon out of the tree, he found a Christmas wish list attached from a girl named Luna in Liberal, Kansas. Luna had asked Santa to bring her candy, a Spider Man ball, a “Frozen” movie doll, a puppy and a My Little Pony toy. Bamburg and his wife Ann didn’t get to act on the list in time for Christmas 2020, but after the holiday he posted it to Facebook. Eventually it was shared so many times it made its way to Leticia Flores-Gonzalez and her 4-year-old twins, Luna and Gianella Gonzalez. Leticia was asked to post Gianella’s list too, and soon both girls were getting gifts from Bamburg’s friends. Then last month, the final chapter of this drawn-out holiday story was written, CNN News reported. Bamburg and his wife drove more than 650 miles from Louisiana to Kansas to meet the Flores-Gonzalez family — and deliver one last present. When they arrived, they gave the girls an adorable dachshund puppy! Alvin Bamburg and his wife Ann went out of their way to do something special for Luna and Gianella Gonzalez. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about another person doing something special for someone else. Use what you read to design a thank-you card to give the person who did the good deed. Write a message for the front of the card and a short thank-you poem for the inside.
Common Core State Standards: Using drawings or visual displays when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or points; demonstrating understanding of figurative language.
3. Doggone Finish
Animals can do some wild and crazy things, and sometimes they make news doing it. In the state of Utah, a dog joined a high school track race, and wound up crossing the finish line in first place! The dog, a “golden-doodle” named Holly, ran onto the track as the human runners were heading into the last leg of a 200-meter relay race at Logan High School. Gracie Laney was in the lead at that point, but Holly sprinted through other runners and overtook Laney at the finish, UPI News reported. Holly’s owners said she had broken away when she saw the batons the runners were passing to each other in the relay. Laney said she heard the crowd going “kind of crazy” as she neared the finish, but figured another runner was gaining on her. One was, but it had four legs instead of two! Animals often make news in unusual or funny ways. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about an animal doing something like this. Use what you read to draw a series of comic strips showing this animal’s unusual behavior, or other things it might do.
Core State Standards: Using drawings or visual displays when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or points; reading closely what written and visual texts say and to making logical inferences from them.
4. What a Ride!
In summer, families like to get out to water parks to stay cool and have fun. In the southeast Asian nation of Malaysia, visitors at one park can enjoy the longest inner tube slide in the world. The slide at the Escape Penang theme park is 3,645 feet long — almost 7/10 of a mile! The slide was awarded a Guinness World Record after it opened in the Teluk Bahang rain forest on Penang Island. The slide is more than three times as long as the previous record holder and provides a ride that lasts more than four minutes. Theme parks are reopening across America and around the world. In the newspaper or online, find and closely study ads or stories about theme parks you might like to visit. Use what you read to write a letter to a friend, inviting him or her to visit one park with you. Give reasons you would like to visit and why you think your friend would like to visit, too.
Common Core State Standards: Producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task; reading closely what written and visual texts say and to making logical inferences from them.
5. Tornado Rainbow
Spring and summer produce some of the most amazing weather of the year. Few places, however, get to see weather as dramatic and unusual as that seen last month by the residents of Lockett, Texas. In the skies over the small town near the Oklahoma border, people observed a beautiful rainbow — arching over a tornado! The unusual event was caused by sun shining through the rain of the supercell thunderstorm that generated the tornado. As the tornado weakened, the scene got even more spectacular, with the tornado “roping out” like a snake in the sky with the rainbow still visible. To see photos of this unusual weather event click here. Then use the newspaper and Internet to find stories and photos of another unusual spring weather event. Use the newspaper and Internet to clip or print adjectives that describe the event. Arrange the adjectives into an art collage with a photo of the event.
Common Core State Standards: Using drawings or visual displays when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or points; integrating information presented in different media or formats to develop a coherent understanding of a topic.