1. Military Milestone
The United States takes great pride in the six main branches of its military — the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Space Force and Coast Guard. This month the Coast Guard was feeling especially proud after it made history by naming the first woman to lead any branch of America’s military. In a “historic first,” Admiral Linda Fagan has become the first female commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard. “It’s about time,” President Biden said as Fagan took command last week. “There’s no one more qualified to lead the proud women and men of the Coast Guard.” Fagan, who is 58, has 36 years of Coast Guard service and has served on all seven continents, CNN News reported. As the Coast Guard’s vice commandant, Fagan was the service’s first female four-star admiral. She graduated from the Coast Guard Academy in 1985, in just the sixth class to include women. “I recognize I am now providing a set of shoulders for those who come after me,” Fagan said at her change of command ceremony. One of the women coming after is Fagan’s own daughter, Aileen, who is now a lieutenant in the Coast Guard. By achieving something never done before, Linda Fagan has become an inspiration and role model for women who follow her in military service. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a woman or man who has done something that could inspire someone who follows her/him in a field. Use what you read to write a short editorial telling why it is important to have role models who can encourage others to enter a field.
Common Core State Standards: Producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task; reading closely what a text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it.
2. NBA Finals
The NBA finals are in full swing this week, as the Boston Celtics battle the Golden State Warriors for this season’s pro basketball championship. The Celtics reached the finals by defeating their Eastern Conference rival Miami Heat behind the star performances of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. The Warriors defeated the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference behind the scoring and leadership of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. Games 3 and 4 of the finals will take place on Wednesday and Friday nights this week. The Warriors have the home court advantage because they had a better regular season record (53-29) than the Celtics (51-31). The Warriors are going for their fourth NBA Championship in the last eight years. The Celtics are seeking their 18th championship in team history, the last being in 2008. The Celtics have appeared in the finals 22 times and the Warriors 11. Fans all over the country are following the NBA finals to see which players will deliver surprising or outstanding performances. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read stories about games in the finals. Use what you read to write a sports column telling why one surprising or outstanding performance was important to a team.
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. New Ancient Treasures
The African nation of Egypt is home to some of the greatest attractions of the ancient world. Now an amazing new discovery has given tourists a new reason to visit Egypt beyond the Great Pyramids and Sphinx monument. Archaeologists have announced they have found a treasure of artifacts in an ancient burial ground that date back 2,500 years. The artifacts include 250 painted coffins, beautifully preserved mummies, statues of ancient goddesses and even musical instruments played during burial ceremonies, the Washington Post newspaper reports. They were found during an excavation of a “necropolis” burial site outside the city of Cairo in the northeast corner of the country. In one coffin, researchers found a complete and preserved papyrus funeral text — a discovery unlike any ever made in the past at an Egyptian historic site. The papyrus was quicky moved to a museum for further study. The coffins, known as sarcophagi (sar-KOFF-uh-gye), will be displayed at Egypt’s new Grand Egyptian Museum, which is due to open near the famous Giza Pyramids outside Cairo in November. Discoveries of ancient places help scientists understand how people lived in the past. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a discovery of a place from the past. Use what you read to write a paragraph telling what this discovery has revealed about life in the past, and why that is important.
Common Core State Standards: Writing informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly; citing specific textual evidence when writing.
4. Rooftop Sun Power
Located 1,400 miles from the Earth’s equator, Hawaii is the only U.S. state that exists in the warm tropical regions of the Earth. It is known for its beautiful beaches, blue skies and bright sunshine. Now it is putting that sunshine to work to cut energy costs and reduce the use of fossil fuels like oil and coal. State officials are encouraging homeowners to install solar energy panels on the roofs of their homes to generate electricity from the sun instead of relying on power generated by plants fueled by oil and coal. Unlike those fuels, solar power is renewable and doesn’t require fuel to be imported to the island state from the U.S. mainland or other countries, the New York Times reported. Homeowners also can sell back electricity they don’t use to power companies during peak periods. “Dependence on oil is the wrong path,” said the chairman of the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission. All over the world, states and communities are looking for alternatives to fossil fuels like oil, which create greenhouse gases when burned and contribute to global warming. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a community using or planning to use an alternative energy source like solar, wind or hydroelectric power. Use what you read to prepare a 1-minute TV news report about the benefits and challenges of using this alternative source. Write out your report and read it aloud. Time it so that it does not run longer than 1 minute.
Common Core State Standards: Writing narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events; citing specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions; engaging effectively in a range of collaborative discussions.
5. Cheese Sandwich Art
Before money existed, people would trade goods and services for other goods and services in a system called “bartering.” In the art world, artists still often barter for goods and services they need. They trade works of art they have created for paint, tools, brushes and sometimes even food. In the city of London, Ontario in Canada, an artist named John Kinnear would regularly trade paintings for the grilled cheese sandwiches he loved at a restaurant called The Villa that was run by Irene and Tony Demas in the early 1970s. Most of the paintings were Kinnear’s own, but on one occasion he brought in some works by a Canadian folk artist he knew, the Washington Post newspaper reported. As payment for food, the Demases chose a painting of a black truck against a yellow background because they liked its color and playfulness. Fifty years later, the couple learned they had struck quite a deal for their grilled cheese sandwiches. The black truck painting was done by artist Maud Lewis who had gained a large following after her death in the 1970s. And when the Demases put it up for sale online, it sold for a record breaking $272,548! That was more than 10 times its estimated value. “I was just speechless,” Irene Demas said. Anyone can practice bartering. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read stories about goods and services people could trade by bartering. Pick one good or product and one service. Write a paragraph describing a bartering trade that could be made between people for the product or service. How much of each would be included in the bartering trade?
Common Core State Standards: Conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic; producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task.