1. Movie Rescue
Movies provide a lot of entertainment for kids and families. They also can provide important information for people who watch closely. In the state of Alabama, two boys swimming with a friend in a backyard pool used what they had seen in the movies to save their father after he passed out under water and was in danger of drowning. Ten-year-old twins Bridon and Christian Hassig and 11-year old Sam Ebert were swimming in the pool when dad Brad Hassig lost consciousness doing underwater exercises while holding his breath. The father had done the exercises many times to relax, but this time he didn’t come back to the surface, the Washington Post newspaper reported. The boys jumped into action and dragged the twins’ 185-pound father to the pool steps. Christian ran for help while Bridon started performing life-saving CPR that he had seen in movies like “The Sandlot.” He had never been trained in CPR, which involves pressing down on a person’s chest and blowing air into the mouth. But once he started the mouth-to-mouth process, his dad coughed up foam, blood and water and woke up. “I just knew I needed to do this,” Bridon said, even though he had never done CPR. “It was probably the most emotional time of my life.” When kids do unusual or amazing things, news writers look for special adjectives to describe their actions. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about someone your age doing something amazing. Then write the alphabet down the side of a sheet of paper. Use each letter to start an adjective that describes the person or what he/she did. Use several of your adjectives in complete sentences.
Common Core State Standards: Identifying multiple language conventions and using them; recognizing nouns, verbs and modifiers; applying knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts.
2. Ship from Long Ago
A ship used as a burial vessel for a warrior king 1,400 years ago soon may be sailing again on the rivers of the European nation of England. The 90-foot-long wooden ship had been buried underground as the final resting place of an Anglo-Saxon king known as Raedwald of East Anglia, who died in the year 624 C.E. Now researchers are using photos taken of the impression that the ship’s boards made in the ground to create a full-sized replica that will show how people used waterways to get around. The ship was powered by up to 40 rowers pulling on heavy, 16.4-foot-long wooden oars and carried cargo as well as royalty, CNN News reports. The $1.8-million project will seek to reconstruct the ship with techniques used by the Anglo-Saxons, such as using axes to shape the timbers, and oak trees harvested locally in eastern England. If all goes according to plan, the ship will undertake three voyages between 2024 and 2029 to trace where the earliest English kingdoms formed. “The voyages will take us past many of the great early settlements discovered by archaeologists in the last few decades,” one history expert said. Ancient ships and historic discoveries often inspire people who write creative stories. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a discovery of something from the past. Use what you read to write a short creative story based on this item or discovery. Share with family and friends.
Common Core State Standards: Writing narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events; conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic.
3. Very Special Doghouse
Frank Lloyd Wright is considered the greatest designer of buildings in the history of America. As an architect, he designed large museums, hotels and public buildings, but this summer people can see the smallest building he ever designed. It was a doghouse for a 12-year-old boy who wrote him a letter asking if he would create a shelter for his Labrador retriever named Eddie. The boy was Jim Berger, who grew up in a home Wright designed for Berger’s parents in the town of San Anselmo, California, north of the city of San Francisco. In 1956, the 12-year-old asked the world famous architect if he could design a doghouse in the style of his parents’ home, CNN News reports. Wright didn’t do it immediately, but about a year later he sent Berger a design drawn on the back of envelope. The original doghouse was thrown out when Eddie refused to use it, but a replica was made from Wright’s design years later by Berger’s father and brother. The replica was donated to the Marin County Civic Center and this spring went on permanent display. The Civic Center also was designed by Wright and is the largest building he ever created. Architects design buildings that serve people’s needs and are pleasing to look at. In the newspaper or online, find and study photos of interesting buildings. Pick one and write a paragraph telling how it serves people’s needs and is pleasing or interesting to look at. For fun, use your drawing skills to create a sketch of a building that would be an interesting addition to your neighborhood or community.
Common Core State Standards: Using drawings or visual displays when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or points; writing informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
4. Poison Garden
When people want others to slow down and enjoy life, they often advise them to “stop and smell the flowers.” A public garden in the European nation of England would rather you didn’t — in fact, it warns against it. The garden is The Poison Garden, and it is widely known as “the World’s Deadliest Garden.” That’s because it contains more than 100 dangerous plants, some of which could make you sick just by smelling them, NDTV News reports. The Poison Garden is part of the larger Alnwick Garden in England’s Northumberland County and was established by the Duchess of Northumberland in 2005. According to garden officials, nearly 600,000 people visit the garden each year, and they are only allowed to take guided tours. Still, some visitors faint after inhaling toxic fumes from flowers, despite being warned not to. In addition to tourists, plant experts from across the world visit the garden to see poisonous plants like monkshood, wolf’s bane and nightshade, and the plants used to make the poisons ricin, hemlock and strychnine. The Poison Garden is an unusual attraction in the nation of England. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about another unusual attraction that people might like to visit in the summer. Use what you read to write a letter to a friend telling why this unusual place would be fun to visit.
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.
5. Bees on the Loose
Utah is known as the “Beehive State,” because bees were an important symbol in the Mormon religion of its founders — and the state produces a great deal of honey. Earlier this month, state officials got more bees than they bargained for when a truck overturned on the Interstate 80 highway and released up to 20-million bees into the air. The truck was transporting 416 boxes of honeybees used to pollinate crops, and the bees escaped when the boxes broke open. At first, wildlife officials thought all the bees were lost, but a day later investigators discovered a huge mass of bees that had gathered on sagebrush shrubs on a nearby hillside, the Washington Post and CNN reported. The “wall of bees” was 8 feet long, 4 feet deep and 5 feet high, the president of a state beekeeping association said. “We just started piling bees into boxes as fast as we could. They were not nice. They had just been dumped off a truck and most of them had lost their queen.” Farms rely on honeybees to pollinate flowers of fruit and vegetable plants. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read stories about other things farms need to be successful. Create a chart or poster showing the most important things that farms need, and explaining why they are important.
Common Core State Standards: Reading closely what a text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; organizing data using lists, concrete objects, pictures, tallies, tables, charts, diagrams and graphs.