1. Giant Easter Egg
At this time of year, many communities hold Easter egg hunts to entertain children for the Easter holiday. In a South American town in the nation of Brazil, people won’t have to hunt very hard to find an Easter egg. The town of Pomerode has created the world’s largest decorated Easter egg, and earned a Guinness World Record for the effort. Created for the Osterfest Easter festival, the egg stands nearly 50 feet tall and is more than 26 feet wide. It has a steel frame and a foam-and-canvas covering and is painted in colors of pink, yellow, red and orange. The giant egg is not the first time Pomerode has set a world record. In 2017, the town created the world’s largest Easter egg tree, with 82,404 decorated eggs hanging from its branches. Easter celebrations are a spring tradition in many communities. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about another spring tradition. Use what you read to brainstorm an idea for a creative story that would be connected to this tradition. What characters would be in your story? Pick two and write a paragraph for each describing what they would be like — and what role they would have in the story.
Common Core State Standards: Writing narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events; reading closely what a text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it.
2. Hero 9-Year-Old
Babysitters are supposed to take care of children, but in the state of Iowa, a young child took care of the babysitter. In fact, the actions of 9-year-old Madelyn White may well have saved the babysitter’s life. Madelyn was forced to take charge when babysitter Caitlin Rogers suffered a seizure while sitting in a chair at the Whites’ home in the city of Centerville. Madelyn first called her parents to ask what to do and then called 911. She calmly told the dispatcher “We have a babysitter, and she fell asleep, and she is spitting out blood, and she won’t talk to us.” To help the dispatcher, she checked to see if Rogers was breathing, all the while trying to keep her younger siblings calm. “I said, ‘It’s fine. I am on the phone with 911. It will be OK” she told a local TV station. Young children often do amazing or important things for others. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a young child doing something like this. Use what you read to write a letter to the editor, telling what the child did and why adults should not undervalue the ways children can help.
Common Core State Standards: Producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task; citing specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions;
3. Heavy Duty Run
Firefighters have highly challenging jobs and often have to perform them wearing heavy equipment. To demonstrate how hard their jobs are, a firefighter from York, Pennsylvania ran a 13.1-mile half marathon this month wearing 50 pounds of equipment. Ryan Robeson ran in boots, a heavy coat, protective pants, a hood, gloves, a face piece and a helmet. He also carried and breathed through an oxygen tank. “This was to raise awareness for how hard firefighters work and the stress that’s put on their bodies,” Robeson told CNN News after the race. Robeson, 28, also raised $5,800 for two local charities by running. He has been a firefighter for three years. Firefighters help people in the community in many ways. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a firefighter helping others. Use what you read to brainstorm an idea for a one-minute TV ad thanking firefighters for all they do. Write the text for your ad and read it aloud to make sure it doesn’t run longer than one minute. List photos or images that would go with your ad.
Common Core State Standards: Integrating information presented in different media or formats to develop a coherent understanding of a topic; conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic; citing specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions.
4. Tall, Tall Tulip
In the world of flowers, tulips are one of the most popular attractions of spring. In the city of London, England, a giant tulip soon will become an attraction all year round. This tulip is a skyscraper, and it will become the tallest building in the financial district of the European city. It will not house offices, however. The Tulip building will be a tourist attraction, containing galleries, a bar and restaurants offering views of the city from the glass “bud” at the top of the structure. Planners say the building will be a “cultural and educational resource” that will attract up to 1.2 million visitors a year. Construction is expected to begin in 2020. Many communities have special buildings that attract attention by their design or purpose. In the newspaper or online, find a photo of a special or unusual building. Pretend you are a writer who reports on buildings in the community or around the world. Write a “review” of the building you picked, describing how it is unusual, how people might respond to it and how it might make people feel about their community. Finish by telling what you think of the building.
Common Core State Standards: Writing opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information; citing specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions.
5. Lucky Shark
Surfers and sharks are not usually the best of friends. But a baby great white shark in the nation of South Africa was saved from death by the actions of local surfers. The shark had become stranded on rocks by large waves in Victoria Bay on the nation’s southern coast, and could not get back to open water. The surfers put the shark on a surfboard and moved it to another location for release. According to a video of the rescue, the shark was able to swim away after being freed from the rocks. People often go out of their way to help animals. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about someone helping an animal. Pretend you are the animal and write a paragraph telling how you felt when you got the help. Finish by writing what would be the first thing you would do after being helped.
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.