1. What a Hitter!
For 20 years, Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers has been one of the most talented — and powerful — hitters in Major League Baseball. Now he has combined that talent and power to achieve something just six players have achieved before. Cabrera this spring recorded the 3,000th hit of his Major League career to go with more than 500 home runs. The 39-year-old Cabrera got his 3,000th hit against the Colorado Rockies by hitting a single to right field. He had gotten his 500th home run last August against the Toronto Blue Jays. Cabrera, who bats right-handed, started his career with the Florida Marlins but has played the last 15 years for the Tigers. He has won four batting championships, two Most Valuable Player awards and in 2012, became the first player in 45 years to win the Triple Crown by leading the American League with 44 home runs, 139 runs batted in and a .330 batting average. A native of the South American nation of Venezuela, he has been an All-Star 11 times. Miguel Cabrera has been a success in the Major Leagues for a very long time. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about someone else who has been successful at something for a long time. Use what you read to write a letter to a friend, listing the skills, attitude and personal qualities the person needed to be successful for so long. Share with the class and discuss.
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; responding thoughtfully to diverse perspectives, summarizing points of agreement and disagreement.
2. Risks to Eagles
The national comeback of the bald eagle is one of the great environmental stories of the 21st century. The nation’s national bird nearly became extinct in the wild in the 1960s and 1970s, but a ban on the pesticide DDT helped the large, white-headed eagles bounce back. Now the eagles face a new threat. Researchers found this year that nearly half of 1,200 bald eagles tested had been exposed to high levels of the metal lead, which can cause eagles to get sick and even die. The researchers said that the lead (pronounced LED) likely came from bullets used by hunters to kill animals that eagles later fed on, the New York Times newspaper reported. In addition to lead, bald eagles are threatened this year by the spread of avian bird flu. Bald eagles in 14 states have died from bird flu, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The most deaths have been recorded in the state of Florida, officials said. Many wildlife species face threats to their health, their survival or their ability to raise their babies. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about one species facing such threats. Use what you read to write a short editorial outlining ways people could reduce the threats to this species.
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. History for Sale
One of the most famous paintings of American history is the huge portrayal of “Washington Crossing the Delaware” during America’s Revolutionary War for independence. The painting by artist Emanuel Leutze stands 12.5 feet tall and more than 21 feet wide and shows General George Washington leading a surprise attack on Hessian soldiers across the Delaware River during the Battle of Trenton, New Jersey in 1776. The giant 1800s painting takes up an entire wall at the famous Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, but a smaller version is still owned by a private individual. That version, also painted by Leutze and measuring roughly 3½-by-5½-feet, will soon be getting a new owner. The smaller “Crossing” picture is coming up for sale at an auction this month and is expected to sell for between $15-million and $20-million, according to the Christie’s organization, which is handling the auction sale. The small painting was last sold in 1979, when it brought a top auction bid of $370,000. Emanuel Leutze based his painting of “Washington Crossing the Delaware” on a real-life event. In the newspaper or online, find and study a photo or story about an event that could make an interesting painting or drawing. Make a drawing of your own of this event and what makes it important or interesting. Give your drawing an interesting title and share with the class.
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.
4. World’s Oldest Person
With advances in medicine and senior care, people are living longer and longer lives around the world. In the European nation of France, a religious nun has lived a long, full life — and now has gotten special recognition. Sister Andre, a nun born Lucile Randon in 1904, has been recognized as the world’s oldest living person after passing the age of 118 years, 73 days, according to the Guinness World Records organization. Sister Andre earned the oldest person honor following the death of a Japanese woman named Kane Tanaka at the age of 119 years and 107 days old, UPI news reported. The oldest person ever was a French woman named Jeanne Louise Calment, who was born in 1875 and died at the age of 122 years and 164 days. Senior adults are living longer and more active lives than ever before. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a senior who is doing this. Pretend you are going to interview this person for the newspaper or an Internet website. Write out five questions you would ask the person about what it takes to live a successful life in old age — and advice they would offer others.
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.
5. Superhero Monkey
Black-handed spider monkeys are known for having face markings that make them look like they are wearing a mask. At the Brevard Zoo in the state of Florida, a newborn baby of the species has a mask that is causing a buzz among superhero fans. The mask has a dark strip across the nose that looks like the sign of Batman! Some fans thought it odd that a spider monkey didn’t have a Spiderman mark, but the bat sign on the baby’s face is unmistakable against its pink skin. The baby’s mother is a 31-year-old female named Rochelle (“Shelley’) and a 25-year-old male named Shooter. Zoo officials haven’t yet determined whether the baby is a boy or a girl, so it hasn’t been named yet. Black-handed spider monkeys are considered “vulnerable” for extinction in their native habitats in Central and South America. They are one of the largest monkeys among species known as New World monkeys, with a weight of up to 20 pounds and a length up to 25 inches. Their tails are longer than their bodies and are strong enough to support their entire weight when they are hanging from trees. People often like to read news about unusual animals. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about an animal that is unusual in some way. Use what you read to create a series of comic strips showing this animal’s unusual qualities and why people find them interesting.
Common Core State Standards: Reading closely what a text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; using drawings or visual displays when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or points.