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for Grades K-4

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For Grades K-4 , week of May 13, 2019

1. Speak Up and Read!

Reading aloud is an important skill for every student to learn. It not only improves vocabulary and pronouncing words; it builds confidence and self-esteem. In the city of Kutztown, Pennsylvania a local barber has won national attention for getting kids to read aloud while getting their hair cut. To encourage kids to read, Jonathan Escueta’s City Cuts Barbershop runs a “Books by Kids” program that pays them a $3 if they are brave enough to read aloud while sitting in the barber’s chair. Escueta said he started the program as a way to help kids gain confidence and skill for speaking in public. “Our goal is for the kids to boost their confidence in front of others without fear of being judged,” Escueta said. Kids who are confident when speaking publicly will be more successful in school and later life, he said. Barbershop reading has already helped one student, 8-year-old Connor Hamilton. “It made me speak up [in school],” he said. “I am always raising my hand to get picked.” He also has earned $30 to $50 reading to the barber. Newspapers and the Internet are great resources for reading aloud. With a partner, find stories that interest you in the newspaper or online. Take turns reading them aloud to each other. Read with expression by emphasizing important verbs and adjectives.

Common Core State Standards: Reading closely what a text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; identifying multiple language conventions and using them.

2. Honor for ‘Sesame Street’

For 50 years, Sesame Street has been one of the most famous addresses on television. Now, to honor the 50th anniversary of the children’s show, New York City has made it a real address. This month, the city renamed the intersection of West 63rd Street and Broadway after the show, and declared that May 1 is “Sesame Street Day.” The name change will be permanent, said Mayor Bill de Blasio, who was joined by Big Bird, Elmo, Bert, Ernie and other characters in making the announcement. The mayor praised the show for “50 years of extraordinary programming, 50 years of making people's lives better, 50 years of helping children believe in themselves.” The PBS show has been based in New York since 1969 in the neighborhood between West 63rd and West 64th Streets. “Sesame Street” teaches children about numbers, letters and subjects that are important in children’s lives. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a subject important to children your age. Pick two “Sesame Street” characters and use them to explain the subject by having a conversation about it. Share conversations as a class.

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.

3. Sky-High Sports

Mount Everest is the tallest mountain in the world. It also can now claim the title as the site of the highest-elevation rugby match ever played. On April 30, teams played a charity match of the game that is similar to American football — at 20,771 feet above sea level! That’s nearly four miles high, and it posed great physical challenges to the players. They had to train for two weeks to get used to the high elevation, which can cause altitude sickness, exhaustion and difficulty breathing. The match at Everest’s Advanced Base Camp ended in a 5-5 tie, but raised more than $325,000 for a charity that supports disabled and disadvantaged children. “The game was incredibly tough,” said rugby star Shane Williams, captain of one of the teams. “If you ran during the match, it took 10 minutes to recover.” Athletes often have to overcome great challenges to succeed. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about an athlete doing this. Use what you read to write a short sports column, describing the challenge the athlete faced, how he or she overcame it and how that could inspire others.

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.

4. New-Old Uniform

Troops in the U.S. Army soon will be getting a new uniform to wear on formal or business occasions — and it’s really old school. The design of the uniform is almost identical to the service uniforms worn by officers 75 years ago during World War II. The uniforms, which will be distributed to all soldiers in 2020, feature an olive green jacket, a belt and khaki trousers that have a pinkish tinge. When they were worn by soldiers of “the Greatest Generation,” they were referred to as “pinks and greens,” but the new uniforms will simply be called “Army greens.” The new uniform is being field tested by military bands, recruiting battalions and other highly visible troops. People in many professions wear uniforms. In the newspaper or online, find photos and stories involving jobs or professions in which people wear uniforms. Create a chart or graphic organizer to show the different jobs. For each, list the benefits of wearing a uniform. Stretch your thinking: Some benefits may be emotional as well as physical.

Common Core State Standards: Conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic; organizing data using concrete objects, pictures, tallies, tables, charts, diagrams and graphs.

5. A Big Barrel Journey

After four months at sea, a 71-year-old adventurer has completed a journey that few others are likely to attempt. Jean-Jacques Savin of the European nation of France has crossed the Atlantic Ocean in a giant, homemade barrel. Savin landed on the tiny island of St. Eustatius in the Caribbean Sea to complete a 2,930-mile trip that began back on December 26 in the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa. Savin’s barrel had no engine, and he had to rely on ocean currents to power his trip. He traveled about two miles per hour on the currents, which flow west from Africa to the Caribbean. Savin’s barrel was 10 feet long and seven feet wide and was equipped with a small kitchen and a bed. Jean-Jacques Savin invented the barrel he used to cross the Atlantic Ocean, and designed it himself. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about another person who has invented or designed something. Write a paragraph describing the invention, what it is designed to do, and who will benefit from it.

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.