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for Grades K-4

Oct. 26, 2020
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For Grades K-4 , week of Mar. 09, 2020

1. Daylight Saving Time

It’s time to “spring forward” again. On Sunday most of the nation switched over to Daylight Saving Time, which gives kids and families longer hours of daylight in the evening. Daylight Saving Time requires that everyone set their clocks forward by one hour, so that what used to be 6 o’clock is now 7, and what used to be 7 is now 8. As a result, it is as light at 8 o’clock as it was at 7 before the change. Daylight Saving Time was first used in the United States in 1918 to allow people — especially farmers — to make “better use of daylight.” Today it makes outdoor activities like riding bikes or playing sports possible into the evening hours. As a class, discuss ways you and your family take advantage of evening daylight. Then brainstorm an idea for an animated movie showing you and your friends enjoying some of these activities. Write an outline for your movie and draw the opening scene in cartoon style. Share and discuss with the class.

Common Core State Standards: Using drawings or visual displays when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or points; engaging effectively in a range of collaborative discussions.

2. Give to Others

When people celebrate birthdays these days, they often ask friends to do things for others instead of giving gifts. In the Asian nation of Bhutan, the king turned 40 last month and asked his entire country to do this. Instead of sending gifts to King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, people were asked to adopt a stray dog, plant a new tree or clean up neighborhood waste and litter, according to Bhutan’s prime minister. “Personal commitment such as this … would be the best gift for His Majesty,” Prime Minister Lotay Tshering said. Bhutan is located in the eastern Himalaya Mountains between the nations of India and China. If you were to ask people to do something for others as a birthday gift, what would it be? In the newspaper or online, find and closely read stories about people or groups that could use help. Pick one that you would like people to help as a gift to you. Write a paragraph explaining what you would like people to do and why that would be 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 or speaking to support conclusions.

3. Women’s History Month

March is Women’s History Month, a time when people celebrate the achievements of women and take a fresh look at the challenges they still face. In honor of the celebration, use the newspaper and Internet to find and closely read stories about one woman achieving success and one who is facing a challenge. For each, make a list of new things you learned by reading the story. Then make a list of things you would still like to learn about each person. Discuss what you have learned and want to learn as a class.

Common Core State Standards: Producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task; engaging effectively in a range of collaborative discussions.

4. Beaches in Danger

When people go on vacation during summer or spring vacation, they often like to go to the beach. But fun at beaches on the shores of the world’s oceans could be threatened in the near future, according to a new scientific report. As many as half of the world’s sandy ocean beaches could disappear in the next 80 years, and more than 10 percent could face severe erosion in just the next 30, according to the report. The reason: Climate change, which is raising sea levels and fueling stronger coastal storms that wash sand away. Shorelines could “retreat” by as much as 300 feet in some areas of the United States and other nations, the scientists said. Global warming and climate change are having many effects on the world’s oceans. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about one effect. Use what you read to write a letter to the editor, describing this effect and why it is important to people, wildlife and the environment.

Common Core State Standards: Reading closely what written and visual texts say and to making logical inferences from them; citing textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions.

5.‘Shocking’ Performance

American distance runner Molly Seidel had never run a marathon before she entered the trial race for the Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia this month. She surprised even herself by coming in second and winning a spot as a marathoner on the U.S. Olympic team. The 25-year-old Seidel finished the 26.2-mile race with a time of 2 hours, 27 minutes and 31 seconds — less than 10 seconds behind the winner. A one-time star at Notre Dame University in cross-country distance running, Seidel said she was in “sheer shock” at finishing second in her first ever marathon. “I can’t put into words the happiness … I’m feeling right now,” she said after finishing. Marathon competition is scheduled to be part of the Summer Olympics this July and August in Tokyo, Japan. Athletes often achieve unexpected success or do surprising things in competition. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about an athlete doing something surprising or unexpected. Use what you read to write a short sports column explaining why the achievement was a surprise, and how it could inspire the athlete, or others, to do well in the future.

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.