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For Grades K-4 , week of Mar. 23, 2020

1. Learning at Home

Schools across the nation have shut down due to the coronavirus, and students have been asked to continue their learning at home. Teachers have sent home packets of work assignments to help students keep their skills sharp, and developed lessons that can be done online. Newspapers and the Internet also are great resources for learning and staying sharp while schools are closed. Newspapers and news websites provide fresh and interesting information about topics students learn about in school — from math and science to social studies and health. And just reading stories in the newspaper or online builds reading and writing skills. With the newspaper and Internet, give yourself a lesson in home-learning by doing the following: Find and closely read a story about science, health or social studies (government). Use what you read to write a complete sentence telling what is the most important news in the story. Then find and closely read a story that involves math. Use what you read to create and solve a math word problem based on the story. For added fun, repeat the activity and find other stories that involve subjects you study in school.

Common Core State Standards: Producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task; representing and solving problems involving addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

2. Help from the Stars

When disasters or emergencies strike, celebrities and sports stars often step up to help their communities. That has happened again with the spread of the coronavirus. In the state of Minnesota, NBA star Karl-Anthony Towns of the Minnesota Timberwolves has donated $100,000 to the medical Mayo Clinic to help it get more tests for the virus to the public. In California NBA star Steph Curry and his wife Ayesha are helping feed students who have been cut off from school breakfasts and lunches due to the closing of schools. The Currys are helping to provide 1-million meals to students in the city of Oakland who are no longer getting meals at school. “At least 18,000 kids rely on at least two meals a day from the school system, so we want to … ensure that these kids are not wondering where their next meal is coming from,” Ayesha Curry said. In times of emergency, celebrities often reach out to help people. In the newspaper or online find and closely read a story about a celebrity doing this in response to the coronavirus. Use what you read to write a letter to a friend telling what the celebrity did, how that helped and how it could make people feel better about dealing with the virus.

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. NFL News

The coronavirus has shut down professional basketball, hockey, soccer and baseball. But the National Football League is still making news. This month NFL players approved a new agreement with team owners that could increase the number of regular season games and expand the number of teams in the playoffs. The agreement gives league owners the authority to increase regular season games from 16 to 17 as early as 2021 and expand the playoffs from 12 teams to 14 as early as the 2020 season. In addition to the schedule changes, the NFL announced its annual college player draft will be much different this year due to fears about the coronavirus. In recent years, the draft has become a huge public celebration drawing thousands of fans. This year, to prevent the spread of corona, the league will eliminate the public activities surrounding the draft April 23-25 and hold the selection process inside a TV studio away from all crowds. Sports news gives fans something positive to think and talk about during an emergency. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read sports stories that people are talking about. Think like a sportswriter and write a column explaining how sports news can help cheer people up during a stressful time.

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.

4. Safety in the Sky

With the spread of the coronavirus, health officials around the world have been working overtime to inform people how to stay safe and healthy. Two of the most widely seen messages came from private citizens, however. In the south Pacific city of Sydney, Australia, an airplane skywriter took to the air to spell out the safety message “Wash Hands” in the sky over the city. On the other side of the world, another skywriter flew over the European nation of Austria with another safety message. That skywriter urged people to follow the advice of health leaders and “Stay Home.” The news is full of stories about how to stay safe during the coronavirus emergency. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story offering safety and health tips for kids and families. Use what you read to create a public safety ad for the newspaper or Internet giving people tips for staying safe and healthy during the coronavirus emergency.

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.

5. Deep Adventure

People who love adventure are always looking to dive into new experiences. Now, for the first time, they can make a dive that goes deeper than any offered before. The dive is to the bottom of the Marianas Trench in the western Pacific Ocean, to an area known as Challenger Deep. Challenger Deep is believed to be the deepest point in the world’s oceans, with a depth of 35,853 feet, or about 6.8 miles. Only three people will be chosen as “mission specialists” for the dive and the price is likely to be more than $100,000 per person, CNN News reports. The dive is being offered by a travel company, EYOS Expeditions, in partnership with an undersea diving company, Caladan Oceanic. “This is the most exclusive destination on Earth," says Rob McCallum of EYOS Expeditions. “… More people have been to the moon than to the bottom of the ocean.” Adventurers are always looking for new challenges and things to do. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about something you would like to do as an adventure. Then write the word ADVENTURE down the side of a sheet of paper. Use each letter of the word to start a sentence or phrase telling why you would like to have this adventure or how you would benefit.

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.