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For Grades K-4 , week of May 04, 2020

1. You Choose the News

All over the country, newspapers and news websites are working to give readers news they NEED to know about the coronavirus and other issues. They also are providing things readers WANT to know to be entertained, amused or uplifted. In many communities, students are creating those newspapers and news sites, according to the Washington Post newspaper. Students around the country are stepping up to keep their communities informed and entertained as reporters, photographers, editors, designers and even cartoonists. What would you report if you were starting a newspaper for your neighborhood or community? Use the newspaper or Internet to make a list of stories you would want to share with your community. Then talk to family or friends about things happening in your community or neighborhood that you would like to share with others. Stories could be about people helping others, neighbors doing something special or people who have wisdom or special skills to share. Finish by designing a front page for your newspaper, combining national, state and neighborhood issues or topics. Draw where the stories would go.

Common Core State Standards: Conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic; using drawings or visual displays when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or points.

2. Corona Video Game

All over the world, children are looking for things to do for fun while isolated at home due to the coronavirus. In the European nation of Italy, a 9-year-old boy used his time to develop a video game in which players fight the coronavirus on screen. Fourth Grader Lupo Daturi developed the game he calls “Cerba-20” because sports and other outdoor activities were canceled during Italy’s lockdown. “I can't even go to the pond with my dog,” he told the AFP News service. “I have to make do with an exercise bike.” Fortunately, he likes computer programming, and with the help of a couple online teaching tutorials he set up “Cerba-20” to play with his friends. In the game players sit in the captain’s chair of a spacecraft called the Cerba-20 and use lasers to “seek and destroy” the enemy — in this case the coronavirus disease Covid-19. And what’s next for the young game designer? He wants to set up a project that will teach his friends to program their own video games. Video games are often based on real life situations. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a situation that could be turned into a video game. Brainstorm how the game would be played and write a paragraph explaining the rules. Then draw what the game might look like on screen.

Common Core State Standards: Using drawings or visual displays when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or points; producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task.

3. Tooth Fairy Update

With much of the world shut down due to the coronavirus, many young children have been asking a key question: Will the Tooth Fairy come if I lose a tooth? Two leading authorities on opposite sides of the world have given answers that should reassure kids everywhere. In the southern Pacific nation of New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern declared that the Tooth Fairy is an “essential worker” and would be allowed to perform its usual duties. In the United States, epidemic expert Dr. Anthony Fauci assured a 7-year-old girl from California that the Tooth Fairy “is not going to get sick” from the coronavirus and will be able make its regular visits. “I don’t think you need to worry about the Tooth Fairy,” Dr. Fauci said during an online Snapchat appearance with actor Will Smith. Children of all ages have questions about the coronavirus. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about questions children have. Then write out a question you have about the effects of the virus now and in the future. With an older relative, use the newspaper and Internet to research the answer to your question. Write out the answer, using complete sentences.

Common Core State Standards: Conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic; writing informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.

4. Hats for Distance

The coronavirus got its start in the Asian nation of China, but now China is recovering and trying to get back to normal. Businesses and schools are now re-opening with rules that people wear masks and practice social distancing by keeping safely apart. To make sure this happens, one elementary school in the city of Hangzhou has allowed students to make special hats to keep distance between themselves and other students. The hats use three-foot-long feathers, balloons and other materials on each side to show what is a safe distance to be from other students. The total length of the feathers or balloons adds up to the recommended six feet of distance people should keep apart. The hats also give students a way to show their creativity. Children in China are being creative by making hats showing how to keep a safe distance from others. You can use the newspaper and Internet to show your creativity in the same way. Find photos of people who could use a hat to keep a safe distance from others. Clip or print out the photos. Then draw a “safe-distancing” hat for each person. Create a puppet show using these people as characters talking about staying a safe distance from others. Present it to family or friends.

Common Core State Standards: Writing narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events; integrating information presented in different media or formats to develop a coherent understanding of a topic; using drawings or visual displays when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or points.

5. A Record Birth

When dogs have babies, they usually have “litters” of six to 10 puppies. In the southern Pacific nation of Australia, a dog set a new national record recently by delivering a litter of 21 puppies. The dog, a female Neapolitan mastiff, delivered three puppies naturally and 18 through an operation by a veterinarian called a Caesarian (see-ZARE-ee-an) section. Eighteen of the 21 puppies survived. Veterinary officials called the birth a “miracle litter” and noted the total of 21 puppies was two more than the previous Australian record of 19. The world record for a litter of puppies is 24, also set by a Neapolitan mastiff. Neapolitan mastiffs are muscular guard dogs that can be as big as 150 pounds. Animals are often in the news for doing unusual things. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about such an animal. Brainstorm an idea for a creative story about this unusual animal. Give your story a title that would make students your age want to read it and write the opening paragraph.

Common Core State Standards: Producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task; reading closely what written and visual texts say and to making logical inferences from them.