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For Grades K-4 , week of Nov. 07, 2016

1. Election Day

When the final votes are added up from voting on Tuesday, November 8, the United States will know whether Democrat Hillary Clinton or Republican Donald Trump will be the next president of the United States. After the results are announced, closely read stories as a class about which issues were the most important for the winner. Then use what you read to write an open letter to the winner, outlining one thing you hope he/she will do as president. Using evidence from your reading, explain why you hope the new president will take this action.

Common Core State Standards: Producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task; reading closely what a text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it.

2. Chicago Celebrates Cubs

After the Chicago Cubs defeated the Cleveland Indians to win baseball’s 2016 World Series, fans in Chicago swarmed to the brick outdoor walls of historic Wrigley Field to write their names, their congratulations and the names of relatives who died without ever seeing the Cubs win the world championship. The last time the Cubs won the World Series was 108 years ago, and they hadn’t even appeared in the Series since 1945, when they lost to the Detroit Tigers. This year’s World Series went the full seven games, and the final was an extra-inning thriller in which the lead kept changing hands. Sports teams can be a great source of pride for communities. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a team that is a source of pride for your community or state. Use what you read, plus images from the newspaper or Internet, to design a poster about this team titled “You Make Us Proud!”

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

3. One Site, 1,201 Weddings

You have to love it when people try to set new world records. And love was all around on October 8, when a total of 1,201 couples renewed their marriage vows at a ceremony on the campus of Western Michigan University. The couples set a new Guinness world record for the largest number of couples renewing their vows from their marriages at the same time at the same place. The previous record was 1,087 couples, set in 2009 at Miami University in Ohio. Officiating at the ceremony was the mayor of the Michigan city of Kalamazoo, where the university is located. It’s news when new records are set — or when people do things that have not been done before. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a new record, or something new being done. Use what you read to write a rhyming poem or rap, explaining what record or activity is in the news, why people wanted to do something new and how others might feel about it.

Common Core State Standards: Demonstrating understanding of figurative language; applying knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts.

4. Iguana Sanctuary

The nation of Jamaica in the Caribbean Sea has decided not to convert Great Goat Island off its coast into a business seaport. That is great news for nature lovers and conservationists, because the island and neighboring islands will become a threat-free “sanctuary” for the Jamaican rock iguana — one of the world’s most endangered species. The Jamaican rock iguana had been believed extinct in the wild before 1990, when one was accidentally discovered by a hunting dog. The rock iguana is about two feet long (not including tail), with blue spikes along its spine, scaly skin and a long, split tongue. It is a plant-eater and no threat to humans. The decision to create a sanctuary for the Jamaican rock iguana is an example of people taking action to help wildlife. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read another story about people helping wildlife in some way. Use what you read to write a letter to the editor, giving your opinion on how the action to help wildlife 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.

5. Man Survives Trash Compactor

A man who apparently had been sleeping in a dumpster survived when he and the trash were dumped onto a trash truck, compacted and hauled to a trash transfer station. The man, in his 60s, appeared to be conscious when rescued and was taken to a hospital in Wichita Falls, Texas. Trash compacting trucks squeeze trash together so that it does not take up so much space. After the man was compacted with the trash, workers at the transfer station saw him tumble from the trash truck into a larger garbage pit. Emergency crews had to lower a basket into the pit to rescue him. Odd events in the news often can inspire creative writers. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about an odd event or person. Use what you read to write a creative short story that begins just after the events described in the story you read.

Common Core State Standards: Writing narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events; conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic; reading closely what a text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it.