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For Grades K-4 , week of May 15, 2011

1. Flying High

Hopping on an airplane is something we take for granted. People can fly to just about every corner of the world, and we can thank Charles Lindbergh for some of that progress. On May 20, 1927, he was the first person to fly across the Atlantic Ocean in his airplane called "The Spirit of St. Louis." Five years later, in 1932, Amelia Earhart became the first woman to make that flight. By 1939, there were regular passenger flights going across the Atlantic, and now hundreds of international flights leave the United States every day. Search the newspaper for an article about travel or a country that you would like to visit. Using a computer, create a simple travel brochure for that country. Give your brochure an eye-catching headline to make people want to read it.

Learning Standards: Creating simple documents by using electronic media; acquiring information from multiple sources and then organizing and presenting it.

2. Picture Power

One of the cool things about newspapers is that they give you information in words AND pictures. Newspaper photographers work very hard to take pictures that tell stories all by themselves. Look through today's paper and find a picture of a person who interests you. Explain why you like the picture, and what you think the person is like, judging from the picture. Finish by giving the picture a creative title.

Learning Standard: Responding to the ideas and feelings generated by written and visual texts, and sharing with peers.

3. Physical Fitness Month

Some kids like to run. Some kids like to play soccer. Some kids like to swim. Whatever sport you like, this is the month to do it. May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. The United States was a sporting country even before the Pilgrims landed in Massachusetts. Native Americans first played a game called paddle ball, which is like badminton. They also enjoyed archery contests and ring-and-dart games. And Native Americans were the ones who invented the game of lacrosse. Lacrosse is growing in popularity around the country with many high schools and universities now fielding teams. As a class, talk about sports you like to play. Then search the newspaper for a story about a sport you like or play. Write a paragraph or short essay on why you like that sport and who your favorite player is. Draw a picture of yourself playing this sport.

Learning Standards: Writing narratives providing a context within which an action takes place; reading and writing with developing fluency, speaking confidently, listening and interacting appropriately, viewing strategically and representing creatively.

4. Those Who Serve

Many people know someone serving our country in the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines or Coast Guard. These people are all part of the nation's Armed Forces. This Saturday, May 21, the nation will honor the work these people do every day to keep the United States safe on Armed Forces Day. Armed Forces Day was first declared in 1949 with the creation of the U.S. Department of Defense. The country celebrated the first Armed Forces Day on May 20, 1950, and its theme was "Teamed for Defense." This year's theme is "United in Strength." In teams or as a class, search the newspaper for stories about people serving in the military services. Write a thank-you letter to a branch of the military, or to one person, saying thank you for serving the nation.

Learning Standards: Identifying and explaining how individuals in history demonstrate good character and personal virtue; responding to a variety of texts by making connections to students' personal lives and the live of others.

5. Great Books

"Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs." "Tangled." "The Wizard of Oz." "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone." All of these are great movies, but before they were movies, they were great books. For example, "Tangled" is based on the fairy tale of Rapunzel. "The Wizard of Oz" came out of the imagination and pages of "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz," by Lyman Frank Baum. As a class, search the newspaper for articles about movies coming out that are based on books. As a class discuss different books you think would make good movies.

Learning Standard: Engaging peers in constructive conversations about topics of interest or importance; evaluating the role of the media in focusing attention on events and in forming opinions.