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For Grades K-4 , week of Aug. 07, 2017

1. Husband and Wife

In a first for the New York City Police Department, a husband and wife were promoted to the rank of captain last month — on the same day! Luis Barcia and Alexandra Sarubbi-Barcia had come up through the ranks of the police department together and gained their new positions right after each other during promotion ceremonies at One Police Plaza. The two had met when training at the city Police Academy in 2002 during a gym run. No word on who’s in charge when the two captains are at home. Husbands and wives often work together in business, in public service or on community projects. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a husband and wife working together. Write a paragraph describing what skills each brings to the effort. Write a second paragraph discussing the advantages and disadvantages of a husband and wife working together.

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.

2. Los Angeles Olympics

Every four years, the Summer Olympics bring together top athletes from around the world for competition in such sports as basketball, baseball, track and field, swimming, soccer and volleyball. In 2028, the Summer Games will come back to the United States for the first time since 1996. The International Olympic Committee announced that the California city of Los Angeles will be the host of the 2028 Games, and Paris, France will be the host for the 2024 games. Los Angeles has hosted the Summer Olympics twice before, in 1984 and in 1932. The 2020 Summer Olympics will be held in Tokyo, Japan. Hosting the Summer Olympics brings many benefits to a city or region. With classmates or friends, discuss different benefits a host city receives. Then use the newspaper and Internet to find and read stories about the Los Angeles Summer Olympics. Use what you read, and images from the newspaper or Internet, to design a poster showcasing benefits Los Angeles will get as host city. Give your poster an eye-catching headline.

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.

3. High Wire Rescue

If you don’t like heights, this is not a story for you. In the European city of Cologne, Germany, dozens of people were left dangling high above the Rhine River when the wheels of a cable car came off the guiding line. Sixty-five passengers had to be rescued on the stalled car and others that were in operation more than 130 feet above the river. The cable cars have been operating since 1957 and are a popular tourist attraction over the river. The rescue took hours, but no one was injured. Some may have nightmares, though. Rescue workers perform amazing feats every day. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a dramatic rescue made by emergency workers. Use what you read to write a letter to the editor, thanking the rescuers for their courage and efforts.

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

4. Rare Tiger Adoption

When a new Amur tiger cub was rejected by her mother at the Philadelphia Zoo in Pennsylvania, officials were desperate to find a new family for her. Amur tigers are rare, so a worldwide search was launched to find a home for the little cub named Zoya. And the story has a happy ending. A new family was found at the Oklahoma City Zoo, which has a litter of Sumatran tiger cubs about the same age as Zoya. It’s unusual for a mother tiger to accept a cub from another species, but the Sumatran mother quickly adapted, nursing Zoya along with her own cubs. “We are very happy that Zoya has [joined] well with her adoptive family,” said one official. All over the world, people make special efforts to help animals — especially if they are rare or endangered. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about people helping animals. Use what you read to brainstorm an idea for a short movie showing how the animals are being helped and why it is important. Write a description of the opening scene, including images it would include.

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.

5. A Mess of Dough

When people make bread, they add yeast to make the dough rise when baking. That’s good in the oven, but not in the street, as drivers in the state of Washington discovered. A truck carrying unused dough on a hot day had its cargo expand to the point it spilled all over a major highway near the city of Tacoma. Without the driver’s knowledge, the basketball-sized gobs of dough spilled out mile after mile on Interstate 5, slowing traffic and creating a sticky, gooey mess. The dough had been picked up from a bakery and was on its way to a processing plant to be turned into feed for livestock. Odd news often can be the inspiration for creative writing. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about an odd or funny news event, or a person making news in an odd or funny way. Use what you use to write a humorous poem, rap or rhyme telling the story of what happened and what could happen next.

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