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for Grades K-4

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For Grades K-4 , week of Oct. 16, 2017

1. Firefighting by the Numbers

The wildfires that hit Northern California have had a huge effect on life in the West Coast state. And they have required a huge response just to contain them. More than 170,000 acres have been burned and blackened by more than 22 separate fires. More than 3,500 homes and businesses have been destroyed, and tens of thousands of people have had to flee their communities. More than 8,000 firefighters have been fighting the fires, using 550 fire trucks, 73 helicopters and 30 airplanes. More than 23 people have died and at least 285 are missing. In teams or pairs, use the newspaper or Internet to find numbers and statistics that tell the story of how big and dangerous the California fires have been. Use what you find to create three math word problems to exchange with other teams. Solve your problems before exchanging to make sure you know the right answers. Check your work with a calculator.

Common Core State Standards: Conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic; representing and solving problems involving addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

2. Girls as Boy Scouts

For the first time in more than 100 years, the Boy Scouts of America will allow girls to be members. Starting in 2018 girls will be allowed to join Cub Scout troops for younger scouts, and the following year, a new program will allow teenage girls to earn the highly regarded Eagle Scout award, the organization announced. There are no plans at present to allow girls to join Boy Scout programs for middle school and upper elementary scouts. The decision by the Boy Scouts was both praised and criticized. Some parents and scout leaders said they liked giving girls broader opportunities, while others said all-girl scouting programs helped girls develop leadership skills more easily than in programs with both boys and girls. Do boys and girls do better when both are involved in activities? Or are they more successful when they take part in all-girls or all-boys programs? As a class, discuss the advantages and disadvantages of both kinds of programs. Then use ideas from the discussion to write a letter to the editor, giving your view on which kind is best for scouting.

Common Core State Standards: Responding thoughtfully to diverse perspectives, summarizing points of agreement and disagreement; writing opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.

3. All-Around Hero

Every week in college football, there are surprises in big games all over the country. But one of the biggest of the season came when Joel Lanning led Iowa State to a 38-31 win over third-ranked Oklahoma. Lanning not only was the hero of the biggest upset of the 2017 season, but he played BOTH offense and defense for Iowa State. As a quarterback on offense, he carried the ball nine times for 35 yards, completed two of three passes and ran for several key first downs. As a linebacker on defense, he had eight tackles, a sack of the quarterback and recovered a fumble. He also played on special teams, and was on the field for a total of 78 plays. Every week in sports, athletes do unusual or special things. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about an athlete doing something special or unusual. Write the words “SO SPECIAL” down the side of a sheet of paper. Use each letter of the words to start a phrase or sentence describing why the actions of the athlete were special, or how fans responded.

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

4. Kids Gaining Weight

To be healthy and physically fit, children, teens and their families should pay attention to how much they weigh — and try to avoid gaining weight. Yet around the world, more and more children and teens are now overweight or extremely overweight (obese), according to a new study. About 213 million children and adolescents were overweight in 2016, according to the study published in the medical journal called the Lancet. In addition, the study found that another 124 million weighed enough to be considered obese in 2016. This means that roughly 5.6% of girls and 7.8% of boys were obese last year. Getting regular exercise is one way to keep from gaining weight. In the newspaper or online, find and collect stories and photos showing different ways to get exercise. Use what you find to create an art collage showing your examples. Give your artwork a title and write a paragraph describing which activity would be most fun for kids your age.

Common Core State Standards: Integrating information presented in different media or formats to develop a coherent understanding of a topic; producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task.

5. What a Tongue!

St. Bernards are known for being big, friendly dogs that drool a lot and give very wet kisses. Now an 8-year-old Saint from the state of South Dakota has earned another distinction. Mochi “Mo” Richert, a female rescue dog from the city of Sioux Falls, has set a world record for having the longest tongue ever recorded for a dog. When Mochi sticks out her tongue, it measures 7.3 inches long from the tip of her nose to the tip of her tongue, according to the Guinness World Records organization. That easily tops the previous world record for a dog’s tongue, which was 4.5 inches for a Pekingese named Puggy. Many pets are unusual in some way, or have been trained to do unusual things. In the newspaper or online closely read stories about unusual pets or pet activities. Use what you read to write a rhyming poem about one pet. You may make your poem funny, if you like. Share poems with the class.

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