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for Grades K-4

Sep. 17, 2018
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For Grades K-4 , week of Jan. 08, 2018

1. Man, That’s Cold!

From the Midwest to the East Coast, this has been one of the coldest winters in years in the United States. And for some places, it’s been one of the snowiest. As people celebrated the holidays, temperatures fell as low as 37 degrees below zero in places like International Falls, Minnesota. And the city of Erie, Pennsylvania has been buried under more than 10 FEET of snow since the start of December. The beginning of the new year brought little relief, as city after city set records for cold on New Year’s Eve and the days that followed. Winter weather causes many problems for communities. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a community dealing with a problem related to winter weather. Use what you read to create a one-minute news report on the situation for TV news. Write out how you would tell the story, and pictures or videos you would show. Read your report aloud to make sure it does not run longer than one minute.

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.

2. Super Start to Year

As its name suggests, a “supermoon” is an event that is super special for people who like to watch the night sky. And this year, people will get to enjoy that super event twice in the first month. A supermoon occurred on January 1 and a second one will occur January 31. A supermoon occurs when the moon is full on the same day it is closest to Earth in its orbit around our planet. During these events, the moon appears to be 14% bigger and 30% brighter than a typical full moon, according to America’s NASA space agency. The best time to see the full supermoon is right after the moon rises, when it is just above the horizon. The moon is often the inspiration for creative writing or poetry. In the newspaper or online, find and study pictures of full moons or supermoons. Use what you see to write a poem, rap or rhyme expressing emotions or feelings people might have when viewing a supermoon. Use strong verbs, adjectives and adverbs in your poems and read them aloud as a class.

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

3. New Home for Animals

The Middle East nation of Syria has been torn by war for nearly seven years. The conflict has caused great hardships and problems for Syria’s people — but also for animals. Now 13 animals that once lived in zoo and amusement park have found new homes for 2018. The animals — including lions, tigers, bears, hyenas and wolf-like husky dogs — were rescued from the Magic World amusement park outside the Syrian city of Aleppo. The park was abandoned when fighting overwhelmed the city, and the animals were forced to survive on their own. They were rescued by the international animal support group called Four Paws and taken to an animal reserve in the nearby nation of Jordan. After being treated and fed properly, they regained their health in about three months, officials said. People often take special steps to help animals. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about someone doing something to help animals. Use your imagination and write a thank you letter to the person as if you were the animal that was helped. Share with the class.

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.

4. What a Rescue!

A sheriff’s officer in the state of Utah is being hailed as a hero after he plunged into an icy pond to rescue an 8-year-old boy who had fallen through the ice. Sheriff’s Sergeant Aaron Thompson used his fists and arms to break through the ice and reach the boy, who had fallen into the pond about 25 feet from shore while chasing his dog. Officials estimate that the boy was in the cold water for about 30 minutes in the pond located in the town of New Harmony. He was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. Thompson was later treated for cuts on his arms from breaking the ice. Officer Aaron Thompson was praised as a hero for risking his life to save a boy. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read story about another person who could be praised as a hero. Create a “Hero Award” certificate for the person and write out why the hero’s deeds were important or inspiring. Use art skills to design the certificate in a special way.

Common Core State Standards: Writing informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly; using drawings or visual displays when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or points.

5. UFO Sighting?

Unidentified Flying Objects — UFOs — have caused great interest through the years, as scientists study what could cause them — and whether they could be from another planet. A sighting in the California city of Los Angeles, however, turned out NOT to be a UFO recently. The bright blob seen in the sky was actually the vapor trail of a communications satellite launched by the SpaceX company, the company and government officials said. SpaceX had launched a rocket carrying the satellite from Vandenberg Air Force Base about 150 miles from Los Angeles. UFO interest was high at the time of the launch because the U.S. government had just announced it had spent millions of dollars studying UFOs in a top-secret program. UFOs interest space scientists, but they also interest people who create stories, movies and TV shows. With a partner, use the newspaper or Internet to find and closely read a story about scientists studying UFOs. Use what you read to brainstorm an idea for a movie or TV show based on a UFO sighting or study. Write a paragraph explaining the plot of your movie, and give it an eye-catching title. Share with the class.

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.