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for Grades K-4

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For Grades K-4 , week of Feb. 19, 2018

1. Star Cookie Seller!

It's Girl Scout cookie season, and girls all over the nation are selling such favorites as Thin Mints, Tagalongs and S'Mores. Some get help from their parents or other adults in their lives, especially when they sell in public places. But few get help like that given some scouts in Los Angeles, California. Helping sell cookies at a local shopping center this month was TV and movie actress Jennifer Garner! Garner has two daughters- 12-year-old Violet and 9-year-old Seraphina - and both are into scouting. So Garner did her bit to help out their local troops. She even posted a photo of herself promoting cookies to a possible customer with the caption "Why yes, kind sir, we do have Thin Mints!" Celebrities often appear in advertisements for products or services. In the newspaper or online, find and read about a business that sells a product or service that interests you. Then pick a celebrity you think would be a good "salesperson" for the product in a TV ad. Write a paragraph explaining why you think this celebrity would be a good choice for the ad. Discuss choices as a class.

Common Core State Standards: Conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic; producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task; engaging effectively in a range of collaborative discussions.

2. Orange Crocodiles

Crocodiles can be pretty scary when you meet up with them in the wild. But scientists in the central African nation of Gabon got an even bigger scare when they came across some dwarf crocodiles living deep in a dark cave. When they took one outside, they discovered it had orange skin and bright red eyes! Most dwarf crocodiles are gray, and scientists aren't sure why the Gabon ones have turned orange. One guess is that their skin has been bleached by acid in the water caused by the droppings of bats in the cave. Another is that they are a new species that evolved because it lives in total darkness in the cave system. Scientists have already noticed that the orange crocks have different head features from those outside the cave, and at nearly six feet long they also are bigger. Scientists often make discoveries about different species of wildlife. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a recent discovery about a wildlife species. Use what you read to design a poster, explaining the discovery and why it is important to scientists.

Common Core State Standards: Using drawings or visual displays when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or points; reading closely what a text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it.

3. Trapped with Toys

You can always learn from the mistakes of others - especially when it's something you should NOT try to do. A boy in the state of Florida taught a lot of kids a valuable lesson recently when he got stuck in an arcade game filled with stuffed animals. The boy was having dinner with his parents in the town of Titusville when he decided he wanted an animal from inside a "claw machine" that challenges players to grab toys with a mechanical claw. He decided the claw was too hard to work and climbed into machine through the back. But then he couldn't get out! Fortunately, a member of the local fire department was in the restaurant and called for help. Firefighters were able to get the boy out with little damage to the machine. Both kids and adults make mistakes that can teach others valuable lessons. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a mistake someone has made. Use what you read to write a letter to the editor, explaining what lessons people could learn from the person's mistake. Discuss as a class.

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

4. Their Own Rain Forest

The business took its name from the Amazon River and rain forest in South America. Now employees of the company at its headquarters in Seattle, Washington have a rain forest of their own! Amazon has built a glassed-in rain forest in downtown Seattle to give employees a peaceful place to rest, work, think or meet with others. The rain forest covers half a city block and features a giant waterfall, a four-story "living wall" of plants and a "bird's nest" on the third floor where workers can experience life in the treetops. More than 40,000 plants from 400 species are included in the forest, including a 50-foot, 36,000-pound ficus tree named Rubi. Amazon leaders said they decided to build a rain forest because research has shown that being exposed to nature is good for workers. Studies show that spending time in nature can increase performance on creative problem-solving tasks by 50 percent, officials said. The Amazon company's rain forest gives employees a chance to experience nature while they are at work. In the newspaper or online, find and study a photo showing nature or an outdoor scene. Use what you see to write a poem, rap or rhyme describing benefits you would get by experiencing nature in the scene.

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

5. Sue Is Moving

The Tyrannosaurus rex named Sue is one of the most famous dinosaurs in the world. But now she is moving from her longtime spot in the main hall of the Field Museum in Chicago, Illinois to make way for the biggest dinosaur ever found. Sue, who has been on display at the museum since the year 2000, is being moved to a new display space to make way for a true-to-life cast of a 122-foot titanosaur from the South American country of Argentina. Sue was discovered in the U.S. state of South Dakota in 1990 and is the best preserved Tyrannosaurus rex fossil ever found. The titanosaur was discovered in southern Argentina in 2012. Museums give people opportunities to see and learn about topics ranging from dinosaurs to space ships to art. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a museum you would like to visit. Use what you read to write a friendly letter to someone you know telling why you would like to visit this museum, and what you think you would learn.

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.