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for Grades K-4

Mar. 12, 2018
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For Grades K-4 , week of Feb. 26, 2018

1.‘Black Panther’ Success

“Black Panther” is a superhero movie, and it had a superhero opening weekend for ticket sales. It smashed records in the United States and around the world, and is on track to become one of the most popular action movies ever. In the United States, “Black Panther” sold nearly $242 million in tickets in the four-day Presidents Day weekend, and around the world movie-goers bought $184 million worth of tickets. “Black Panther” also earned praise and attention for a cast featuring almost all black actors and a story that focused on a successful, high-tech nation in Africa. People of all backgrounds are lining up to see “Black Panther.” As a class, discuss what you have heard about the movie and whether you want to see it (or have seen it). Then find and closely read a story about why people like “Black Panther.” Use what you read and your own knowledge to write a short movie review explaining why “Black Panther” is so popular.

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.

2.Long-Lost Treasure

The Declaration of Independence is one of the most important documents in American history, and it continues to make news today. A rare copy once owned by Founding Father and future President James Madison has been sold for more than a million dollars after being hidden from public view for more than 100 years. The copy was purchased by billionaire David M. Rubenstein and will be put on public display, starting with an exhibit at the America’s famous Smithsonian Institution. During the Civil War, the copy was hidden behind wallpaper in a Madison home in the state of Virginia to keep it from being destroyed. It later spent more than 35 years stored in a closet in a cracked frame. Rubenstein would not reveal exactly what he paid for the rare copy, saying only that he paid “seven figures.” In the Declaration of Independence, the nation’s founders declared that Americans had the right to “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” “Liberty” is another word for “freedom” — something that is important to people all over the world today. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about people who are seeking to achieve some kind of freedom today. Use what you read to write a paragraph describing what kind of freedom is being sought, and why it is important. Remember, freedom does not just involve governments or politics.

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.

3.Pioneer Driver

Danica Patrick is one of the most successful women ever to compete in auto racing. She has been a top performer in world famous races like the Indianapolis 500 and the Daytona 500 and a pioneer for women in the sport. At age 35, she will end her career this year when she competes in the Indianapolis 500 in May. Her last Daytona 500, however, was a disappointment for her this month. Barely halfway through the NASCAR race, she was involved in a six-car accident and had to drop out. “It just wasn't meant to be I guess,” Patrick said after the crash. In her career, Patrick was the first woman to earn the favored inside pole position at the Daytona 500, and the first to win an IndyCar race like the Indianapolis 500. She recorded the highest finishes by a woman in both the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500. Women’s History Month begins this week on March 1. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a woman achieving success in her field. Use what you read to write a letter to the editor, describing how this woman could inspire girls your age or adult women. 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; citing specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions.

4.He Can Use the Money

It’s hard to recover when you’re hit by a disaster. But a man from the Canadian province of Alberta recently got some unexpected help — a lot of it. Bill Pendergast won $1 million in a lottery game that will help him rebuild his home that burned down two years ago in a wildfire. Pendergast bought the ticket while running an errand on a visit to his father in the province of Newfoundland. His dad was in the hospital and asked him to stop and buy him a soft drink. Pendergast did, and picked up a $3 Atlantic Lotto ticket as well. The next day he checked his ticket against the winning numbers and couldn’t believe his eyes. “This is all like a dream,” he said. People experience good luck in many ways. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about someone who has had some good luck. Use what you read to write a paragraph explaining how the good luck has affected the person, or could affect him/her in the future.

Common Core State Standards: Citing specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions; writing informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.

5.Build Reading Skills

Following the news in the newspaper or online is a great way to build reading skills. And when you read, you can help yourself by learning how to use all the information available. This would include chapter titles, headlines, text breakers, captions, illustrations, graphs or notes. As a class, discuss how these usually are set off in different kinds of type from the main text and how you should read these before anything else to get an idea of what the text is about. To practice this, use the newspaper or Internet to find a story that has a photo, graph or illustration. Read the headline, any sub-headlines, text breakers, captions or blowup quotes first. Then write down what you think the story will be about. Finish by reading the story and writing down what the story was actually about. As a class, discuss how accurate your predictions were.

Common Core State Standards: Reading closely what a text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; engaging effectively in a range of collaborative discussions.