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For Grades K-4 , week of July 25, 2022

1. Dinosaur for Sale

The fossil skeleton of a fierce early relative of Tyrannosaurus rex will be sold at a public auction this month, giving dinosaur lovers a rare chance to own a very rare fossil. The fossil is of a huge meat-eater named Gorgosaurus, which lived about 75-million years ago in the state of Montana in the western part of the United States. This Gorgosaurus stood 10 feet tall, was 22 feet long and was the top predator of its time, the LiveScience website reported. It will offered for sale July 28 by the Sotheby’s auction company in New York City, and is the first Gorgosaurus ever to be sold publicly. Because the fossil is extremely rare, its selling price could be huge — as much as $8-million, Sotheby’s said. Gorgosaurus gets its name from words meaning “fierce lizard” in the Greek language. The species was smaller than its relative T-rex, but was very fast and hunted in packs of up to four members. Like T-rex, it had a large head, sharp teeth and short arms, and walked on its hind legs. Dinosaur fossils are prized by both scientists and private collectors. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a fossil that a scientist or collector might want to own. Use what you read to prepare a TV news report about the fossil, telling why a scientist would want it and why a private collector would want it. With family or friends, discuss what you would do with it, if it were yours.

Common Core State Standards: Writing narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events; citing specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions.

2. NFL Know, Wonder & Learn

Training camps are opening this week to start the 2022 season for the National Football League. Following the NFL in the newspaper or online is a great way to build reading skills if you use the approach called Know, Wonder and Learn. With this approach, called KWL for short, you ask yourself questions every time you read something. First, you ask what you already KNOW about the subject. Then you ask what you WONDER or WANT TO KNOW about the subject. Then you read and ask what you have LEARNED about the subject by reading. Practice KWL by finding a story in the newspaper or online about the prospects for a team or player for the coming NFL season. Write out what you already KNOW about the subject of the story. Then write what you WONDER or WANT TO KNOW about the subject of the story. Then read the story and write what you LEARNED about the subject of the story by reading.

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.

3. ‘Pay It Forward’

When people have success in life or business, they often decide to “pay it forward” to help others. In the city of Mayfield Heights, Ohio, the owner of a McDonald’s restaurant did that, and his employees were able to continue receiving their paychecks for three months while the restaurant shut down for renovations. Tony Philiou first went to work at McDonald’s 60 years ago and through the years worked his way up to be a restaurant franchise owner. He is grateful for the success McDonald’s has given him, so when he had to shut his restaurant down for renovations this year, he decided to pay his success forward. He decided he would pay all 90 of his employees their full salaries until the restaurant re-opened. “How are these people going to make it without paychecks?” Philiou told the Washington Post newspaper. “There was nobody in the world who could change my mind on what I thought was the right thing to do. Whatever they were already earning, that’s what they got.” His employees were not surprised at the generosity of the 90-year-old Philiou, who immigrated from the European nation of Greece in 1947. “He took care of us,” one longtime employee said. “He treats us like family.” People who have good fortune or success often pay it forward by helping others. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about someone who has had good fortune or success. Use what you read to write a letter to the person, suggesting ways he or she could pay their good fortune forward.

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. Pioneer Pilot

The new “Top Gun: Maverick” movie has created huge interest in fighter jets operated by the United States Navy. It has also created renewed interest in the Navy’s Blue Angels fighter jet demonstration team. The Blue Angels feature some of the best jet pilots in the Navy performing acrobatic tricks at air shows around the country. For the first time, one of those pilots will be a woman starting in 2023. Navy Lieutenant Amanda Lee has been selected as a member of the famed demonstration unit and will begin training this fall. A native of Mounds View, Minnesota, Lee joined the Navy in 2007 and was commissioned as an officer in 2013. She became a naval aviator in 2016 and also earned a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry at Old Dominion University in Virginia. Formed in 1946, the Blue Angels are the second oldest acrobatic air team in the world, after a French unit formed in 1931. The Blues perform more than 60 shows a year across the United States and Canada. Being a fighter pilot for the Navy requires great skill and a personality that likes challenges and thrills. In the newspaper or online find and closely read stories about other careers that provide challenges and thrills. Choose one and use what you read to write a career column discussing the skills needed for this career and the challenges and thrills it could provide.

Common Core State Standards: Writing opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information; reading closely what a text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it.

5. Toys R Everywhere

For more than 60 years Toys R Us was the place to go for people looking to buy presents for kids for holidays or birthdays. Not surprisingly, families across the nation were saddened when Toys R Us announced in 2018 that it was closing all its stores in America due to money problems. New owners tried to reopen stores without success, but this year Toys R Us will be making a comeback in a big way. Through a partnership with Macy’s department stores, Toys R Us will be selling toys in every Macy’s store in the nation by the end of the year for the winter holiday season, CNN News reports. The stores will range in size from 1,000 square feet in smaller locations to up to 10,000 square feet in big-city U.S. stores in Atlanta, Chicago, Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York and San Francisco. Macy’s operates more than 500 stores in the U.S., giving families lots of options for buying toys for the kids they love. Every year one or two new toys become so popular that millions of kids want them. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read ads and stories about new toys being offered this summer. Pick one that is popular and write a letter to a friend explaining why. Discuss with family or friends.

Common Core State Standards: Writing informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly; responding thoughtfully to diverse perspectives, summarizing points of agreement and disagreement.