For Grades K-4 , week of Nov. 28, 2022

1. World Cup Geography

The World Cup soccer tournament is held every four years to crown the top national team among countries that play soccer. More than 200 teams compete for the right to play in the international tournament, and 32 teams play in its final rounds. The finals this year are being played in an Arab nation in the Middle East for the first time. The nation of Qatar is hosting the event, which began last week and will run through December 18. Competing teams come from the continents of North and South America, Asia, Africa and Europe, with Europe fielding the most teams at 13. Rounding out the field, Asia has qualified six teams, Africa five and North and South America four each, including the United States. The U.S., by the way, is one of the few nations that call the game “soccer” — the rest call it “football” or “futball.” One of those nations, France, is the defending champion, having defeated Croatia 4–2 in the 2018 World Cup final. The World Cup tournament is a great way to learn more about geography. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read stories about nations that win tournament games this week. Use a world map to locate them. Which is farthest north? Which is farthest south? Which is farthest from the United States? Which is nearest? Which is farthest from Qatar?

Common Core State Standards: 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. Special Signing

American Sign Language was created to allow people who have lost all or part of their hearing to communicate with others. Users of this special language — called ASL for short — form symbols for words and letters with their fingers so that people with hearing loss can have conversations without having to speak. In the city of Suffolk, Virginia, students at an elementary school are learning the benefits of ASL first-hand, so that they can communicate with a deaf woman who works in their cafeteria. Leisa Duckwall has been working as a “lunch lady” at Nansemond Parkway Elementary School for four years, and up to now students have ordered food from her by pointing to the items they want. Now, thanks to a teacher who knew ASL from her family, students throughout the school are learning sign language. Fourth grade teacher Kari Maskelony started the school-wide effort after she approached Duckwall in front of students one day, and had a conversation using sign language. Her class was fascinated, and the next day she asked if they would like to learn to “sign” as well. They all said “Yes!” and the program was off and running. Soon it spread beyond one class, the Washington Post newspaper reported. When the principal learned how excited Maskelony’s students were about ASL, she decided to have the whole school learn, the Modern Met website reported. American Sign Language is one way that people communicate with each other. In the newspaper or online, find and list other ways people communicate. Use what you read to write a letter to a friend, telling which are the most important ways for communication for you and your family. Give reasons for each one.

Common Core State Standards: Writing informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly; conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic.

3. Love for ‘Peanuts’

In the history of cartoons, few characters have been more popular than the “Peanuts” gang featuring Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus, Franklin, Pig-Pen and Peppermint Patty. Every year kids and families look forward to the TV special “A Charlie Brown Christmas” during the winter holiday season, as well as to holiday specials in other months like “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” and “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.” This year, the “Peanuts” specials and the comic strips they are based on are having special meaning. That’s because Team Peanuts is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of the man who created “Peanuts.” Charles M. Schulz was born on November 26, 1922, in St. Paul, Minnesota and died in February 2000. Yet his cartoon characters live on after him, inspiring everyone from TV stars to astronauts. “Charlie Brown is the friend and person I wanted to be, and Snoopy is the cool astronaut I wanted to be,” U.S astronaut Mike Massimino told the Washington Post. “I think it’s the greatest comic strip and characters ever created.” Comic strips feature characters people love or tell stories that reflect real life. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read comic strips that do this. Pick one and re-draw it in a way that reflects your life or people you know. Draw several installments of your strip and share with family or friends

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.

4. Perfect Ancient Statues

In the ancient Roman Empire more than 2,000 years ago, public bath houses were popular places for gathering and socializing as well as bathing. They were used by both wealthy and non-wealthy people, and their decorations revealed a great deal about how ancient Romans lived when they controlled most of the continent of Europe. A new discovery in the city of Siena, Italy has now given scientists an eye-opening look at Roman life. Digging in an ancient bath house, scientists have discovered 24 beautiful statues that had been hidden from view for more than 2,300 years. The perfectly preserved statues include likenesses of the sun god Apollo; Hygieia, the goddess of good health, and portrayals of members of prominent families, the Modern Met website reported. One statue showed a woman dressed in flowing robes and another was a female “entirely bejeweled, with very detailed necklaces and earrings.” The statues are currently being restored and will eventually be displayed in a museum. Discoveries of artifacts from the past help scientists understand how people lived and worked long ago. With a partner, pretend you are scientists from the future trying to understand how people live today. In the newspaper or online, find and study ads of five items people use today in daily life. Write a sentence or paragraph telling what each item reveals about how people live today. Share and discuss as a class.

Common Core State Standards: Writing informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly; conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic.

5. Happy Crash Ending

The crash of a small plane in the dead of winter is a recipe for disaster under the best of circumstances. The risks get that much greater if the plane is carrying 53 rescue dogs looking for new homes. Yet when a small plane carrying all those dogs crash-landed on a snow covered golf course in the state of Wisconsin, every dog survived — and one even was adopted by one of his rescuers. The crash occurred near the end of a flight transporting rescue dogs from the state of Louisiana to Wisconsin, the Washington Post reported. The flight had been organized by the Humane Animal Welfare Society, as part of its program to bring at-risk dogs to Wisconsin for new homes. As word of the crash spread, people stepped up quickly to adopt the dogs, including deputy fire chief Tony Wasielewski. As Wasielewski was unloading crated dogs from the plane, a dog that had gotten loose jumped into his arms and “slathered” him with kisses. A day later, he and his wife went to the HAWS shelter to adopt the dog, who was named CeeCee. “As soon as the lady opened up the door, she bypassed my wife, jumped in my arms and started giving me kisses,” Wasielewski said. “It was over,” he said, and he adopted CeeCee on the spot. Animal shelters do many things to get people to adopt dogs, cats and other animals that need new homes. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about something a shelter is doing to call attention to animals that need homes. Pick one animal and write a letter to possible owners telling why it would be a good animal to adopt. You can write the letter from the point of view of the animal, if you like.

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.