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For Grades K-4 , week of Nov. 18, 2019

1. Salute to the Flag

You don’t have to be an adult to know that all people can make a difference if they choose to take action. A third grader in the state of Minnesota found that out this month — and got an unusual reward. Third grader Isaac Canfield chose to take action when he noticed that the flag outside his elementary school was torn and worn out. He asked his mom if they could buy a new flag for the school, and when she said yes, they made arrangements with Pine Island Elementary’s principal. On the day the new flag was to go up, Isaac’s class bundled up and went outside to watch the flag-raising. As they recited the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag, something truly unusual happened. A bald eagle — the symbol of America — flew over the flagpole in the bright blue sky. “It was just an unbelievable moment,” Isaac’s teacher said. “It’s one of the most important symbols of America,” added Isaac. Isaac Canfield made a difference when he took action to replace the flag at his school. In what ways would like to make a difference in your community? In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a situation for which you would like to make a difference. Write a paragraph stating why you would like to make a difference, and what action you or your class could take to do that.

Common Core State Standards: Reading closely what a text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; writing informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.

2. Hall of Fame Toys

The National Toy Hall of Fame is run by the Strong Museum of Play to recognize toys that have changed children’s lives or been popular for many years. This year, three classic toys have been added to the Hall of Fame: Matchbox Cars, coloring books, and the collectible card game Magic: The Gathering. The three games were chosen from 12 finalists by toy experts and officials at the museum based in Rochester, New York. Matchbox Cars were first introduced in 1953, Magic: The Gathering in 1993 and coloring books more than 100 years ago. New toys are often introduced during the holiday season in November and December. In the newspaper or online, find stories, photos or ads showing new toys coming out for the holidays this year. Pick one you think could be a Hall of Fame toy some day. Write a letter to a friend explaining why you think kids will like this toy and why it could end up in the Hall of Fame. Discuss choices as a class.

Common Core State Standards: Producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task; responding thoughtfully to diverse perspectives, summarizing points of agreement and disagreement.

3. A $46,000 Crab!

Every day around the world, people pay outrageous amounts of money for unusual things. The latest example comes from the Asian nation of Japan, where a “five shining star” snow crab sold for a record $46,000! The record was set at an auction sale marking the opening of the crab hunting season in Japan. Every year the highest quality crabs are sold at the opening auction, and this year’s top seller sold for 2.5 times the previous record of $18,000, CNN News reported. The crab, which weighed 2.7 pounds, was bought by the owner of a fish distribution company and will be served at a fancy restaurant in the city of Tokyo. When someone spends a lot of money for a single item, people often ask what else they could have bought with that money. Or they point out what could have been bought to make the amount easier to understand. With a partner, use the newspaper or Internet to study the prices of things for sale. Use what you find to create three math problems showing the number and kind of items that could be bought for $46,000. Do your problems so you know the correct answer. Then exchange with classmates.

Common Core State Standards: Conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic; representing and solving problems involving addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

4. Litter Pooch

Litter pollution is a problem all over the world. In the Asian nation of China, however, a dog has been trained by its master to go on litter patrol. According to owner Miao Weiping, the dog can even tell the difference between things that can be recycled and garbage that needs to be thrown away. “When it sees a bottle left on the ground, it runs to collect it and then drops it in the trash bin for recyclables,” Miao told the Global Times newspaper. Miao said it took about a year to train his three-year-old mixed breed dog to recycle. Animals can be a good way to get people’s attention about problems. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about pollution or another problem facing communities. Use what you read to brainstorm an idea for an animated public service ad encouraging people to correct the problem. Draw a scene from the opening of your ad in cartoon style. Share and discuss with the class.

Common Core State Standards: Using drawings or visual displays when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or points; engaging effectively in a range of collaborative discussions.

5.‘Hook ’Em, Horns!’

There is an old saying that “love has no limits,” and a husband and wife in the state of Texas are certainly proving that when it comes to age. John Henderson is 106 and his wife Charlotte is 105 and their combined age of 211 makes them the oldest living couple in the world, according to the Guinness World Records organization. On top of that, they will celebrate their 80th wedding anniversary next month. The Hendersons met while in college at the University of Texas in 1934. She was studying to be a teacher and he was a member of the Texas football team. They currently live in Longhorn Village, a senior living community connected to the university. As they say at Texas games, “Hook ’Em, Horns!” Love stories often are in the news because they inspire people who read them. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about people showing love for each other. Use what you read to write a letter to the editor telling how this love story could inspire others. For added fun, write a letter describing a love story involving people you know.

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.