, week of
May 11, 2020
1. Want to Hear a Joke?
With the world struggling to deal with the coronavirus, everyone could use a laugh. So a six-year-old boy from the Canadian province of British Columbia decided to do something about it. Callaghan McLaughlin opened a joke stand at the end of his driveway to share humor with his friends and neighbors on Vancouver Island in the town of Saanich. Every day after eating breakfast, he goes out to his stand and tells jokes to anyone who passes by, CNN News reports. Callaghan gets most of his material from the book “Laugh Out Loud Jokes for Kids" by Rob Elliott. “What do you call a bear without any teeth?” he might ask. “A gummy bear!” Or “What do you call a lazy kangaroo? A pouch potato!” His jokes have been well received, and not just by Callaghan’s neighbors. Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds tweeted online that Callaghan is a “hero” for trying to make people smile during hard times. Many people are doing things to make others feel better during the coronavirus emergency. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about one person who is doing this. Use what you read to write a letter to a friend telling how this person makes people feel better. Include ways you and your friend could make people feel better during the corona emergency.
Common Core State Standards: Producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task; reading closely what written and visual texts say and to making logical inferences from them.
2. Mars Rivers
America’s NASA space agency has made it a goal to discover if life ever existed on planets other than Earth in our solar system. In their search for life, they always ask “was there ever water?” because water is necessary for life to exist. A new study of the planet Mars indicates the so-called “Red Planet” may have had rivers flowing with water for thousands of years. The study was based on detailed images collected by NASA’s orbiting Mars Reconnaissance spacecraft from the Hellas Basin area in Mars’ southern hemisphere. The images show evidence of rivers, deltas, channels and a large lake in the rock and indicated the water bodies lasted as much as 100,000 years in a period 3.7-billion years ago. Authors of the study said the water likely was created by precipitation like rain on Earth. Located next out from Earth in our solar system, Mars is considered to be the most like the Earth of all the planets. The United States and other nations are focusing a lot of attention to Mars in an effort to better understand its history and conditions. In the newspaper or online find and closely read a story about a mission to Mars that is underway or planned for the future. Use what you read to write a letter to the editor summarizing this mission, what it has learned, or what it hopes to learn.
Common Core State Standards: Reading closely what written and visual texts say and to making logical inferences from them; producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task.
3. Reopening School
In the Middle East nation of Israel, schools have started to reopen after being closed for six weeks due to the coronavirus. Elementary students went back first, and students faced an environment they had never experienced before. Everyone was wearing masks, and they had to bring hand sanitizer, the Washington Post newspaper reported. They couldn’t take books from the library, borrow pencils from other students or play games that require touching. Classes were divided into smaller groups, and teachers over the age of 65 were asked to stay home. Parents were not allowed inside the buildings, even for the youngest students. Schools could be very different when they finally re-open after the coronavirus shutdown. With the newspaper and Internet, find and closely read stories about what schools could be like. Talk with family and friends about what changes will be hardest to adjust to.
Common Core State Standards: Responding thoughtfully to diverse perspectives, summarizing points of agreement and disagreement; engaging effectively in a range of collaborative discussions.
4. Racing Turtles
With large gatherings off limits due to the coronavirus, the famous Kentucky Derby horse race had to be postponed this year from May 2 until next September. But there still was competition to entertain fans of racing. The Old Forester company revived a replacement race that was used the only other time the Derby had been postponed — with turtles! The Kentucky Turtle Derby featured eight turtles “racing” to get from the middle of a circle to the edge, and it was not exactly speedy. A turtle named “What the Turtleneck” won the Turtle Derby, edging another Named “Galapa-GO!” A turtle named “Rocket to Nowhere” finished third. The only other time the Kentucky Derby was postponed was in 1945 during World War II. All over the world people are looking for ways to replace events that have been canceled. Some involve social distancing and some are done online. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read stories about people creating replacements for canceled events. Then come up with a way to replace an event or activity you like that would also keep people safe. Write a paragraph explaining your idea and discuss with friends.
Common Core State Standards: Writing informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly; engaging effectively in a range of collaborative discussions.
5. Huge Hailstone
Severe weather has been on the rise around the world. If you need evidence, check out a “gargantuan” hailstone that fell in the south American nation of Argentina during a violent storm in February 2018. The stone was estimated to be between 7.4 to 9.3 inches across, which would rival the biggest hailstone ever found. The size of the giant hailstone was estimated by a team of researchers from Pennsylvania State University by studying video of the storm that damaged roofs and cars and left huge craters in the ground. Hail forms when updrafts of thunderstorms or “super cell” storms carry moisture high into the atmosphere, where it freezes. The stronger the updrafts, the larger the hail can be. The largest hailstone on record is an 8-inch whopper recovered and measured in Vivian, South Dakota. The Argentina hailstone does not qualify for a world record because it was not measured in real time. Unusual or severe weather often makes news in the spring months. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about an unusual or severe weather event. Use what you read to write a short editorial outlining ways that families or communities could prepare for such an event in the future.
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.