For Grades K-4 , week of Sep. 11, 2011

1.The Right Stuff

You may wonder why your mom always pushes vitamins on you, but be assured it's for a good reason. Experts say that people don't get enough of five important nutrients. People don't get nearly enough Vitamin D, which strengthens their bones. Magnesium also is lacking in many people's diets. Magnesium affects more than 300 processes in your body, so it's important to keep up its levels. Your brains need Vitamin B12, your muscles need potassium and your thyroid gland needs iodine. Many foods are rich in these vitamins and minerals. For example, dairy products like milk, cheese and yogurt supply your body with Vitamin D. Beans and fish are rich in magnesium, potassium and Vitamin B12. With a partner, search the newspaper for articles and recipes about nutritious foods. Using those articles and recipes, put together a menu for a meal that is healthy and delicious.

Learning Standards: Identifying and defining key nutrients and their functions; acquiring information from written, electronic and visual sources.

2. Time to Remember

This week marks the 10th anniversary of the attacks on America that occurred on September 11, 2001. Bob Beckwith's wife and six children fought tooth and nail to keep him from going to the World Trade Center after those attacks. The retired firefighter from Long Island, New York, stayed put until he heard that the son of a firefighter friend was missing in the rubble. He grabbed his old firefighter helmet and drove down to Ground Zero, where the World Trade Towers collapsed after being struck by hijacked airplanes. He helped other firefighters uncover a buried fire engine. Then someone asked him to help a man up on top of the fire engine. He reached down and found himself helping then-President George W. Bush up. A photo of the two of them ran on the cover of Time magazine, and since then Beckwith has been using his fame to raise money for burn victims. As a class, find a newspaper story about a 9/11 commemoration this week. Write a summary of the story and illustrate it.

Learning Standards: Retelling in sequence the story elements and major details of informational text; using the craft of the illustrator to express ideas artistically.

3. Elders

September 11 was also National Grandparents Day this year, a holiday when we celebrate the wisdom of older people close to us. As a class, read an article in today's newspaper about an older person passing on knowledge to a younger person or a group of younger people. Then write a short poem about a special older person in your life, such as a grandparent, aunt, uncle, coach, teacher or neighbor. Read your poems aloud -- with feeling!

Learning Standard: Writing fluently for multiple purposes, including poetry.

4. Saving the Oceans

Protecting oceans is important to people who care about the environment. Now top business, entertainment and conservation leaders have stepped up to give oceans a "voice." Billionaires Ted Turner and Richard Branson, singer Jackson Browne, ocean explorer Jean-Michel Cousteau and others have banded together to form OceanElders. Branson said in a Forbes magazine article that he is concerned with the health of the ocean and the effect people have had on it. "OceanElders was created to give the ocean a loud and focused voice," he said. The Elders are hoping to use their fame and influence to get the message of respecting the ocean ecosystems out to the world. Find a newspaper article about someone working to preserve the environment. Discuss as a class what young people can do to protect the natural world.

Learning Standards: Describing the effects humans and other organisms have on the balance of the natural world

5. Feature Features

You never know what a journalist might write about in a feature story. Stephanie Pappas decided to write about Fiona Stewart, who slept in chimpanzee nests high in the trees of the African nation of Tanzania. The scientist wanted to know what makes the nests that chimps build every night such good resting places. For six nights, Stewart would climb into the trees and sleep in a pre-used chimp nest. She found the cup-shaped nests to be stable and fairly warm. Find a fun feature story in your newspaper. Print it out, and with a friend identify parts of the story. Write a complete sentence explaining what you like about the story.

Learning Standards: Analyzing the structure, elements, features, style and purpose of informational genres; reading and writing fluently.

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