For Grades K-4 THE WEEK OF Oct. 24, 2011

1. Taking Flight

At this time of year, birds and other animals migrate. That means that they go to warmer places to spend the winter. Listen as your teacher reads an article from this week's newspapers about animals or people making a trip. In small groups, find the starting place and final destination of the journey on a map. Measure the distance between the two. Use the map's scale of miles to figure out how far the people or animals traveled, if they went "as the crow flies" in a straight line.

Core/National Standards: Representing and solving problems involving addition, subtraction, multiplication and division; locating information using people, books, audio/video recordings, photos, simple maps, graphs and tables.

2. Picture Math

Use the pictures in today's newspaper to make a simple addition or subtraction problem. For instance, to make the problem 2 + 3, you could cut out a picture with two buildings and then cut out three pictures of apples. Paste your pictures on a sheet of paper, and write the appropriate +/- and = signs. Give your sheet to someone else. Have them show their answer using pictures, too. For the problem 2 buildings plus 3 apples, someone could paste down 5 babies as the answer.

Core/National Standards: Representing and solving problems involving addition and subtraction; adding drawings or other visual displays to clarify ideas, thoughts and feelings.

3. Bamboo Fan

They look like big balls of black and white fur, surrounded by bamboo. Pandas capture the hearts of people around the world, but they also are able to capture the part of bamboo that most mammals cant. The cells in bamboo are held together by a substance called cellulose. This cellulose doesnt break down in the stomachs of most animals, but scientists think they have discovered bacteria that allow the panda to get all the nutrition out of the bamboo, including from its cellulose. Scientists recently found 14 types of previously unknown bacteria in the droppings of pandas. They think one type of the bacteria living in the stomach of the panda allows the animal to break down the bamboo. A panda eats an average of 84 pounds of bamboo per day. Imagine if you ate one kind of food. Search your newspaper for a food you could eat every day. Write a paragraph about why you could eat the food every day.

Core/National Standard: Writing opinion pieces in which they introduce the topic they are writing about, state and opinion and supply reasons that support the opinion

4. Running Record

When Fauja Singh sets a goal, he does whatever it takes to accomplish it. He wanted to run a marathon, which is a race 26.2 miles long. So he trained and trained, and the 100-year-old man completed a marathon recently in Toronto, Canada. It took him more than eight hours of running, but he now holds a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest person to complete a marathon. Although the race organizers had started to take down barricades and banners, Singhs family and friends were waiting for him at the finish line. He finished six hours after the winner. Singh now hopes to be part of the Olympic torch relay for the London 2012 Summer Olympics. Search your newspaper for stories about seniors doing the unexpected. Draw a series of pictures showing what the seniors are accomplishing.

Core/National Standard: Adding drawings or other visual displays to clarify ideas, thoughts and feelings.

5. Parks Are Great!

It was 153 years ago on October 27, that future president Theodore Roosevelt was born. Widely known as the leader of the Rough Riders during the Spanish-American War, he was in state politics in New York before entering the national political scene. He was elected governor of New York in 1898 and vice president of the nation in 1900. When President William McKinley was killed, Roosevelt became the youngest president ever at age 43. One of his contributions was the formation of National Parks. As a class, search your newspaper for a story about National Parks. Or find an example online. Write a paragraph describing why parks are good for communities. Then draw a picture of what kind of park you would like to visit.

Core/National Standard: Adding drawings or other visual displays to clarify ideas, thoughts and feelings.