, week of
Oct. 17, 2011
1. Get to the Point!
If you are waiting eagerly for the start of the NBA season, you're going to have to wait a little bit longer. The National Basketball Association's commissioner, David Stern, has canceled the first two weeks of the season due to a work dispute between the league's owners and the players. Opening night for hoops was scheduled for November 1, according to an Associated Press article, but that date has been pushed back to November 14. The two sides have not been able to reach an agreement on almost anything, Stern said. The biggest stumbling block is how to share money earned by the NBA between the owners and the players. In pairs or teams, find sports or news articles in the newspaper. Read them carefully and determine the main ideas of the stories. Discuss the main ideas in the stories with your classmates.
Core/National Standards: Determining a central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; providing a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.
2. People Who Inspire
Eleanor Josaitis dedicated her life to fighting poverty, hunger and injustice. The Focus: HOPE project she helped start has helped thousands of people since its beginning. For the last 37 years, people in Detroit have hit the streets each fall, walking to raise money for Focus: HOPE. This year's walk was bittersweet. It was the first walk since Josaitis died in August at age 79. It was her dream that people could come up with practical solutions to the problems of poverty, racism, hunger and good education. To date, her dream has fed 21 million hungry people, given career training to 11,000 people and academic support for thousands of children. In a Detroit Free Press article, Margaret Kieman said Josaitis was both "passionate" and "persistent." Find an article in the newspaper about a person who is inspiring. Write a paragraph or brief essay on why he or she inspires you.
Core/National Standard: Writing opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.
3. Look It Up!
Noah Webster was born on October 16, 1758. In honor of his birthday, read an article from today's newspaper as a class. Then go back through the article and pick out three words you don't know. Guess what each word means, and then look it up in the dictionary. Write a complete sentence using each new word. Now see if you can figure out what this activity has to do with Noah Webster.
Core/National Standard: Employing multiple strategies to recognize words as students construct meaning, including the use of phonics, syllabication, spelling patterns and context clues.
4. Technology in Life
Steve Jobs of the Apple computer company never finished college, but his actions demonstrated how important education was to him. Jobs, who recently passed away from cancer, founded the company that went on to develop Macintosh computers, iPods, iPads and iPhones. He started a program that put Apple computers in public schools for children to use, and many computer labs across the country now have computers donated by the company. In addition, Jobs recently asked Apple customers to donate their first-generation iPads to needy schools when they buy newer versions. More than 10,000 iPads have been donated to date. As a class, find and discuss a newspaper article about technology and how it is changing the lives of people. Then prepare and present a short speech on how your life would be different without technology.
Core/National Standards: Reporting on a topic or text with appropriate facts and relevant descriptive details; speaking clearly at an understandable pace.
5. Monster of the Sea
Did a gigantic, octopus-like sea monster once swim the depths of prehistoric oceans, eating the sea's top predator, the ichthyosaur? Fossil expert Mark McMenamin says he thinks he has the evidence to support that claim. He says he and his team have found evidence that ichthyosaurs (IK-thee-o-SAWRS) were attacked and drowned or had their necks broken by the giant "octopus" sea monsters. They found fossils of ichthyosaurs with both tooth marks and scratches on them. Also, McMenamin said the Seattle Aquarium has video of a modern giant octopus killing sharks. Find a newspaper article about a scientific discovery. As a class, discuss what is important about the discovery.
Core/National Standards: Engaging effectively in a range of collaborative discussions, building on ideas of other students and expressing their own clearly.