Resources for Teachers and Students
, week of
Mar. 27, 2017
1. What a Speller!
Each year the Scripps National Spelling Bee tests the best student spellers from across the nation. And this year it will have its youngest contestant ever. Five-year-old Edith Fuller claimed that place in history by topping 50 other students to win this year’s regional competition in eastern Oklahoma. As a result, she’ll get to compete in the national Spelling Bee starting May 30 in Washington, D.C. Edith faced competitors nearly three times her age to win the Oklahoma event. Over four hours, she correctly spelled 37 words, including her winning word “Jnana,” a word from the Sanskrit language meaning “knowledge.” She spelled it correctly after asking its meaning and the language it came from. Readers often can figure out words they don’t know by seeing how they are used in a sentence. In the newspaper or online, find three words you don’t know. Read the sentence in which each appears and see if they contain root words. Write out what you think each word means. Then look each up in a dictionary to see if you were right. Use each word correctly in a new sentence.
Common Core State Standards: Applying knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts; conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic;
With a new president and new ideas being debated in the U.S. Congress, the national government is making lots of news these days. The national government (also called the federal government) was set up by the U.S. Constitution. The Constitution was written 230 years ago in 1787, and it remains the most important document defining the powers of the president, the Congress and the courts of the United States. As a class, review how the president, the Congress and the courts make up the three branches of the federal government. Then use the newspaper or Internet to find and closely read a story involving one or more of these branches. Use what you read to write a letter to the editor giving your view about something one of the branches is doing. Or use your letter to ask a question you would like answered about something one branch is doing. Share letters as a class and discuss.
Core State Standards: Producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task; citing specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions; engaging effectively in a range of collaborative discussions.
Sixty-four years ago, Dr. Jonas Salk announced some ground-breaking news in the world of medicine. On March 26, 1953, he announced he had developed a vaccine shot that would prevent the dangerous and muscle-weakening disease polio. Today, use of the polio vaccine Salk developed has eliminated the disease in all but two countries in the world — Pakistan and Afghanistan. In those two Asian countries, vaccine shots have been opposed on religious grounds. Medical breakthroughs often make news. As a class, use the newspaper or Internet to find and closely read a story about a breakthrough or discovery in the world of medicine. Use what you read to write a paragraph or short essay summarizing the breakthrough or discovery, how it was made and what effect it could have 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.
Nature inspires people in many ways — even in business. Businesses that build homes often choose names from nature for housing developments. Fox Run Fields, Estates at Rocky Knoll, Meadow Glen Ford are some examples, and you can find more by searching the real estate ads in the newspaper or online. In the ads, look for names taken from nature. Pick one and write a paragraph stating what the builder hopes the name will make people feel about the development. For added fun, brainstorm three nature names you would choose if you were building a housing development. Write a complete sentence for each name, stating why you like it and think it would be popular.
Common Core State Standards: Demonstrating understanding of figurative language; applying knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts.
5.You Choose the News
Every day, many, many stories are in the news. So how do newspapers, websites and TV newscasts decide which to talk about? They try to provide a mix of stories they think people NEED to know, and stories they think people will WANT to know or will be interested in. Practice making news choices by dividing into teams and setting up a TV newscast. Pick five stories from today’s newspaper and tell the audience about them. You may pick from all parts of the paper. It’s up to you to decide which story will be your most important to begin the show, how many of your stories will be news stories and how many will be entertainment, sports or human interest stories. Present your newscasts to the class. Which stories were in the most newscasts? As a class, chart them in a graph.
Common Core State Standards: Conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic; engaging effectively in a range of collaborative discussions; organizing data using concrete objects, pictures, tallies, tables, charts, diagrams and graphs.
Lessons & Classroom Activities
Resources by grade level