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Grades 1-4
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for Grades 5-8

Dec. 04, 2017
Nov. 27, 2017
Nov. 20, 2017
Nov. 13, 2017
Nov. 06, 2017
Oct. 30, 2017
Oct. 23, 2017
Oct. 16, 2017
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Sep. 25, 2017
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Sep. 04, 2017
Aug. 28, 2017
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Apr 24, 2017
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Apr 03, 2017
Mar. 27, 2017
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Mar. 13, 2017
Mar. 06, 2017
Feb. 27, 2017

For Grades 5-8 , week of Sep. 25, 2017

1. Toys ‘N’ Trouble

For more than 60 years, Toys ‘R’ Us has been the go-to store for people buying holiday or birthday presents for kids. But the future of the largest U.S. toy store chain is now uncertain. Just ahead of the 2017 holiday season, Toys ‘R’ Us has filed for bankruptcy. Leaders of the company assured customers that its 1,600 stores would continue to operate as usual this holiday season, but no one knows what will happen after that. Toys ‘R’ Us has been struggling under $5 billion in long-term debt run up in recent years. It now will try to restructure and reduce that debt under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Many stores and chains found in shopping malls are facing challenges from online shopping and big “box stores” like Walmart that offer a wide range of products under one roof. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about mall stores facing challenges or struggles. Use what you read to write a business column, describing the challenges faced by one store or chain, what caused the challenge, and what can be done to correct the problem?

Common Core State Standards: Writing informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly; conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic.

2. A Gift for Selena

Friends often go to great lengths to help other friends. Singer and actress Selena Gomez gratefully found that out this summer, when her best friend donated a kidney to save her from a health risk. Gomez announced the donation on Instagram by posting a picture of her and fellow actress Francia Raisa holding hands across their hospital beds. Raisa donated one of her kidneys after Gomez experienced complications from the disease Lupus. “She gave me the ultimate gift and sacrifice by donating her kidney to me,” Gomez said. Raisa is best known for her role as Adrian Lee on the TV series “The Secret Life of the American Teenager.” Lupus is an auto-immune disease in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks different parts of the body, including kidneys. Organ transplants have made it possible for doctors to save lives of people who might have died in the past. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about another advance in medicine that is saving lives. Use what you read to create a poster illustrating what the advance involves, how it is an improvement on what could be done in the past and how it will affect people in the future. Share with the class and discuss.

Common Core State Standards: Using drawings or visual displays when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or points; engaging effectively in a range of collaborative discussions.

3. A Milestone Emmy

When TV’s Emmy Awards were given out on September 17, something happened that had never happened before. Riz Ahmed became the first man of South Asian descent to win an acting Emmy. He was honored as outstanding lead actor in a limited series or movie for his role in “The Night Of,” a mini-series that ran on HBO. Before Ahmed’s win, only one other South Asian star had taken home an acting award from the ceremony — Archie Panjabi, who won an Emmy for her role in “The Good Wife” in 2010. Ahmed is a British actor of Pakistani descent. As the United States becomes more diverse, television and movie producers are being urged to cast more people of color in key roles. In the newspaper or online, closely read stories about efforts to create more diversity in the casts of movies and TV shows. Think like an entertainment columnist and write an opinion column offering your ideas on how more diversity in casting would benefit movie and TV producers.

Common Core State Standards: Writing opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information; reading closely what a text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it.

4. Boy at the White House

Frank Giaccio of Falls Church, Virginia, has the spirit of an entrepreneur — and the ambition to think big. After starting his own lawn-mowing service, Frank set his sights on a property that has a somewhat higher profile than the yards he was working on this summer. He wrote President Trump and asked if he could mow the White House lawn. To Frank’s surprise, the President said yes, and even followed him across the grass as he made a few turns. Then he congratulated Frank by giving him a high five. “I always wanted to do something big and so I was like, ‘Why don’t we just start here?’” Frank told CNN television’s “New Day” program. “This seem[ed] like the perfect example.” People who think big can motivate themselves to try harder or try new things. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a person who thought big about something and achieved success. Use what you read to write a letter to the editor detailing how this person’s experience could inspire others to think big.

Common Core State Standards: Reading closely what a text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task.

5. Help from Michigan

When Hurricane Irma hit Florida and other states, people all over the country wanted to pitch in and help. But few made the commitment made by the Consumers Energy company of Jackson, Michigan. Consumers sent 350 of its employees and contractors to help restore power in Boca Raton, Florida, and Atlanta, Georgia. The crews include line workers, damage assessors, supervisors, safety personnel and other field employees. “We have all seen the images of utter devastation from Irma,” said Guy Packard, the Vice President of Electric Operations from Consumers Energy. “We have been fortunate to receive assistance from out of state after severe weather in Michigan. Now it’s time for us to return the favor.” Businesses often make news by helping out in the community. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a business helping out or making contributions in the community. Use what you read to design a newspaper or Internet ad from the community, thanking the business for its help.

Common Core State Standards: Using drawings or visual displays when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or points; engaging effectively in a range of collaborative discussions.