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For Grades K-4 , week of Oct. 29, 2018

1. Halloween Costumes

Halloween will be celebrated on Wednesday, and in communities across the nation people will be dressing up in spooky, scary or funny costumes. Or they’ll be pretending to be superheroes, sports stars or characters from books or movies. In the newspaper or online, find and study stories, ads and photos of people planning Halloween costumes. Then talk as a class about costumes you or your classmates will be wearing. Finish by drawing a picture of a costume you would like to wear, and writing a paragraph explaining why.

Common Core State Standards: Engaging effectively in a range of collaborative discussions; using drawings or visual displays when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or points; producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task.

2. ‘Oldest Shipwreck’

At the southern edge of the continent of Europe, the Black Sea was a busy waterway in ancient times for the trading of goods on sailing ships. Now scientists have found a shipwreck that shows jushow long ago that trade was going on. A wreck discovered off the coast of the nation of Bulgaria is more than 2,400 years old. That would make it the world’s “oldest shipwreck,” according to scientists who organized a three-year project to search for wrecks in the Black Sea. The 75-foot sailing ship was from ancient Greece and was undamaged at the bottom of the sea more than a mile beneath the surface, researchers said. It was discovered using deep-diving robots and sonar scanning equipment that bounced sound waves off the bottom of the sea. Shipwrecks excite people who study history because they often contain items that reveal what life was like in earlier times. What items on a ship operating today would tell future historians things about our lives? Search ads in the newspaper or online for things people would use on a ship today. Then write a paragraph explaining what these things would tell historians of the future about the way we live today.

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.

3. Throwing Up Trash

At Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, geysers are among the biggest attractions. They shoot boiling water high into the air and attract thousands of visitors a year. The Ear Spring geyser doesn’t erupt as often as the park’s more famous Old Faithful geyser. But when it did this month it had some surprises to share. In addition to dirt and rocks, Ear Spring shot out coins, cans, cups and even part of a cement block that had fallen into the geyser hole since its last major eruption in 1957. Park officials said the 100 or so coins recovered probably had been tossed into the geyser for good luck, but they had no explanation for the other items. The things people do can have an effect on national parks or other natural areas. In the newspaper or online, find and study a photo of a park or natural area. Write a paragraph describing how human actions could affect the area in a negative way. Write a second paragraph listing ways people could prevent this behavior.

Common Core State Standards: Reading closely what a text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; citing specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions.

4. Inspiring Star

Athletes do amazing things, but the city of Washington, Iowa has one who does them over and over again. Fifteen-year-old Trashaun Willis was born with only half of his left arm, but he has grown up to be a star in both basketball and football. He got national attention when he dunked a basketball in eighth grade just using his right arm. And he makes spectacular catches on his high school football team week after week. At 6’5” and 220 pounds, he wants to play in college in either sport, and he’s already getting attention from college scouts. His attitude impresses them as much as his talent. “I refuse to say that I am disabled,” he says, “because I’m not.” People who overcome challenges often inspire others. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about someone overcoming a challenge or obstacle. Use what you read to write a letter to the editor, outlining how this person’s achievements could inspire others.

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.

5. What a Hail Storm!

Hail storms occur when there is violent weather, but few are as violent as one that occurred in Rome, Italy this month. A hail storm there left streets knee-deep in ice balls and flooded by torrential rains. The hail storm was so severe it closed roads, stranded motorists, flooded underground subway stations and shut down at least one station above ground. Hail forms when wind updrafts pull water from thunderstorms so high in the atmosphere they freeze and form ice balls known as hailstones. Severe weather is often in the news. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a severe weather event. Use what you read to prepare a short oral report telling what happened, what damage was done and what people need to do to recover from the event.

Common Core State Standards: Citing specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions; reading closely what a text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it;