Resources for Teachers and Students
, week of
Apr 17, 2017
1.A Change of Color
If you like to color with crayons, you’ve probably had a box of Crayolas at some point at home or in school. But soon Crayola fans will have one less color to choose from. The company has announced it is dropping the color “Dandelion” yellow from its lineup. “Dandelion” has been part of Crayola’s 24-pack and other boxes for the last 27 years. It will be replaced by a new, blue color that will be named by a vote of fans this summer. Businesses often change or offer new versions of the products that they sell. In the newspaper or online, find and study an ad for a new or changed product. Study the words used in the ad to announce the change. Write a paragraph explaining how the words in the ad make viewers feel about the new product.
Common Core State Standards: Conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic; producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task.
For the first time in history, a used rocket has been successfully re-launched into space. Launched by the private SpaceX company, the booster rocket carried a satellite into orbit and then returned to Earth. It landed on a drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean. SpaceX is a private company seeking to provide trips into space for individuals, governments and businesses. It has carried supplies to the International Space Station and plans to take people to the moon and other planets in the future. Re-using its rockets, which cost more than $60 million each, would allow it to reduce the cost of its space trips. SpaceX has been working toward its goal of using recycled rockets for more than a year and next hopes to re-use and re-launch a rocket just 24 hours after recovery. Space missions often require that scientists try new things or do things in different ways. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a space mission that is doing something new. Use what you read to write a letter to the editor explaining why it is important for scientists to keep trying new things — and how people benefit from their efforts.
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.
The city of Atlanta, Georgia has some of the worst traffic in the nation — and now it has gotten even worse. A fierce fire beneath a raised section of Interstate 85 caused a huge chunk of the highway to collapse late last month. Now it will be six months or more until the highway is repaired. Interstate 85 is one of major north-south roads in the region, carrying more than 250,000 vehicles a day. It not only serves businesses in the center of the city but is used to get to Atlanta’s busy airport and the stadium of the Atlanta Braves baseball team. No one was hurt in the collapse, but now sections of the highway must be replaced that are longer than a football field. The highway collapse in Atlanta was an emergency that required special efforts by local officials. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about another community dealing with an emergency. Use what you read to write a paragraph summarizing the first things that needed to be done. Then write a second paragraph outlining what things need to be done next.
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.
4.King of the Claw
At amusement parks and arcades, people love to win stuffed animals. And among the most popular attractions are the glassed-in machines that challenge you to pick up an animal with an electronic “claw.” In the Asian nation of China, a man has gotten so good at capturing animals from “claw machines” that the owners want him to stop playing. Last year, 35-year-old Chen Zhitong won more than 15,000 toys from claw machines — so many they have filled up his apartment. He started playing as “a way to kill time,” but now he is considered the “claw machine god” of local shopping malls and arcades. He once cleared out every animal in a machine, and owners have started taking him to dinner to convince him to stop. He has given thousands of his animals and toys to groups that help deaf and blind children. Chen Zhitong has a special talent when it comes to “claw machines.” In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about another person who has a special or unusual talent. Write the word “SPECIAL” down the side of a sheet of paper. Use each letter of the word to start a phrase or sentence describing the person’s talent, or what can be done with it.
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.
5.Want to Own a Zoo?
Zoos are popular attractions, but it’s not often that people get a chance to buy one. In the state of Texas, however, you could become owner of the Bayou Wildlife Park south of the city of Houston. All you need is $7 million and the willingness to take on 500 exotic animals. The zoo includes 80 acres of land, lakes, islands, a “barn-dominium” to live in and 19 vehicles for getting around and giving “safari” tours. Animals include rhinos, camels, antelopes, wildebeests, ring-tailed lemurs and crocodiles. The zoo, which has long been popular for school field trips, is owned by an 80-year-old man who wants to retire. What would it be like to own a zoo? In the newspaper or online, find and read stories about zoos, and study pictures of zoos in operation. Then use what you read to write a creative story titled “If I Owned a Zoo.” In your story, describe animals you would feature and activities you would offer. Share stories as a class.
Common Core State Standards: Writing narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events; conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic; reading closely what a text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it.
Lessons & Classroom Activities
Resources by grade level
Online Reference Guides