Resources for Teachers and Students


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Grades 1-4
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for Grades 5-8

July 16, 2018
July 09, 2018
June 25, 2018
June 18, 2018
June 11, 2018
June 04, 2018
May 28, 2018
May 21, 2018
May 14, 2018
May 07, 2018
Apr 30, 2018
Apr 23, 2018
Apr 16, 2018
Apr 09, 2018
Apr 02, 2018
Mar. 26, 2018
Mar. 19, 2018
Mar. 12, 2018
Mar. 05, 2018
Feb. 26, 2018
Feb. 19, 2018
Feb. 12, 2018
Feb. 05, 2018
Jan. 29, 2018
Jan. 22, 2018
Jan. 15, 2018
Jan. 08, 2018
Jan. 01, 2018
Dec. 11, 2017
Dec. 04, 2017
Nov. 27, 2017
Nov. 20, 2017
Nov. 13, 2017
Nov. 06, 2017
Oct. 30, 2017
Oct. 23, 2017
Oct. 16, 2017
Oct. 09, 2017
Oct. 02, 2017
Sep. 25, 2017

For Grades 5-8 , week of July 16, 2018

1. Incredible Rescue

The dramatic rescue of a youth soccer team from a cave in the nation of Thailand captured the attention of the world. It was a complicated and dangerous effort that required the skills of top divers from many nations. The 12 members of the team had been trapped with their coach when heavy rains flooded the only passage they could use to escape. They had to survive nine days without food before they were discovered, and 18 days before the last of them was brought out. The rescue required the boys to swim under water and breathe through oxygen tanks — even though some did not know how to swim. Each boy was helped by two divers through the flooded passageways, some of which were as narrow as three feet across. The first kilometer of the escape was the hardest, divers said, because it was all under water. After that, the boys could wade. The rescue of the Thai soccer team required great skills among the divers who took part. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read stories about the challenges faced by the divers and the skills they needed to succeed. Then brainstorm an idea for a movie focusing on the divers’ experiences. Give your movie a title that would make people want to see it. Then write the opening scene.

Common Core State Standards: Writing narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events; reading closely what a text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it.

2. A Virtual Star

Japanese music star Hatsune Miku is popular all over the world — and she’s not even real. She’s a high-tech creation that’s part anime character, part video avatar and part computer code, and when she appears in concert she’s a hologram projected onstage in front of a live band. Created by the Crypton Future Media company, Miku is a “vocaloid” that allows fans to download her software for free and write songs for her to sing. “Anybody can buy Hatsune Miku software,” says Riki Tsuji, Miku’s live-concert coordinator. “Using that software, they just type in lyrics, punch in a melody and the software will sing the song.” Many of these songs get uploaded to music sharing sites and are tracked by Miku’s Crypton creators. Often they are included in the “live” Miku concerts, building the star’s following even more. The creation of the “vocaloid” star Hatsune Miku is an example of technology being used in a new and dramatic way in entertainment. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about another way new technology is being used in entertainment. Think like an entertainment writer and write a review of how this use of technology affects the experience of viewers.

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.

3. Dangerous Selfies

Taking selfie photos is one of the most popular things people do with cell phones. But they can be dangerous, and even deadly. Around the world, authorities report an increase in deaths of people trying to get that perfect, unusual shot. In the Asian nation of India, where about half the world’s selfie deaths have occurred, people have died in front of oncoming trains, on cliffs that gave way and on rocks where ocean surf could sweep people away. To reduce selfie deaths, the European nation of Russia has created a series of posters to warn people about dangerous selfie situations. The posters, according to a report in The Washington Post, include “doomed stick figures taking pictures while jumping in front of oncoming trains, dangling off roofs and, in one case, falling down a flight of stairs.” Other risks shown included taking selfies while climbing power lines or waving a gun around. Keeping people safe is a concern for every community. With family or friends, talk about situations in which staying safe is important. Then use the newspaper or Internet to find and closely read stories about these or other safety issues. Use what you read to design a safety poster explaining the risks of one situation and how to stay safe. Give your poster an eye-catching headline.

Common Core State Standards: Using drawings or visual displays when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or points; conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic.

4. Sunscreen Damage?

Sunscreen is good for your skin during the summer months, but it may be bad for the environment. Sunscreen chemicals that protect users from ultraviolet rays may wash off in oceans or lakes and affect marine life, researchers say. That is a big concern in the state of Hawaii, where famous ocean coral reefs are a major tourist attraction. To protect those living reefs, Hawaii has announced it will ban sunscreens that contain two chemicals that studies say damage corals. The ban, which will take effect in 2021, will prohibit the sale or distribution of sunscreens that contain the chemicals oxybenzone or octinoxate. Researchers have found that those chemicals can cause bleaching, deformities and death in corals like those found in Hawaii. The American Academy of Dermatology Association, which promotes use of sunscreen to protect the skin, says that claims of environmental damage from sunscreens “have not been proven.” Hawaii’s ban on certain sunscreens is an example of people or communities taking action to protect the environment. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read an environmental story about a threat to a habitat or nature. Use what you read to write a short editorial, outlining the problem, why it is important and what people could do to correct it. Discuss with family or friends.

Common Core State Standards: Writing opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information; responding thoughtfully to diverse perspectives, summarizing points of agreement and disagreement.

5. Migrant Family

The “zero tolerance” crackdown on illegal immigration has caused heated debate for the way it treats families with children. There was a national outcry when U.S. officials separated children from parents who were being arrested for entering the country illegally. Now there is debate about jailing families and children together. To dramatize the debate, a church in Indianapolis, Indiana, put up a display showing a family caged behind a chain-link fence. Inside were statues of Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus — the most important family in the Christian faith. Christ Church Cathedral put up the display to protest the “zero tolerance” policy — and to remind people that the case of Jesus, Joseph and Mary was not that different from those of modern immigrants. They were fleeing violence in their home country after King Herod ordered the execution of baby boys in Bethlehem, said the Rev. Stephen Carlsen, the church’s dean and rector. “People forget what that scene means,” Carlsen told The Washington Post newspaper. Editorial cartoons use art to make points and state opinions about events or people in the news. In the newspaper or online, find examples of editorial cartoons to see how they are drawn. Then closely read stories about the ongoing debate about the U.S. “zero tolerance” approach to illegal immigration. Try your hand at drawing an editorial cartoon or two, offering your view of the situation. Share with family or friends.

Common Core State Standards: Using drawings or visual displays when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or points; conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic.