Resources for Teachers and Students
, week of
July 17, 2017
1.Giant New Iceberg
A massive chunk of ice has broken free from one of Antarctica’s largest ice shelves, creating an iceberg the size of the state of Delaware in the ocean. The iceberg that broke off from the Larsen C ice shelf is more than 2,200 square miles in area and weighs a trillion tons. The break was detected by one NASA satellite, Aqua MODIS, and confirmed by a second, scientists said. The European Space Agency has also confirmed the break. The new iceberg is one of the largest in recorded history in the Antarctic and “its volume is twice that of Lake Erie, one of the Great Lakes,” researchers said. Because icebergs break off regularly from ice shelves, scientists were reluctant to say if the latest break was due to global warming. It does come at a time water and air temperatures are rising in Antarctica, however. Rising air and water temperatures are affecting wildlife and habitats all over the world. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about one effect. Then use what you read to write an analysis of the effect, and its importance for other wildlife or habitats.
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.
2.One Lucky Teen!
It’s always a longshot to win the lottery. But 19-year-old Rosa Dominguez of California has done it twice — and in less than a week! Dominguez won a total of $655,555 after hitting big on two different lottery tickets. Dominguez’s first win came on a Power 5 Scratchers ticket, which paid her $555,555 as the top prize. A few days later she bought a Lucky Fortune Scratcher ticket and won another $100,000 as the top prize. Dominguez says she plans to buy a new car with some of her winnings and invest the rest. What would you do if you won a big prize in a lottery? In the newspaper or online, find and read stories about what other lottery winners did. Then draw a series of comic strips showing what you would do if you won a big lottery prize.
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.
3.Extinction of Wildlife
The “Sixth Mass Extinction” sounds like the title of a science fiction movie, but for biologists and wildlife experts it’s all too real. And it’s more a horror story than science fiction. According to a just published scientific study, there is growing and convincing evidence that the Earth is entering its sixth mass extinction era. That could mean three-quarters of all species could disappear in the coming centuries, according to the study published in the journal known as the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Nearly one-third of the 27,600 land-based mammal, bird, amphibian and reptile species studied are shrinking in terms of both their numbers and territorial range, and that is an “extremely high degree of population decay,” according to the authors of the study. Population declines include species scientists thought were stable, which means the sixth mass extinction is “more severe” than previously thought. Wildlife species are threatened or endangered all over the world. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about one threatened or endangered species. Use what you read to write a short editorial for the newspaper, giving your views on what individuals or nations could do to protect or help the species. 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; engaging effectively in a range of collaborative discussions.
4.Islands of Growth
In the United Arab Emirates, the city of Dubai is growing as a business and entertainment center. And now it has announced it will be growing physically by creating two manmade islands in the sea. This month the investment company Dubai Holding unveiled plans to create two islands that will add 1.4 miles of beach to the city’s coastline on either side of Dubai’s sail-shaped landmark hotel known as the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah. One of the islands will be geared toward tourists with a marine park and a theater for the Middle East’s first Cirque du Soleil show. The second island will feature 14 private luxury villas, a marina for residents and a boutique hotel. The $1.72 billion project will add four million square feet of area to the city. The creation of two new islands will make the Middle East city of Dubai a bigger attraction for tourists. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read stories about another place that is an attraction for tourists. Use what you read to brainstorm an idea for a one-minute TV commercial to attract tourists to the area. Write a script for your ad, including images you would use. Read it aloud to make sure it does not run longer than one minute. Draw illustrations for your ad or pick Internet images to go with it.
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.
5.‘We Get the Job Done’
Lin-Manuel Miranda won worldwide fame for the music and story of the stage show “Hamilton.” Now he has enlisted top performers to produce a music video supporting the contributions of immigrants in the United States. The video titled “Immigrants (We Get the Job Done)” showcases the many ways immigrants contribute to life in the U.S. and features artists like K’naan, Residente, Riz MC and Snow Tha Product. It is part of a larger project Miranda has created to support immigrants in the United States. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s video supporting immigrants shows how art and music can call attention to issues. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read stories about an issue you think is important. Write a plan for a music video to call attention to the issue, and describe the kind of music you would include (or songs you like). Describe what images you would use, what artists you would like to feature, and why.
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; writing narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events.
Lessons & Classroom Activities
Resources by grade level