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for Grades 5-8

May 14, 2018
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July 31, 2017

For Grades 5-8 , week of May 14, 2018

1. ‘Be Best’

As the wife of America’s President, every First Lady chooses a cause to support in an effort to make a difference in people’s lives. This month First Lady Melania Trump announced her program will encourage children and teens to “Be Best” in their lives by taking positive action. The “Best” program seeks to help children in three key ways — showing them how to improve their emotional and physical wellbeing, working to fight abuse of opioid drugs and seeking to reduce cyberbullying and promote positive engagement on social media. “As a mother and as First Lady, it concerns me that in today's fast-paced and ever-connected world, children can be less prepared to express or manage their emotions and oftentimes turn to forms of destructive or addictive behavior such as bullying, drug addiction or even suicide,” she said when announcing the program in a ceremony at the White House in Washington, D.C. “I feel strongly that as adults we can and should be best at educating our children about the importance of a healthy and balanced life.” Melania Trump and President Trump are the parents of Barron Trump, age 12. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a student who is trying to “Be Best” at something in his/her life. Use what you read to write a personal letter to the student, expressing support and detailing how the effort will benefit him/her.

Common 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.

2. ‘Vog’ Alert

The eruption of the Kilauea volcano in the state of Hawaii created scenes that looked like a horror movie. Giant cracks opened in the earth, revealing red-hot molten lava below. Lava bursts from the cracks shot more than 300 feet into the sky, and giant walls of hot lava rolled through neighborhoods, burning homes and everything else in their path. As frightening as these scenes were, a threat not nearly so visible may be even more dangerous. Air pollution called volcanic smog — or “vog” — poses a health threat that can cause many people to get really sick. Made up of water vapor and the gases carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide, vog can cause eye, nose, throat and skin irritation; intense sinus headaches; coughing and phlegm; sore throats; chest tightness and shortness of breath; and in many cases, fatigue and dizziness. Many things can cause air pollution that can affect people’s health. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about air pollution that is a health risk. Use what you read to write a short editorial outlining what caused the pollution and what can be done to reduce it.

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. Overtime!

Overtime games are not uncommon in ice hockey, but the playoff contest between the Charlotte Checkers and the Lehigh Valley Phantoms was one for the record books. The two teams in the American Hockey League battled through five overtimes in what became the longest game in AHL history. The game lasted more than six hours and ended when the Phantoms scored 6 minutes and 48 seconds into the fifth overtime for a 2-1 win. Phantoms goalie Alex Lyon set a team record for saves, stopping 94 of the 95 shots he faced. His save total was the second best in the history of the AHL. This is a busy time of year for sports, and there are many great performances by teams and players. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about one outstanding performance. Use what you read to write a sports column analyzing what made the performance special and what skills and qualities were needed to achieve it.

Common Core State Standards: Writing informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly; citing specific textual evidence when writing.

4. Unusual Treasure

In the state of Virginia, buried treasure has been found in the city of Alexandria. But it’s not the kind that pirates may have taken ashore from their ships to hide. It’s a discovery of the very kind of ships pirates might have sailed in the 18th century. Workers digging foundations for a housing development on the shore of the Potomac River have found the skeletons of three wooden sailing ships that were sunk and buried there. The discovery comes just three years after the remains of another ship were found just a block away in a dig for another project. History experts say the newly discovered ships were intentionally sunk — or “scuttled” — and buried to provide more land for the city in the 1700s. They were buried side by side and contained many artifacts of items used by sailors and residents of that era. The ships are now being excavated with an intent to preserve them. Discoveries from the past often can shed light on how people of other eras lived or worked. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about such a discovery. Write the word DISCOVERY down the side of a sheet of paper. Use each letter of the word to start a phrase or sentence indicating why the discovery is important.

Common Core State Standards: Reading closely what a text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; engaging effectively in a range of collaborative discussions; organizing data using concrete objects, pictures, tallies, tables, charts, diagrams and graphs.

5. Rescue by a Comic

Ken Jeong is most famous as a comedian and an actor in such TV shows as “The Hangover.” What many people don’t know is that before he hit it big in Hollywood he was a trained medical doctor. That training came in handy earlier this month when he had to jump into action to help a woman during a medical emergency at a comedy show Phoenix, Arizona. When the woman became disruptive in the third row, Jeong at first thought she was heckling him. Then it became apparent she was having a seizure, and Jeong jumped from the stage to help. Trained as an internal medicine practitioner, Jeong cleared the area and attended to the woman with a medic who happened to be in attendance. He stayed by her side checking vital signs until she regained consciousness and an ambulance crew arrived. Jeong received his medical degree in 1995 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. People often step up to help others in times of emergency. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about someone doing this. Use what you read to write a letter to the editor publicly thanking the person and stating how his/her actions benefited not just the person helped but the community as a whole.

Common Core State Standards: Citing specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions; producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task.