, week of
Mar. 20, 2017
1. Hello, Spring
Spring officially arrives this week in the United States. The first day of spring, or the Vernal Equinox, occurs on Monday, March 20. On this day there are equal amounts of spring daylight and darkness (in the Latin language, the word “vernal” means “spring” and “equinox” means “equal night.” In springtime, people want to get outside and have fun after being indoors for much of the winter. In honor of spring, use the newspaper or Internet to find photos of people having fun outdoors. Use one or more photos as inspiration for a poem, song, rap or rhyme titled “It’s Spring!” In your poem, include what spring means to you and how it makes you feel.
Common Core State Standards: Demonstrating understanding of figurative language; applying knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts.
2. Science & Technology
Science and technology are constantly changing the way we live, work, communicate and have fun. Many of the biggest changes are connected to the invention and expansion of the Internet. In the newspaper or online, search stories and ads for examples of how the Internet is playing a bigger role in our lives every day. Keep a list of all the examples you find. Finish by writing the beginning of a news story summarizing your findings. Is the Internet used in certain ways more than others? Draw a pie chart to go with your story to show or group different ways the Internet is used.
Common Core State Standards: Organizing data using concrete objects, pictures, tallies, tables, charts, diagrams and graphs; 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.
3. Protests in the News
When people want to call attention to issues, they often gather together for rallies, protests or marches. Many of the biggest rallies in the 2016 presidential race were staged by supporters of President Trump, and the biggest event this year was the Women’s March on Washington. The right of people to gather together and express their opinions is guaranteed in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The First Amendment gives all people freedom of speech and the freedom to assemble together. As a class, use the newspaper or Internet to closely read a story about people gathering together to express their views about an issue or leader. Use what you read to write a short editorial giving your opinion on why it is important to have the rights of assembly and free speech — and what America would be like if people did not have these rights.
Common Core State Standards: Writing opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information; citing specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions.
4. Love Those Celebrities!
One of the most famous celebrities in American history was Harry Houdini. He was born 143 years ago on March 24, 1874 and was famous for death-defying escapes as a magician. People are still amazed by his skills and bravery, and in today’s time people still love celebrities. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a celebrity from today. Use what you read to write an entertainment column or persuasive essay discussing whether or not you think this person will still be famous 100 years from now. Be sure to give at least three reasons to explain why you think the way you do.
Common Core State Standards: Reading closely what a text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; 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. Creative Advertising
Some of the most creative ideas and language can be found in ads you see on TV, in the newspaper and on the Internet. As a class, discuss ads you have seen that you have liked. Think like a consumer reporter and write a one-paragraph review of one ad you liked, giving your opinion on why it appealed to you. Then search the ads in the newspaper and pick the one that appeals to you the most. Write a one-paragraph review of that ad as well. Compare reviews as a class and discuss.
Common Core State Standards: Writing opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information; citing specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions; engaging effectively in a range of collaborative discussions.