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For Grades K-4 , week of Feb. 18, 2019

1.MVP Beard

Julian Edelman had a huge game in Super Bowl 53. He also has had a huge beard that has gotten almost as much attention as his role in the New England Patriots’ win over the Los Angeles Rams. Edelman was named Most Valuable Player for catching 10 passes in the game, but when he appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres TV show, his beard proved just as valuable. Edelman agreed to let the TV host shave his beard on camera if she would donate $10,000 to the Boys & Girls Club of Boston. She agreed, and after she completed the makeover, Edelman offered viewers another surprise. He announced he would match Ellen’s donation to the Boys & Girls Club to provide a total of $20,000 for its programs. People often do amazing things to support organizations that help kids or others. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about someone helping in an amazing way. Use what you read to write a letter to the editor to publicly thank this person and tell why his/her action could inspire others. Discuss how your class could help others in an amazing or unusual way.

Common Core State Standards: Producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task; engaging effectively in a range of collaborative discussions.

2.Polar Bear Invasion

Global warming is affecting the world in important — and sometimes strange — ways. In an arctic town in the European nation of Russia, it has led to an invasion of polar bears. Since December, more than 50 polar bears have invaded the town of Belushya Guba, causing a panic among parents and community members. The huge, white bears are looking for food, because global warming has caused the sea ice where they live to grow thin and break up. With the decline of sea ice, they have not been able to hunt for seals, their main source of food in the wild. In Belushya Guba, they have been digging through garbage dumps, confronting dogs, chasing people and even searching through homes and offices. Parents are afraid to send their children to school and have put up fences around playgrounds. Belushya Guba is located inside the arctic circle near the Earth’s North Pole. Global warming is having impact all over the world. In teams use the newspaper or Internet to find and closely read stories about different effects of global warming. Use what you read to create a comic book to show different effects. Share with the class.

Common Core State Standards: Using drawings or visual displays when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or points; reading closely what a text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it.

3.New Kind of Tunnel

Can a tunnel float? The European nation of Norway is betting that it can with a huge transportation project on its southwestern coast. The project seeks to improve travel along the coast, where deep inlets called fjords make trips long and time-consuming. When the project is complete, travelers will be able to cross the fjord waters directly instead of having to drive miles and miles to get around them, CNN news reports. To make that possible, officials are planning to build “floating” tunnels 100 feet below the surface of the water to avoid the severe weather of storms off the ocean. The $40 billion project will also include three suspension bridges, five floating bridges and the world’s longest rock tunnel covering a distance of 17 miles. The project is expected to take years to complete, with a target opening in the year 2050. Tunnels, bridges and highways help people get around and transport materials from factories and stores. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a project to build a tunnel, bridge or highway. Use what you read to write a paragraph, telling how the project will benefit the community.

Common Core State Standards: Reading closely what a text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; writing informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.

4.Straw Art

Plastic pollution is a problem all over the world, and especially in the Earth’s oceans. Plastic straws are one of the biggest problems, because they are used everywhere in huge numbers. Five-hundred-million are used each day in the United States alone. To demonstrate the dangers of straw pollution, Vietnamese photographer Benjamin Von Wong created a giant artwork of a breaking ocean wave —and made it entirely out of recycled plastic straws. More than 168,000 straws were collected from restaurants and other sites in cities across his home country of Vietnam. Sorted by color, they were assembled to create an installation towering 11 feet high. The installation is called “Strawpocalypse” and will be on display until March 24 in Ho Chi Minh City. People call attention to pollution in many ways. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a pollution problem in your community or state. Use what you read to write a short editorial telling how people could call attention to this problem, and find a solution for it.

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.

5.Mummy Discovery

The people of ancient Egypt had many amazing talents. They built the famous pyramids, created picture writing known as hieroglyphics and developed a scientific way to preserve their dead as mummies. Burial sites for mummies reveal a great deal about life in ancient Egypt, and a new discovery promises to reveal even more details. At one burial site, more than 40 mummies have been found that date back more than 2,000 years. The mummies included men, women and children and were likely from a single wealthy family, Egyptian officials said. But they were not all buried the same way. Some were buried inside stone or wooden sarcophagus containers, others were under sand or floors and others were enclosed in niche spaces along the walls. Mummies and ancient tombs give scientists details about how people used to live. What could future scientists learn by studying how we live? In the newspaper or online, find a photo of an indoor scene that contains items people use at home or work. Use what you find to write a paragraph telling what the items would tell future scientists about how we live. Write a second paragraph telling what the items in your home or bedroom would tell future scientists about how your family lives. Share and discuss as a class.

Common Core State Standards: Conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic; 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.