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For Grades K-4 , week of Mar. 04, 2019

1. Read, Read, Read!

March is National Reading Month, and all over the country students, schools and families are celebrating. It got into gear on March 2 — Dr. Seuss’s birthday — and it continues through the end of the month. The goal is to explore all the kinds of reading there are, and to develop skills by reading different types. These include books, of course, but also newspapers, websites, social media and any other place where words are used to entertain, get your attention or provide information. Everything you read improves your vocabulary and helps you understand how people communicate. The goal for National Reading Month is to get students to read 15 minutes a day. Use the newspaper and Internet to meet that goal. Start with news stories, but expand your reading to include comic strips, sports stories, music reviews and more. Keep a log of what you read each day, what you learned and what you enjoyed while reading.

Common Core State Standards: Reading closely what a text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic.

2. Now THAT’s Caring!

The Girl Scout law urges girls to do their best to be “considerate and caring.” In the state of South Carolina, two scouts selling cookies on cold night recently got a lesson in caring they won’t soon forget. And they got it from a total stranger. The scouts were selling their famous Girl Scout cookies outside a store on a night when the temperature was just two degrees above freezing. A man came up and bought $40 worth of cookies, and then decided to do more, CNN news reported. He looked at the girls standing in the cold and announced he was buying their entire table “so y’all can get out of this cold,” cookie manager Kayla Dillard told CNN. His purchase totaled $540, and Dillard said the girls were both shocked and thankful. Best of all, they got to see the Girl Scout law come to life. People show kindness and caring for others in many ways. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about someone showing kindness or caring. Use what you read to write a short editorial for the newspaper, telling why this person’s actions made the community better.

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.

3. Extremely Rare Penguin

The emperor penguin is the tallest and heaviest of all living penguins and is known around the world for its black and white markings. Now a film crew working on the continent of Antarctica near the Earth’s South Pole has discovered what may be the rarest emperor penguin of all. The crew working for BBC television has filmed an adult emperor that is all black, front and back. Most emperor penguins have black backs and white bellies, which helps camouflage them among the rocks and snow of their habitat. BBC believes its images may be the only ones ever filmed of an all-black emperor. Rare or unusual wildlife are often in the news. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a sighting of a rare bird or animal. Use what you read to brainstorm an idea for a creative story about what it would be like to be that unusual creature. Give your story a creative title and write a summary of your plot.

Common Core State Standards: Writing narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events; applying knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts.

4. Light Saber Sport

From the very first “Star Wars” movie, fighting with light sabers has captured the imagination of fans. Now it has been declared a sport in the European nation of France. The French Fencing Federation has recognized light saber “dueling” as a competitive sport, alongside other traditional styles of sword fighting. Fencing is an Olympic sport in which competitors face off with different types of sword blades and attempt to score by touching their opponents with their blade. Federation officials said they were adding light saber dueling as a sport because of its growth in popularity. Football and basketball get a lot of attention in the sports world, but more unusual sports like fencing also have a following. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about an unusual sport that interests you. Use what you read to write a short sports column, telling why this sport appeals to fans, and what special skills players must have.

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.

5. Small Tyrannosaur

Tyrannosaurus rex was the largest and fiercest meat-eating dinosaur of its time. But Tyrannosaurs weren’t always the huge carnivores feared by all other dinosaurs. A discovery of a new fossil in the state of Utah indicates that early Tyrannosaurs were much smaller and only grew in size as years went by. The new dinosaur named Moros intrepidus was just the size of a deer and was not yet at the top of the dinosaur food chain. Despite its small size, it was a fierce hunter, scientists say. It was lightweight and very fast and had sharp, sharp teeth. It “could easily have run down prey,” one researcher said. The newly discovered dinosaur lived about 96 million years ago. Tyrannosaurs died out about 66 million years ago, when a huge meteor was believed to have hit the Earth. Dinosaur discoveries help scientists learn about ancient species that lived on Earth. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a dinosaur discovery. Use what you read to write a paragraph or short paper explaining what new things the discovery is teaching scientists.

Common Core State Standards: Conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic; citing specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions.