Resources for Teachers and Students

For Grades K-4 , week of July 08, 2019

1. Wild Weather

In many places, summer is a time of extreme, and even freaky, weather. But none is likely to be freakier this year than what occurred in the Mexican city of Guadalajara. A violent hailstorm buried the city in up to five feet of ice when heavy weather hit the area. The ice buried roads, yards and even cars, and created a giant headache for clean-up crews. “I’ve never seen such scenes in Guadalajara,” the regional governor told the Agence France-Presse news service. Guadalajara is located in southwestern Mexico 330 miles west of the capital city of Mexico City and 900 miles south of the U.S. border. Extreme weather is often in the news during the summer months. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about an extreme weather event. Use what you read, and additional research, to create a poster offering safety tips for dealing with this kind of weather. Write an eye-catching headline for your poster. Use images from the newspaper or Internet to illustrate your poster.

Common Core State Standards: Reading closely what written and visual texts say and to making logical inferences from them; using drawings or visual displays when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or points.

2. Keep on Running

People have often said that you’re only as old as you feel. In the state of Louisiana, a record-setting runner feels a lot younger than she is. Julia Hawkins is 103, and she just competed in the 100-yard dash at the National Senior Games. Two years ago, she set a national record in the race, and though she didn’t beat her time this year, she had a full day. In addition to the 100, she ran the 50-yard dash at the Senior Games. She is believed to be the oldest woman ever to compete on an American track. Hawkins didn’t take up running until she was 100 years old when she had to give up bicycle racing due to the strain of hills. She likes to compete but doesn’t practice much. “As I get older, I feel like I only have so many 100-yard dashes left, and I don’t want to waste them in practice,” she told the New York Times newspaper. Senior adults today live more active lives than seniors of the past. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a senior who is living an active life. Pretend you are a reporter interviewing this senior. Write out five questions you would ask about their activities, and explain why you would ask them.

Common Core State Standards: Producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task; conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic.

3. Ancient Palace

Droughts and lack of rain can have many negative effects on areas where they occur. In the Middle East nation of Iraq, however, a drought has had a positive effect. When drought forced the water level in a reservoir to fall, it revealed a 3,400-year-old palace that had been hidden for years. The discovery inspired an unscheduled archaeological dig that has found intact rooms and interior spaces, rare wall paintings and clay tablets inscribed with cuneiform writing. “The find is one of the most important archaeological discoveries in the region in recent decades,” one archaeologist declared. “Discovering wall paintings … is an archaeological sensation,” said another. The palace was located on the banks of the famous Tigris River and dates to a period known as the Mittani Empire. Discoveries of ancient buildings or cities give scientists new information about life in the past. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read about a discovery like this. Use what you read to write a letter to a friend or relative telling what the discovery is teaching scientists.

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.

4. Two Home Cities

Sports teams like playing home games because they get extra support from the fans in their city. Now a Major League Baseball team has come up with a plan to double that home support. The Tampa Bay Rays have gotten approval to play half their home games in Tampa Bay, Florida, and half in the Canadian city of Montreal, Quebec. The goal of the plan is to increase the number of fans coming to Rays games. Tampa Bay is ranked last in the American League for attendance this year, and the team’s owners are hoping Montreal fans will be eager to see Major League Baseball again in their city. Montreal once had a Major League team — the Expos — but they moved to Washington, D.C. in 2004 and became the Nationals. Home fans show support for sports teams in many ways. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read stories about fans showing support and helping the home team. Use what you read, and personal knowledge, to write a sports column, giving your view on how home fans can help their team.

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. Fast-Moving Fox

Wild animals can travel great distances to find food, mates or new habitats when the seasons change. But few journeys are as impressive as one recorded by an arctic fox living near the Earth’s North Pole. The fox was tagged with a tracking device in 2017 and stunned researchers by traveling more than 2,175 miles in just 76 days! The young female fox was captured and tagged in the European nation of Norway and then released. In the days ahead, it traveled west over miles of sea ice, passed through the nation of Greenland and ended up on a remote island in northern Canada, according to a study published by the Norwegian Polar Institute. Researchers were stunned at the fox’s speed. “We didn’t think it was true,” one said. On one day alone, the fox traveled a distance of 96 miles. Scientists are constantly studying wildlife to learn more about their habits and lives. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a study of wildlife. Pretend you are a TV news person and prepare a news report telling what the study has learned about the wildlife species. Present your report to family or friends.

Common Core State Standards: Citing specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions; reading closely what a text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it.