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for Grades K-4

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For Grades K-4 , week of July 10, 2017

1.Grounded by Heat

States in the American West have been hit with record-setting heat this summer, and temperatures have reached almost 120 degrees in some places. It’s been so hot, in fact, that airplanes haven’t been able to take off. In Phoenix, Arizona, American Airlines canceled 50 flights over two days due to extreme heat, and more were expected as the heat wave continued. Because hotter air is thinner, some smaller regional jets cannot take off in temperatures hotter than 117 degrees, the airline said. Thin, hot air makes it harder for jet engines to build up the speed that planes need to take off. Extreme heat and weather conditions often are in the news in the summer months. In the newspaper or online find and closely read a story about extreme heat or weather. Use what you read to write a letter to the editor offering advice on how to stay cool or safe in extreme weather conditions.

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.

2.Sofia’s Fish

Eight-year-old Sofia Sabaj Pérez loves fish. She has jars of specimens in her room at home, and during the summer she gets to study and dissect fish in her father’s office at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Now she has an honor few fish-lovers get. Thanks to her dad, a rare species of catfish has been named for her. The species “Xyliphius sofiae” was discovered by Mark Sabaj Pérez of the Academy in a tributary to the Amazon River in the South American nation of Brazil. It is tiny, eyeless, pale and shaped like a banjo, with a round head and thin tail. No other example of Sofia’s fish has been found in the world, and the Academy has the only museum specimen on Earth. If you could have a wildlife species named for you, what would it be? In the newspaper or online, find and study stories and photos of a wildlife species you like. Write its name down the side of a sheet of paper. Use each letter to begin a complete sentence explaining different reasons you like this species.

Common Core State Standards: Producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task; closely reading written or visual texts to make logical inferences from it.

3.‘French Spiderman’

Alain Robert is known as the “French Spiderman,” and last month he demonstrated why. He climbed a 29-story hotel in Barcelona, Spain — without ropes! Using just his hands, the 54-year-old Robert climbed 393 feet up the glass-and-steel building in just 20 minutes. When he reached the top of the Melia Barcelona Sky Hotel, he was questioned by police, but released without charges. Robert is a free climber who works without a harness, and has climbed some of the world’s tallest structures. Climbing buildings like Spiderman is an adventure not many people get to have. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about an adventure you would like to have. Use what you read to create a comic book or series of comic strips showing you having this adventure and what it would be like.

Common Core State Standards: Using drawings or visual displays when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or points; conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic.

4. Hide the Good Stuff

Among the most common crimes in cities and shopping centers are thefts of items from parked cars. In Washington, DC, the city police are trying an unusual approach to reduce car break-ins. Officers who see valuable items out in the open in cars put a notice under the windshield wipers. Bright pink with the word “WARNING!” in large letters, the notices look like traffic tickets. When motorists read them, however, they discover they’ve gotten a reminder not to leave valuables, even bags, in plain sight in parked cars. Better yet, one DC officer noted, “Don’t leave anything in your car, even if it is something you don’t think is valuable.” The warnings being offered by Washington police are an example of police doing things to help the community. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about another effort by police to help the community. Use what you read to write a short editorial thanking the police for this effort.

Common Core State Standards: Producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task; closely reading written or visual texts to make logical inferences from it.

5.‘Hunger Games’ Hero

The “Hunger Games” books and movies have gotten millions of students excited to read about the adventures of Katniss Everdeen. Now they have helped a 12-year-old from the state of Massachusetts rescue an injured friend. Megan Gething used what she learned from the young adult novels to slow dangerous bleeding when a friend cut her leg. The friend, Mackenzie George, was playing with Megan in a marsh in the town of Gloucester when she slipped and cut open her calf muscle on her leg. Megan jumped into action and tied a pair of shorts around her friend's leg to slow the bleeding — something she learned from reading the “Hunger Games” books. Mackenzie was rushed to a hospital to repair the damage and is expected to make a complete recovery. Books that you read can teach you things that can help you in real life. With family or friends, talk about things you have learned from reading books. Use what you read to design a poster showing one or more things you learned from reading, and why that was important to you. Use images from the Internet or newspaper to illustrate your poster.

Common Core State Standards: Integrating information presented in different media or formats to develop a coherent understanding of a topic; using drawings or visual displays when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or points; conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic.