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Lessons for

Grades 1-4
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Past lessons
for Grades 5-8

Dec. 11, 2017
Dec. 04, 2017
Nov. 27, 2017
Nov. 20, 2017
Nov. 13, 2017
Nov. 06, 2017
Oct. 30, 2017
Oct. 23, 2017
Oct. 16, 2017
Oct. 09, 2017
Oct. 02, 2017
Sep. 25, 2017
Sep. 18, 2017
Sep. 11, 2017
Sep. 04, 2017
Aug. 28, 2017
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Aug. 07, 2017
July 31, 2017
July 24, 2017
July 17, 2017
July 10, 2017
June 26, 2017
June 19, 2017
June 12, 2017
June 05, 2017
May 29, 2017
May 22, 2017
May 15, 2017
May 08, 2017
May 01, 2017
Apr 24, 2017
Apr 17, 2017
Apr 10, 2017
Apr 03, 2017
Mar. 27, 2017
Mar. 20, 2017
Mar. 13, 2017
Mar. 06, 2017

For Grades 5-8 , week of Sep. 11, 2017

1. Fish, Plastics & You

In the world’s oceans, one of the biggest pollution problems is the amount of plastic dumped into the water as trash. And the problem is even more involved than first thought. A new study has found that as many as 50 species of fish eat the plastic, and that could pose a health risk to humans who eat those fish as food. The plastics may not kill the fish, but toxic compounds in them can accumulate in fish tissues, researchers say. When those fish are eaten by humans as food, the toxins then could accumulate in human bodies and pose a health risk. And why do the fish eat the plastics? Researchers say they likely mistake it for food because of its color — or even its smell. The accumulation of plastics in the ocean is a pollution problem that affects many people. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about another pollution problem that affects many people. Use what you read to write a paragraph or short paper outlining how big the problem is, how it affects people, what is presently being done about it and what you think should be done.

Common Core State Standards: Writing informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly; conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic.

2. Cassini’s Final Act

In the history of space missions, the Cassini spacecraft has been “the little engine that could.” For 13 years it has orbited the planet Saturn, making discovery after discovery and documenting its findings in dramatic photos and data. This week, Cassini will end its mission, when it dives toward Saturn’s core and burns up in the planet’s atmosphere. But right to the end, it will be transmitting data back to Earth in a final fly-by past the moon Titan and exploration of the gaps between the planet’s famous rings. Previously Cassini enabled the Huygens landing craft to make the first U.S. touch-down on a moon other than Earth’s own and discovered that the icy moon Enceladus may have an underground ocean that could support life. Cassini has been “our eyes and ears,” noted one scientist, “allowing us to reach out and touch the world [of Saturn] and its rings.” The Cassini mission to Saturn has been one of the most successful ever for America’s NASA space agency. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about another NASA space mission. Brainstorm an idea for a comic book explaining the mission and its goals. Write an outline for your comic book. Then draw the opening scene.

Common Core State Standards: Using drawings or visual displays when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or points; writing narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events.

3. A New Louvre

The Louvre museum in Paris, France, is the world’s largest art museum and one of the great cultural attractions for tourists. Now, after operating for more than 200 years in a grand Paris palace, it is opening its first branch in the Middle East city of Abu Dhabi. The Louvre Abu Dhabi will open in November and will feature 300 works loaned by French institutions in the first year. The museum will have 23 permanent galleries with space to display more than 600 exhibits at a time in a gleaming new building that took 10 years to build. It is the first attraction of the new Cultural District in the capital city of the nation known as the United Arab Emirates. Museums are a source of pride in many communities, showcasing art, history, science and many other topics. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read stories and listings about a museum in your community or state. Use what you read to design and write a brochure highlighting the attractions at the museum and why people should visit. Give your brochure an eye-catching headline to attract attention.

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.

4. Ruby Chocolate!

Chocolate lovers of the world have something to celebrate this fall. A new flavor has been invented to go with the familiar dark, milk and white varieties — and it’s ruby red! A chocolate company in the European nation of Switzerland announced this month that its chocolate makers have come up with a formula for what it calls Ruby Chocolate. Ruby Chocolate is made from ruby cocoa beans to create a “berry-fruitiness and luscious smoothness,” according to the chocolate company Barry Callebaut. It is the first new type of chocolate in 80 years and the first since white chocolate was introduced in the 1930s. The Barry Callebaut company hopes that Ruby Chocolate will appeal to people’s interest in new or unusual foods. In the newspaper or online, find ads or stories about an unusual food that you think could become popular. Use what you read to brainstorm an idea for a TV ad to introduce the food and make people want to try it. Write the text for your ad and note what images you would use.

Common Core State Standards: Writing narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events; conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic.

5. 2nd Home for Amazon

Amazon is now the largest Internet-based retailer in the world and a growing force in cloud computing. It is growing so fast, in fact, that it has announced plans to open a second headquarters in North America that will employ as many as 50,000 workers. The location has not been chosen, however, and cities and regional development organizations have been invited to submit proposals. The new “HQ2” facility will cost at least $5 billion to construct and operate. “We expect HQ2 to be a full equal to our Seattle headquarters,” said Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. “Amazon HQ2 will bring billions of dollars in up-front and ongoing investments, and tens of thousands of high-paying jobs. We’re excited to find a second home.” The company estimates that its investments in Seattle from 2010 to 2016 added $38 billion to the city's economy. Cities and communities are always looking to attract new businesses. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read stories about a city in your state working to attract new businesses. Use what you read to write a paragraph or short paper detailing why this city would be a good site for Amazon or another business to locate in.

Common Core State Standards: Writing informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly; conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic.