, week of
Feb. 27, 2017
1. Black History Month
This week, the nation wraps up its yearly celebration of Black History Month. During Black History Month people learn new things about the achievements and heritage of African Americans. In honor of the celebration, use the newspaper and Internet to learn some new things about African Americans who are making news today. Find and closely read stories about three black leaders who are achieving success or making a positive difference in their communities. For each, make a list of new things you learned by reading the stories. Then make a list of things you would still like to learn about each person. Discuss what you have learned and want to learn as a class.
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.
A medical attack of appendicitis used to mean immediate surgery for a child. A new study, however, concludes that an antibiotic drug works just as well in most cases. In the medical journal called JAMA Surgery, researchers report that most children treated with an antibiotic don’t need surgery to treat an inflamed appendix. And with antibiotics, the report declares, the pain is gone almost immediately. For those concerned about the pain returning, surgery may be the best option, however. “Both are safe,” the researchers say. “Both are reasonable.” Medical treatments are often in the news because they can affect many people. It also is a topic many people are interested in. As a class, use the newspaper or Internet to find and closely read a story about a medical treatment that is making news. Use what you read to write a paragraph explaining why the treatment is in the news, whom it affects most and what long-term effects it will have on keeping people healthy.
Common Core State Standards: Reading closely what a text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; citing specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions.
3. Plant Life
Plants play an important role in human and animal lives. Plants provide food, plants provide medicines, plants like trees provide materials for building or shelter. Look through the ads and photos of the newspaper and list as many products and materials as you can that come from plants. Stretch your thinking as you do this. Some things are not obvious. Finish by rating the products or materials in order of importance to you and your family. Discuss your findings as a class.
Common Core State Standards: Conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic; engaging effectively in a range of collaborative discussions.
4. Spring Training
Baseball’s spring training is under way, and Major League teams are getting ready for the 2017 season. One of the most important things teams do in spring training is decide which players will make the team for the regular season. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read spring training stories about a team that interests you. Use what you read to write a paragraph or short essay about players hoping to make the team, and how likely it is that they will be successful.
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. Build Writing Skills
Reading the newspaper is a great way to build reading skills. It’s also a great way to build writing skills. Reading the stories of newspaper writers shows you many ways to tell a story. Feature writers, for example, often look for unusual and creative approaches. Here’s a way to practice your creativity. Pick a photo showing an indoor or outdoor scene in the newspaper or online. You are going to write a description of the scene, based on what is in the picture. The challenge: Your description should tell what the scene is like from a sense other than sight. Start by writing only what you think you could HEAR in the scene. For added challenge, try other senses like SMELL or TOUCH. Read descriptions aloud and discuss them as a class.
Common Core State Standards: Conducting short research projects that build knowledge about a topic; 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.
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