Activities & Lesson Plans - 1st & 2nd Grade Newsletter Crash Test Dummies Retire To Smithsonian

Grade: 1st-2nd July 23, 2010 

In This Issue: New National Education Standards, The Smithsonian Crash Test Dummies, Sea Creatures in Australia The State of Education
Twenty-seven states have adopted new national education standards in an effort to ensure students everywhere get an equally good education. Twelve more are expected to do so in early August. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has provided financial support to the effort, which includes President Obama's Race to the Top competition. States with enough points by August 2 will receive a share of $3.4 million.

Activity Ideas - Language Arts

Tell your child that graphs present information in an organized fashion. Review the different kinds of graphs.

Imagine that you are creating a graph to show which states have
 adopted the national standards. What kind of graph would you use?
a. Pictograph of U.S.
b. Pie graph showing how the contest money will be distributed.
c. Venn diagram comparing Massachusetts state standards with the new national standards.

How would you identify the states that have adopted the standards?
a. Provide a list and let people find the states themselves.
b. Make them a different color than the rest of the map.
c. Write "adopted national standards" in each state.

The pictograph will need a key. What does a key do in this case?
a. Opens a door.
b. Shows how the information is identified.
c.  Provides background information.

Learning TipsReading Diagrams, Charts and Graphs  
Dummies Delivered Words of Wisdom
Whiplash, severed limbs—just another day at the office for Vince and Larry. The crash test dummies starred in public safety ads in the 1980s telling people to buckle up; they provided humorous but painful-looking examples of what might happen if you didn't. Vince and Larry's latest stint in an auto-safety exhibit at the Smithsonian's Museum of Natural History promises to be a little less jarring.  
Watch Vince and Larry on Kideos

Activity Ideas - Math
Actors Tony Reitano and Whitney Rydbeck played Vince and Larry; it took 45 minutes to get in and out of costume. Use this information to answer the questions; you will need an analog clock.

  • If the producers plan to start filming the commercial at 12:00 p.m. sharp, what time should Tony and Whitney start putting on their costumes? 11:15 a.m.
  • The commercial shoot takes 4 hours. At what time do Tony and Whitney get to take off their costumes? 4:00 p.m. 
  • When will they be free of their costumes? 4:45 p.m.
  • Tony and Whitney have a 1½ hour break for lunch. How much time would they have to eat if they took off their costumes? No time. (1 hour = 60 minutes; ½ hour = 30 minutes) (60 minutes + 30 minutes = 90 minutes) (45 minutes + 45 minutes = 90 minutes)
Learning TipsTelling Time  The Sea Creatures From Down Under
Say cheese! Scientists have photographed never-before-seen sea creatures by placing high tech cameras on the ocean floor. A six-gilled shark and octopus with a shell are just a few of the curious-looking species living beneath the Great Barrier Reef. The scientists plan to identify the deep sea dwellers and in so doing, protect them from extinction.

Activity Ideas - Language Arts
Imagine that you are describing a rare discovery that you just made; it's so rare in fact that no one but you has seen it, and you don't have a photo.

  • Select an animal, insect, fruit or vegetable and describe it in great detail. 
  • Write a paragraph about your "discovery" that includes information on its appearance, behavior, smell and taste, if applicable. 
  • Challenge friends or family to guess what it is, based on your description.
Learning TipsProviding Descriptions and Sensory Detail  Game of the Week

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