Activities & Lesson Plans - 1st & 2nd Grade Newsletter Discovering Ancient Alexandria

Grade: 1st-2nd

June 1, 2010 | Grades 1&2

In This Issue: Cleopatra's City, Silly Bandz Craze, New Rules for Facebook

Underwater Excavation PhotoA Sunken City
Underwater archaeologists discovered a 1,600-year-old city off the coast of Alexandria, in Egypt. The sprawling palace and temple complex was once home to Cleopatra. The archaeologists have unearthed well-preserved ancient artifacts, including coins and statues of rulers.
Activity Ideas - Math

Share this with your child: In Cleopatra's time, the Romans developed a system of counting that is very much like our counting system today.
  • Challenge your child to write out 1-10 in Roman numerals: I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, VIIII, X
  • Write the numbers 1-10 next to the Roman numerals.
  • ASK: What are some similarities that our number system shares with the Roman numeral system? A symbol is used to stand for a number; the place of the symbol helps determine the numeral's value; symbols are added and subtracted to determine value; numbers read from left to right.
Bonus: Challenge your child to write the Roman numerals as equations using our number system, as follows: 
III = 1+1+1 = 3 
IV = 5-1= 4
VI = 5+1 = 6

Learning TipsShow a Number in Different Ways

A Fad Gone Bad

The latest kids' craze is driving teachers crazy. Kids layer stretchy, colorful bracelets called Silly Bandz on their wrists, and then trade for different shapes. The fad has become such a distraction that schools in New York, Texas and several other states have told kids to leave them at home—or lose them.

Activity Ideas - Language Arts
  • Imagine that you are a reporter for the local radio station. Your assignment: to research and report about the Silly Bandz craze. 
  • Find credible sources for writing the facts—in this case, online newspapers or magazines.
  • Introduce and summarize the issue in the first few paragraphs. Now, it's time to interview people involved in the story: teachers and kids.
  • Write down a few questions for each interviewee based on the facts you've gathered. 
  • Carefully write their responses. You don't want to get their quotes wrong. 
  • Quote both sides of the story so that readers get a balanced view.
Learning Tips: Report on a Factual Topic

Users Say It's Personal
Facebook has promised to change its privacy rules in response to users' concerns that their personal information is becoming too public. The settings in question, which kicked in just last month, threatened to make the social network extremely unpopular.  

Activity Ideas - Language Arts

  • Discuss the way that Facebook addressed users' concerns. 
  • Review CEO Mark Zuckerberg's presentation on YouTube or through remarks included in news articles. 
  • Imagine: If you were CEO, how would you address users' concerns? 
  • Write a response that is brief and to the point. 
  • Practice reading in front of family or friends. Remember to speak slowly and clearly. 
Learning Tips: Speaking Clearly
Play It Safe: Kids aren't always as cautious as they need to be. Keep them safe online

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