Activities & Lesson Plans - 3rd & 4th Grade Newsletter 1/22/10 - Get The 411 On Kids Cell Phone Use

Grade: 3rd-4th

January 22, 2010 | Grades 3 & 4

In This Issue: Dracula Sneeze and Other Words of 2009; Cell Phone Survey

Tweet This: Words of Year Here

In 2009, good parents in the U.S. reminded their children to Dracula sneeze, which was especially important during the H1N1 scare. Well-behaved, well-traveled adults, on the other hand, avoided becoming bragabonds. And for anyone who would like to succeed in twenty-ten, take note: don't refer to 2010 as "oh-ten." Don't refer to fish as "sea kittens." And for goodness sake, stop reading slow media. The American Dialect Society has released its annual Words of the Year List, which includes Most Outrageous and Most Creative words, Words Most- and Least-Likely to Succeed, as well as other categories. 


Activity Ideas - Language Arts 


In Behold the Bold Umprellaphant, wordsmith Jack Prelutsky introduces oddly wonderful and uniquely skilled creatures who are combinations of animals and objects: the Ballpoint Penguins, the Clocktopus, the tearful Zipperpotamuses, a Spatuloon!

  • Make up a few words that are combinations of two different things. Have your child do the same. Then, swap lists and try to determine the definition and original words that make up each strange new one.
  • Brainstorm with your child about some of the words we use everyday that are combinations of other words—breakfast + lunch = brunch!
  • Challenge your child to use the same two words to make an alternative that means the same thing, i.e., "brench."
Meet an Umbrellaphant and more:Visit Jack Prelutsky online 
Write With Writers: Be inspired by Prelutsky

Toddler on CellCan You Hear Me Now?
A recently released study found that in the past five years, children's cell phone ownership has increased 68%. Twenty percent of 6- to 11-year-olds currently own a cell phone, as compared to 11.9% of children in 2005. The increase among 10- to 11-year-olds is off the hook, up 80.5%. The American Kids Study surveyed approximately 5,000 participants.

Share the following results from the American Kids Study with your child.


Cell Phone Activites for kids 6-11

Call my parents  88%

Call friends  68%

Emergency purposes  56%

Text messaging  54%

Play games  49%

Take pictures 48%

Listen to music  34%

Picture messaging  24%

Download ring tones  17%

Activity Ideas - Math 
Graphs & Charts
Suggest that your child conduct a survey at his or her school using the nine activities from the American Kids Study. Respondents can can select as many or as few of the activities as they would like.
  • ASK your child: How would you be sure to remain unbiased? (Answers may include: Don't reveal any of the results from the original study. Mix up the order of the list so that there is no indication of the study's results.) 
  • Have your child brainstorm ways to record the information in an organized manner. How would you record the information once all the surveys have been collected? (ANSWER: Use a tally chart with two columns: on left, list the nine activities; on right, the votes. Record the votes as tally marks under 'Votes,' in groups of five. Total the tally marks for each activity.)
  • Show results as percentages: Divide each activity's vote total by the total number of kids that voted. Imagine that 500 kids turned in survey answers. Calculate the percentage of votes for each activity. 
  • 425 use their cell phones to call home. 85% (425 votes ÷ 500 voters = 0.85 or 85%)
  • 400 use their cell phones to call friends. 80% (400 votes ÷ 500 voters =  0.8 or 80%)
  • 391 use their cell to text message. 78% (391 votes ÷ 500 voters =  0.782 or 78%)
  • 378 use cell to play games. 76% (378 votes ÷ 500 = 0.756 or 76%)
  • 354 use cell for emergencies. 71% (354 ÷ 500 = 0.708 or 71%)
  • 350 use cell for listening to music. 70% (350 ÷ 500 = 0.7 or 70%)
  • 267 use cell for picture messaging. 53% (267 ÷ 500 = 0.534 or 53%)
  • 233 use cell to download music. 47% (233 ÷ 500 = 0.466 or 47%)
  • 188 use cell to take pictures. 38% (188 ÷ 500 = 0.376 or 38%)

Learning Tips: Collect Data for a Survey

Game: Answer Questions About Graphs


Game of the Week
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