Activities & Lesson Plans - 3rd & 4th Grade Newsletter 1/29/10 - Movie Popcorn Gets Bad Ratings

Grade: 3rd-4th

January 29, 2010 | Grades 3 & 4

In This Issue: Generation M, as in "Multitask"; Biking for Haiti; A Big, Bad Bucket of Popcorn

Do You Multitask?
When they're not at school or asleep, kids 8-18 spend almost every waking moment using a smart phone, computer, television or other electronic device. And more often than not, they're multitasking—texting friends, watching a video on YouTube and studying for a test. The Kaiser Family Foundation recently released Generation M2, a study that found that kids spend more than seven and a half hours a day on entertainment media; the multitaskers pack an average of nearly 11 hours of media content into that same seven.

Read More on Multitasking: "Texting, Surfing, Studying?", The New York Times 

Activity Ideas - Language Arts
Share this fact with your child: Nearly one in three (31%) 8- to 18-year-olds say that "most" of the time while doing homework, they are also using one medium or another—watching TV, texting, listening to music, etc.


Challenge your child to a "multitasking showdown." 

  • First, each pick a task—reading an encyclopedia entry, solving two word problems, memorizing a few vocabulary words.
  • Find a second task of similar length and difficulty. Take turns, each completing his or her own task. Be sure to time one another.
  • Recite the poem, summarize the entry, show your problem-solving process and answers, or get quizzed on your vocabulary words.
  • Record your times. Do your second, similar activity while listening to an iPod, watching the Muppets Bohemian Rhapsody on Kideos, playing an online game and/or texting. 
  • Test what you learned, review your work or summarize what you read. Did multitasking slow your speed or make it difficult for you to concentrate? Were you able to complete your task? Compare notes: Did multitasking bring up any generational differences?
  • Add tech activities if you'd like to continue the experiment.

A Hero on Two Wheels

Seven-year-old Charlie Simpson from London, England, has raised nearly $330,000 (200,000 pounds) to help people in Haiti. Charlie became so upset by the suffering he saw on the news that he decided to do something about it. His mom helped him set up a fundraising page at JustGiving, where people could go to sponsor his 5-mile bike ride in a local park. The donations have been pouring in ever since. The money that Charlie raises will help fund UNICEF's Haiti Earthquake Children's Appeal.


Activity Ideas - Language Arts

Synonyms, Antonyms

 Imagine that you are a journalist writing a story about Charlie Simpson. You want your article to stand apart from all the others. How can you do this? 

  • Brainstorm new, creative adjectives to describe Charlie and his fundraising efforts. Create a list of any that you like. 
  • Look at some of the words that have been used in articles that you have seen. Add these to the list.
  • Consult a thesaurus for synonyms; you may find some great words to replace the overused ones. Be sure that they fit in the context you will be using them.
Here are some examples to get you started:
  1. Charlie is a generous, kind person.
  2.  His fundraising efforts are inspiring and admirable.

Generous: altruistic, benevolent
Kind: compassionate, good-hearted

inspiring: heartening, motivating

admirable: commendable


GameWord Confusion

Learning TipsUsing a Thesaurus



Popcorn ImageNow Showing: Killer Popcorn
Next time you go to the movies, steer clear of the concession stand. In a study by  The Center for Science in the Public Interest lab tests revealed that a bucket of movie popcorn is loaded with calories, sodium and saturated fat.

Activity Ideas - Math
The numbers below are for a large bucket of popcorn; use them to calculate the calorie, sodium and fat content per cup.

  • Regal Cinemas: 20 cups of popcorn, 1,200 calories, 980 milligrams of sodium and 60 grams of saturated fat.
  • AMC: 16 cups, 1,030 calories, 580 milligrams of sodium and 57 grams of saturated fat.
  • Cinemark: 17 cups, 910 calories, 1,500 milligrams of sodium and 4 grams of saturated fat.
Per-Cup Calculations
Regal:  (1,200 calories ÷ 20 cups = 60 calories/cup) (980 milligrams sodium ÷ 20 cups = 49 milligrams sodium/cup) (60 grams saturated fat ÷ 20 cups = 3 grams saturated fat/cup)

AMC: (1,030 calories ÷ 16 cups = 64 calories/cup) (580 milligrams sodium ÷ 16 cups = 36 milligrams sodium/cup) (57 grams saturated fat ÷ 16 cups = 4 grams saturated fat/cup)

Cinemark: (910 calories ÷ 17 cups = 54 calories/cup) (1,500 milligrams sodium ÷ 17 cups = 88 milligrams sodium/cup) (4 grams saturated fat ÷ 17 cups = 0.2 grams saturated fat/cup

Create a customized food pyramid with help of the USDA.  See how the servings above fit into your calorie content and daily requirements.  

Learning TipsDivide Large Numbers by a 1-digit Number

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