Activities & Lesson Plans - 3rd & 4th Grade Newsletter 2/12/10 - Olympics 2010

Grade: 3rd-4th

February 12, 2010 | Grades 3&4

In This Issue: Kids' Obesity Campaign, Olympics 2010 Begin, Snowmageddon

Michelle Obama: Get Moving, Kids

First Lady Michelle Obama has officially launched the "Let's Move" initiative to fight childhood obesity. The campaign aims to help parents make healthy choices for their family, serve quality food in schools, improve access and affordability of healthy foods, and increase physical activity for kids. 

Learn more about childhood obesity and ways to help at the CDC website.
Partnership for a Healthier America 


Activity Ideas - Language Arts

The First Lady wants kids and parents to get moving. Warm up with these verbal exercises.

  • Together with your child, come up with "active" verbs. Use one or two in a sentence.
  • Identify the irregular verbs in this list: run, jump, dance, skip, chase, play, fly (run, ran; fly, flew).
  • Write a few sentences about Olympic events and athletes, using active verbs and descriptive adverbs. Make your sentences as lively as possible. See examples below; identify the verbs and adverbs.

Shaun White soars (v.) on his snowboard, flipping (v.) fearlessly (adv.) through the air.

The figure skaters glide (v.) gracefully (adv.) across the ice.

Apolo Anton Ohno leans (v.) precariously (adv.) into each turn, passing (v.) competitors so swiftly (adv.) that it looks (v.) like they are standing (v.) still.

Learning Tips: Verbs, Adverbs, Prepositions and Conjunctions

Verbs, Pronouns and Adjectives 
Verb Viper

Going for the Gold
Let the 2010 Winter Games begin! The world's best athletes from more than 80 countries are vying for Olympic Gold. Vancouver, Canada, hosts 17 days of thrills, chills in 15 sports, including skeleton, snowboarding, alpine skiing, figure skating, speed skating and luge. 

Meet Miga, Mukmuk and their 2010 Vancouver mascot friends.
Watch this cool animated promo, featuring an Inuit athlete.


Activity Ideas - Math

These countries make up the Top 5 All-Time Winter Standings for Total Medals. Order the list from most medals to least, by total medal count. 


Austria: 51 Gold Medals, 64 Silver Medals, 70 Bronze Medals - 185 Total Medals

Norway: 98 Gold, 98 Silver, 84 Bronze - 280 Total

Germany: 68 Gold, 65 Silver, 46 Bronze - 179 Total

United States: 78 Gold, 80 Silver, 58 Bronze - 216 Total

Soviet Union: 87 Gold, 63 Silver, 67 Bronze - 217 Total 


Imagine that you want to graph the results. Brainstorm ways to present the information in a visually interesting way. 

Possibilities include: Bar graph, using medals stacked on top of each other to make the bar; include count for gold, silver and bronze totals within bar by using gold medals for gold total, silver medals for silver total, bronze medals for bronze total, which together add up to Medal Total.

Learning Tips: Graphs and Charts


NYT Reader PhotosOh No, More Snow

A flurry of powerful snow storms left people in several states digging out for days. Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Philadelphia announced new annual snow records. 

Activity Ideas - Math

Share the following with your child: In February 1983, an extremely heavy snowstorm swept through states from Virginia to New England. At its strongest, the storm dumped 2 to 3 inches of snow in just two hours.


  • At this rate, how many inches fell per hour? 1 to 1 1/2 inches per hour (2 inches ÷ 2 hours = 1 inch per hour) (3 inches ÷ 2 hours = 1.5 inches per hour); convert 0.5 to fraction: 1/2 (5/10: 5 ÷ 5 = 1; 10 ÷ 5 =2)
  • How many inches would have fallen after six hours? 6 - 9 inches (1 inch  x  6 hours = 6 inches) (1.5 inches x 6 hours = 9 inches)  
  • Allentown, Pennsylvania, got 10 inches of snow in just two hours. At that rate, how many inches would have fallen after 8 hours? 40 inches (10 inches ÷ 2 hours = 5 inches per hour) (5 inches/hour x 8 hours = 40 inches)
  • Convert 40 inches into feet (1 foot = 12 inches ): 3.3 feet (40 inches ÷ 12 inches = 3.3 feet)

The New York Times readers shared photos online, including the bundled cross-country skier (above left).

Game of the Week
Reggie Loves to Rhyme Game Classroom
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