Activities & Lesson Plans - 3rd & 4th Grade Newsletter 2/19/10 - Best In Show

Grade: 3rd-4th

February 19, 2010 | Grades 3 & 4

In This Issue: Snowboarding's Shaun White, So Happy in Hawaii, Scottish Terrier is Top Dog 

Shaun White CelebratesMcTwist and Shine
In his second trip to the Winter Games, snowboarding star Shaun White soared above the competition. Two Olympic gold medals may be just the tip of the halfpipe; White has indicated he plans to compete in the 2014 Olympics.

Watch White in 2006 Olympics
See Shaun White's Website


Activity Ideas - Language Arts

Share the following snowboarding terms with your child.


Mute grab: To grasp the toe edge of the board between the bindings with the leading hand.

Nose: The front end of the snowboard.

Ollie: To jump by springing off the rear of the board.

Nollie: To jump by springing off the front of the board.

Rodeo: Combining a forward 180 or 360 spin with a 360 flip.

Switch: The reverse of natural stance.

Tail: The rear tip of the snowboard.

Bonk: To hit an object with the snowboard and ride away.


Use a dictionary to look up the traditional definition of each word in the following terms or phrases. 

Mute: Silent

Grab: To make a grasping or clutching motion

Nose: The forward end of an aircraft

Rodeo: A public exhibition of cowboy skills

Switch: To change direction or course

Tail: 1) The hindmost part of an animal; 2) Something resembling or suggesting this in shape or position

Bonk: To hit, strike, collide

  • Are any of the traditional definitions similar to snowboard meanings? Identify. Nose, Switch, Tail, Bonk.
  • Look up the origin of rodeo. How does the origin more closely resemble the way that the term is used in snowboarding? Rodeo, derived from rodear - to go round; rodear derived from rueda - wheel. The trick it describes involves a 360 degree spin, which is a full circle, or a 180, half a circle.
  • Nollie seems to be a combination of two words, based on meaning. Which words? Ollie and Nose. How does nose change the meaning of ollie? Adds definition "front end of the snowboard" to the action of an ollie.

Learning Tips: Meaning of Words
Game: Word ConfusionState of Happiness
A national survey of 350,000 people revealed that the state of Hawaii was the happiest place to live in 2009. Residents rated their state based on categories including job satisfaction, physical health and community satisfaction.
See how your state rates.

Activity Ideas - Math
Graphs & Charts

Have your child conduct a survey of friends, family and neighbors.  

  • Ask people what they like most about your town, based on five or so measurements decided upon by you and your child - Condition of roads? Amount of restaurants? Sense of community? Number of parks or public spaces? (Respondents can choose more than one measurement provided.)
  • Create or find images for each category, i.e., car for roads, smiley face for community.
  • Graph data using images. 
  • Study the results: Is one feature an overwhelming favorite? 
  • Analyze whether survey was biased or unbiased: Were the people you surveyed from different neighborhoods and age groups? Write a brief summary of the results.
Learning Tips: Problem Solving, Collect Data for a Survey

Hot Dog!

A Scottie named Sadie fetched Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. The Scottish terrier bested a Doberman pinscher, C.J., the country's second-ranked dog. A crowd favorite—the golden retriever—didn't win any titles but lapped up the raucous applause.

Activity Ideas - Language Arts
Speaking and Language
Read the following sayings, then match each one with its translation.

  • Bark is worse than its bite. D
  • You can't teach an old dog new tricks. C
  • Barking up the wrong tree. B
  • Raining cats and dogs. A
A. Raining very heavily.

B. Making a mistake or false assumption in something you are trying to achieve.

C. People who find it difficult or impossible to change their ways or adjust to new ideas.

D. Acts threatening but is relatively harmless.

Bonus: Together with your child, come up with a saying based on a family member—human or "animal." See if family can guess what it means.

Say What?: The Phrase Finder
Learning TipsSayings and Expressions Game of the Week
Game of the Week

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