Activities & Lesson Plans - 3rd & 4th Grade Newsletter 5/10/10 - The Webby Awards

Grade: 3rd-4th
May 10, 2010 | Grades 3&4
In This Issue: Good Kids' Reads, A Sugar Tax, Web-sters' Who's Who 

Little Page-Turners
A good book isn't hard to find, especially at this time of year. Children's Book Week (CBW), from May 10-16, gives kids and families the chance to celebrate words, wonderful words. The best part? Kids get to vote on their favorite books, authors and illustrators of the year.  
Activity Ideas - Language Arts
Got Character? Here are a few activities to bring to life people or creatures from beloved books.
  • Imagine that two characters from separate books ended up together. What kind of story would that start? Write a short story based on the meeting of their different characteristics, worlds and experiences. (For example, Harry Potter ends up in the fireplace of American Girl Kit, during the Great Depression. Does he try to magic her out of the situation?)
  • Pick a book character that you like or admire. Analyze his or her character: Make a T-chart comparing his or her behavior and actions before and after the conflict in the story is solved.
  • Pretend that you are the character's biographer: Write about him, her, or it, drawing on details from the story. 
Learning TipsCharacterization - 4th GradeCharacterization - 3rd Grade
Thank a Teacher: Good books and good teachers go hand in hand. 
Find Good Books
: Children's Choices Booklist

The Fizz Over Soda

Most Americans love to slurp the sweet stuff, but health officials concerned with our nation's obesity rates say soda is a big offender. More than 30 states now tax the bubbly beverage in an effort to curb the average individual's drinking habit—50 gallons of sugar-added drinks a year. California and New York are among several states considering an even higher soda tax.  

Activity Ideas - Math
The average American drinks 50 gallons a year. That works out to about eight two-liter bottles of soda a month! 
A normal serving is 8 fluid ounces. 
There are about eight 8 fl oz servings in a two-liter bottle of soda.

: Use the information above to solve these problems.
  • If you drink the average of eight two-liter bottles a month, how many 8-fluid ounce cups are you drinking each month? 64 8-fl oz cups soda/month. 8 fl oz serving x 8 servings per two-liter = 64 8 fl oz cups soda/month.
  • On average, a small soft drink at a fast-food joint is 16 ounces. How many servings is that? Two servings.  16 fl oz ÷ 8 fl oz = 2 servings. 
  • A medium fountain soda is 21 fl oz. How many servings is that? Almost three servings.  21 fl oz ÷ 8 fl oz = 2.63 servings, which is almost 3 servings.
  • A large is 32 fl oz. How many servings is that? Four servings.  32 fl oz ÷ 8 fl oz = 4 servings
Try ThisHave your child use a measuring cup to see what one serving looks like in a glass he or she usually uses. ASK: Is it more or less than you thought?
Soda Tricks: MythBusters on Kideos  
Learning Tips: Measure Length and Volume

Animal in Bohemian RhapsodyAnd the Webby Goes to...
Muppet Mania swept the web earlier this year, introducing some Internet users to Queen and letting others relive the rhapsody. The Muppets' wild performance of "Bohemian Rhapsody" was crowned Viral Video of the Year by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences. For 14 years running the Webby Awards have celebrated Internet achievement

Activity Ideas - Language Arts
The Webbys are known for their succinct speeches, which are limited to five words. SMITH magazine has made the six-word memoir famous.

  • Select a favorite book, movie or TV show that you would like to summarize. Your challenge: to ultimately write a six-word summary.
  • Use a Tree Map diagram to organize your thoughts and highlight the key points. At the top write the text title of your summary. Below that write the main ideas for each of your paragraphs to follow. Try to use key words in place of complete sentences. Under each main idea write the most significant details that will support it.
  • Write a summary. Try to keep it to two paragraphs. Highlight key words and ideas.
  • Revise your work, cutting any repetition and extraneous information. Ask yourself whether you could convey the same idea in fewer words.
  • Continue to cut and revise until you have a 10-word sentence at most.
Learning Tips: Writing Summaries, Revising Drafts

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