Activities & Lesson Plans - 3rd & 4th Grade Newsletter Ancient Water World

Grade: 3rd-4th

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June 1, 2010 | Grades 3&4

In This Issue: Banning Bracelets, Facebook Saves Face, Cleopatra's Water World 

Silly BandzSchools Ban Silly BandzThe latest contraband in classrooms nationwide is colorful and stretchy; some are shaped like dinosaurs, others like baseball gear. Teachers have been taking away students' Silly Bandz, saying the rubber band-like bracelets distract students. Schools in New York, Texas and several other states have banned them from the building.
Activity Ideas - Language Arts
  • Suggest that your child work on a toy timeline, to feature favorites and fads. 
  • Have him or her choose at least one toy per decade.
  • Find images to help illustrate the timeline. Write a one- or two-sentence summary about each item.
  • Once you have a list of favorites or popular fads, use a chart to identify similarities and differences among them. Can you find a common formula for success?
  • Write a conclusion based on the information you gathered.  
Bonus: Imagine that you have been picked to create the "next big thing" in kids' fads. What do you want to create? Write a description.
Learning Tips: Compare and Contrast Information

Privacy Issues
Facebook finally faced the music, responding to complaints over privacy changes made last April. Users said the changes allowed outside sites to access personal information without their consent. The social network announced it would reform its privacy policy to address people's concerns. 

Activity Ideas - Language Arts

  • Imagine that you are responsible for writing and delivering a speech to address Facebook users' privacy concerns. 
  • Identify the central idea of your presentation, i.e., Facebook recognizes its users' concerns and has a new privacy plan to address these concerns.
  • Determine the tone of the speech: that of a friend equally concerned by privacy issues and motivated to make changes. Find and use vocabulary to convey this tone. 
  • State the reforms clearly and early in the presentation.
  • Come up with a prop to use, i.e., the new Facebook privacy screen with bold graphics showing how it works.
  • After you have finished the speech, write it on index cards. 
  • Practice your presentation in front of an audience of family or friends.
Learning Tips: Enchancing Oral Presentations
Play It Safe: Help your child make smart decisions—Kids online safetyUndersea Royalty
The ancient city of Alexandria slid into the sea 1,600 years ago. The sprawling palace and temple complex remained untouched until underwater archaeologists discovered the site in 1996. They have unearthed giant statues of Egypt's rulers, coins and other artifacts. The legendary Queen of Egypt, Cleopatra, once lived there. 

Activity Ideas - Math

In Cleopatra's time, the Romans developed a system of counting that is very much like the decimal system of counting that we use today.

  • Suggest your child research Roman numerals.
  • Use a Venn diagram or other graph to record the similarities between the systems as well as the differences. Similarities include: A symbol is used to stand for a number; the place of the symbol helps determine the numeral's value; symbols are added and subtracted to determine value; numbers read from left to right.
  • Write down various Roman numeral combinations. Challenge your child to figure out what number the numerals represent; have him or her write the equations that were used (IV = 5 - 1; IV = 4) (LXI = 50 + 10 + 1 = 61).
  • Ask your child to write his or her age in Roman numerals. 
I: 1; V: 5; X: 10; L: 50; C: 100; D: 500; M: 1,000

Game: Roman Numerals
Game of the Week

Treasure Hunt Game

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