Activities & Lesson Plans - 3rd & 4th Grade Newsletter Found: Wild Marine Life On Ocean Floor

Grade: 3rd-4th July 23, 2010 

In This Issue: The Smithsonian Crash Test Dummies, Sea Creatures on Camera, States Share National StandardsSafety For Dummies
After years of getting banged up behind the wheel, crash test dummies Vince and Larry are hanging up their safety suits for good. They plan to spend retirement in the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, as part of an exhibit on automobile safety. During the 1980s, the dynamic dummy duo rose to fame in a series of televised driver-safety campaigns urging people to buckle up. Now, Vince and Larry will spend quiet, accident-free days as part of an auto safety exhibit. 

Activity Ideas - Language Arts

  • Watch Vince and Larry on Kideos. What message are they trying to get across?
  • Do you think the use of crash test dummies enhanced their message? If so, how?
  • The commercials were humorous even though the message was a matter of life or death. Did the humor enhance the message? Explain.
  • Select a cause you believe in, i.e., energy conservation, then write down the message you want to deliver.
  • Research statistics or examples that will help to emphasize your point.
  • Come up with a mascot or character to be the face of your campaign. 
  • Use catchy vocabulary to write a slogan that sums up your message.
Bonus: Together with a friend, brainstorm an idea for a public service commercial. Establish a setting and a plot, then write dialogue for your character(s). 
Learning TipsEmphasize Major Points  Deep Sea Discoveries
Using high-tech cameras, Australian scientists captured a dizzying array of unique, curious-looking creatures that live near the ocean floor. From an octopus-like creature in a shell to a giant shark with six gills, the mysterious marine life may represent new species. The scientists have made it their mission to document rare life at the bottom of the sea that may be in danger of extinction.   

Activity Ideas - Language Arts
In stories like this one, photos allow readers to get a sense of the species' unique and interesting appearances. Imagine that you have discovered something entirely new to science, but you don't have a picture of it.
  • Pick a fruit or vegetable that you like. Imagine that it is a newly discovered species. 
  • Come up with descriptive words about its shape, size, color and taste.
  • Write a paragraph or two describing in detail the fruit or vegetable.
Bonus: Do this activity together with a friend; exchange descriptions and guess what is being described.
Learning TipsUse Vocabulary to Add Detail  New National Standards
In an effort to give students access to equal education no matter where they live, 27 states have adopted national education standards. About 12 more will likely do so by early August. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is lending its financial support to the effort, which includes the Obama Administration's Race to the Top competition. States with enough points by August 2 will win a piece of the $3.4 billion pie. 

Activity Ideas - Math

  • Imagine that your state has $200.25 per student to spend on paper and pencils. There are 20 kids in your class. What is the total amount of money set aside for your class? $4,005$200.25 x 20 = $4,005)
  • Your gym teacher has $175.00 to spend on ping-pong supplies for your class tournament. There are 12 people in the tournament. How much is that per person? $14.58 ($175.00 ÷ 12 = $14.583)
  • The school librarian has $52.00 to spend on bookmarks. She asked for it in quarters. How many quarters is that? 208 quarters ($52.00 ÷ 0.25 = 208
  • Check your answer above: (208 x 0.25 = $52.00)
Learning TipsAdd, Subtract, Multiply and Divide MoneyGame of the Week

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