Activities & Lesson Plans - 3rd & 4th Grade Newsletter Sleep For Smarts

Grade: 3rd-4th

June 14, 2010 | Grades 3&4

In This Issue: Sleeping Smarter, The Gates Are Givers, Pass on Plastic

From Zzz's to A'sResearchers recently released news that will make you want to snooze. A Stanford University study found that football players ran the 40-yard dash faster after sleeping 10 hours a night. A separate study on preschoolers revealed big learning gains. Kids who followed a bedtime routine each night received higher scores in language and math skills.   
Activity Ideas - Math
  • Suggest your family do an unofficial sleep study. First, write down the average amount of sleep each person gets on a typical night. 
  • During a typical week of sleep, have each person record the time(s) he or she gets tired throughout the day. 
  • Time each person running a set distance.
  • Rearrange your family schedule to get 10 hours of sleep a night. 
  • Record whether you feel more awake during the day, along with any other changes you observe.
  • Time each person running the same distance as before.
  • Review the results. 

The Donation Foundation
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is known for its generous donations to help fund healthcare initiatives in developing countries. Until now, the focus has been on infectious diseases, vaccines, and H.I.V. and AIDS. Now it has pledged $1.5 billion over the next five years for maternal and child health, family planning and nutrition programs. 

Activity Ideas - Math
The information to follow represents some of the Foundation's funding from 1994 to present. Use it to complete the tasks. Global Development: $2,861,000,000; Global Health: $13,227,000,000; U.S. (education): $5,783,000,000

Write the above amounts in word form

  • Global Development: Two billion, eight hundred sixty-one million.
  • Global Health: Thirteen billion, two hundred twenty-seven million.
  • U.S.: Five billion, seven hundred eighty-three million.
Now write the amounts in expanded form.
  • Global Development: 2,000,000,000 + 800,000,000 + 60,000,000 + 1,000,000.
  • Global Health: 13,000,000,000 + 200,000,000 + 20,000,000 + 7,000,000.
  • U.S.: 5,000,000,000 + 700,000,000 + 80,000,000 + 3,000,000.
Learning Tips: Work With Numbers to Millions PlaceBeyond Plastic Bags
Americans go through about 90 billion plastic bags each year. North Carolina's Outer Banks, California and Washington, D.C., have taken steps to reduce the use of plastic bags. Several California cities ban plastic bags, and lawmakers are considering a statewide ban. In Washington, D.C., a plastic bag costs 5 cents. 

Activity Ideas - Language Arts
  • You find an article online that is called "Plastic Bags Are Killing Us." Do you expect this news story to be biased or unbiased? Explain. Biased; the headline states outright that the bags are killing us
  • Imagine that you are editing the above story. You have asked the writer to make the article less opinionated. How could you reword the headline to indicate a more balanced story? "Are Plastic Bags Killing Us?"
  • What is the purpose of an editorial column in a newspaper? To present one journalist's opinion of an issue in the news
  • What would be a good name for a newspaper column that features opinion pieces? a.) Just the Facts, Jack. b.) A Balanced View. c.) The News as I See It.
  • Bonus: Pick an issue in your school or around town that you feel strongly about. Write an editorial to express your opinion.
Learning Tips: Evaluate the Media

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