Activities & Lesson Plans - 5th & 6th Grade Newsletter 3/12/10 - Another First For Women

Grade: 5th-6th

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March 12, 2010 | Grades 5&6

In This Issue: A Her-storic Academy Award, Girl Scout Cookies Online, Who Is the Mad Hatter?

Another First for Women

Kathryn Bigelow made history by winning Best Director at the Academy Awards. She is the first woman to take home a directing Oscar. "It's the moment of a lifetime," Bigelow said as she accepted the honor. Her film, The Hurt Locker, earned the award for Best Picture. 


Activity Ideas - Language Arts


Share this with your child: March is Women's History Month; this year's theme is "Writing Women Back Into History." Thirty years ago, five women founded the National Women's History Project, to highlight little-known accomplishments made by women. 

  • Suggest that your child write a short essay about a woman he or she looks up to. It could be a teacher, family member, coach, etc.
  • Help your child organize his or her thoughts before writing: Who is this person to you? Identify a few qualities or personality traits that you admire; provide anecdotes or examples. In what ways has she made a difference or impacted your life? 

BonusResearch and write about a famous or well-known woman who is making a difference in today's society. Include important accomplishments. 
ResourcesNational Women's History Project
Library of Congress

Learning Tips: Writing Organization and Arrangement, Writing Research Reports 


Fresh Off the Internet
Thin Mints, Samoas, Tagalongs—take your pick and click. For the first time ever, Girl Scouts are marketing cookies online. Many girls will continue to sell cookies door-to-door, an 80-year-old tradition.
Cookie sales add up to a $700 million business for Girl Scouts. Which kinds keep people coming back for more? See how the cookie crumbles, below.
Best-Selling Girl Scout Cookies
Thin Mints  25%
Samoas/Caramel deLites  19%
Peanut Butter Patties/Tagalongs  13%
Peanut Butter Sandwich/Do-si-dos  11%
Shortbread/Trefoils  9%
Other varieties (combined)  23%

Activity Ideas - Math
Fractions, Percentages and Decimals
Using the formula below, calculate the amount of money generated by each kind of cookie on the best-selling list. (Hint: Convert % to a decimal first.) Then add up each cookie's share to check your work; all together they should equal $700 million.

Thin Mints: $175 million (25% Thin Mints ÷ 100 = 0.25) (
$700,000,000 yearly sales x .25 = $175,000,000)
Samoas: $133 million
Peanut Butter Patties: $91 million
Peanut Butter Sandwich: $77 million
$63 million
$161 million

Bonus: Find out the cost per box ($4) for these bestsellers; use the cost per box to calculate the number of boxes of each kind that you would need to sell to reach each cookie's share of $700 million.

Learning Tips: Percentages

Mad Hatter Still from Kideos TrailerHow Mad is That Hatter?

Poor, misunderstood Mad Hatter. The Alice in Wonderland character hasn't been able to shake his reputation as a madman since 1865, when the book by Lewis Carroll was first published. Visit Kideos to see the movie trailer featuring Johnny Depp as Mad Hatter.

Activity Ideas - Language Arts 
Share with your child the New York Times article devoted to whether or not the Mad Hatter is truly mad, as in crazy, or just extremely eccentric. Linguists debate the meaning and origin of the phrase "mad as a hatter"; logicians have suggested the character is a play on Mad Adder (author Lewis Carroll was well-known as a mathematician).
  • Together with your child, come up with a few common phrases that people use in everyday conversation. (Some phrases for thought - Head over heels, Chip on your shoulder, Jump on the bandwagon, Been there, done that.)
  • Discuss this with your child: We often say phrases such as "Bring home the bacon" or "On the ball" without thinking about where they came from or how they were first used. 
  • Write a brief summary on its popular meaning and various theories surrounding its origin. (For example - Some think that "Break a leg" came out of the superstition of theatrical types. By wishing bad luck, it is supposed the opposite will occur.)
Bonus: Does your child feel strongly about an origin that experts have discounted? Have him or her write an essay to persuade others that their chosen origin could be credible. 

Learning TipsFigurative Language 
Imagery, Metaphors and Symbolism

GamesWord FrogRags to RichesGame of the Week

Mouse Trap Game Classroom

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