Activities & Lesson Plans - 5th & 6th Grade Newsletter Deep Sea Creatures Revealed

Grade: 5th-6th July 23, 2010 

In This Issue: Deep Sea Creatures, Crash Test Dummies Retire, States Adopt National Standards
What Swims Beneath
Researchers in Australia are getting a good look at strange new creatures lurking at the bottom of the ocean, beneath the Great Barrier Reef. High-tech cameras have captured giant six-gilled sharks, an octopus relative that lives in a shell, and many other species believed to be new to science. The researchers launched the project in part to document, identify, and protect previously unknown marine life from going extinct.

Activity Ideas - Language Arts
The scientists plan to cross-reference the photos with other known animals to see if they have discovered new species. 
  • Imagine that you are conducting research on newly discovered creatures. Use a Venn diagram to identify similarities and differences between two kinds of "creatures"—in this case, dogs, birds or two types of cars, athletic events, etc.
  • Assess their similarities and differences. 
  • Write a brief report on your "findings."
Learning TipsCompare and Contrast The Smithsonian for Dummies
Why would the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History want to add a couple of dummies to its collection? To honor their role in getting people to buckle up. Crash test dummies Vince and Larry starred in a series of public awareness commercials in the 1980s and '90s, losing arms and legs for the cause. Now, museum visitors can see some of these lost limbs and costumes on display.
Watch Vince and Larry on Kideos

Activity Ideas - Language Arts
Imagine that it is your job to create a campaign to raise public awareness.
  • Select an important cause, safety issue or message you'd like to address.
  • Research the topic and make note of statistics or facts that illustrate its importance and urgency.
  • Make an outline to include the points that you want to make and the various steps to get the message across.
  • Write a mission statement.
  • Come up with compelling characters or mascots to deliver the message.
  • Take what you've learned and put it into words. Write a public awareness commercial, to include dialogue. 
  • Try to get the message across with humor, if possible.
Learning TipsSelecting a Focus, Organization and Point of View  Equal Education for Everyone
In an effort to ensure that students throughout the country will have access to an equally good education, 27 states have adopted national education standards. About 12 more will likely do so by early August. The effort, which is partially funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, 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
  • Write out $3.4 billion numerically. $3,400,000,000
  • Twenty-seven states have adopted the standards and 12 more are expected to do so. How much will each state get if they divide the $3,400,000,000 equally? $87,179,487.18(3,400,000,000 ÷ 39 = $87,179,487.18)
  • Round this number to the nearest million: $87,000,000
Learning TipsWork With Very Large and Small Numbers  
Game of the Week

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