Activities & Lesson Plans - 5th & 6th Grade Newsletter A Grandmother Graduates

Grade: 5th-6th

May 24, 2010 | Grades 5&6

In This Issue: Graduating at 94, Women's Basketball, Wii for Your Heart

Grandma GraduatesGrandma Graduates
Graduation day is a special occasion no matter how old you are. Still, earning a college degree at the age of 94 seems extra special. This month, Hazel Soares joined grads one-quarter her age for a commencement ceremony at Mills College, in Oakland, California. Soares is the world's second oldest person to graduate from college. Her now 98-year-old predecessor recently received her master's degree.  

Activity Ideas - Language Arts 
Hazel Soares graduated from high school in 1932, during the Great Depression. Her family couldn't afford to send her to college. Six children and a combined 40 grandchildren and great-grandchildren later, Soares found time to return.

  • What do you know about the Great Depression? Research this devastating period. 
  • Imagine that you grew up during the Depression. Write a personal narrative on what it was like, drawing on your research.
  • Be sure to include references to factual details or events, so that a person reading it can get a feel for the times. 
  • As you are writing, keep in mind that you would likely share some things in common with children growing up back then, regardless of the different circumstances. (For example, a 1940s-era child could be as annoyed as you are by his or her little siblings.) 
Read About It: Children of the Great Depression, by Russell Freedman
Learning Tips: Using Technology for Research

Courting the Fans
As the NBA season winds down, the WNBA is just getting started—to very little fanfare. Women's pro basketball doesn't have the large following that the men's league does. But in Seattle, the women's game has taken the city by storm. The Seattle Storm's family-friendly atmosphere draws lots of kids, and the half-time show features a grade-school dance troupe.

Activity Ideas 

  • Create a timeline of women's sports, starting with Title IX. Select one or two of the most significant events per decade or so. 
  • Create or find images to accompany a few key events on the timeline. 
  • Imagine that after coming all this way, women's pro teams are being cut from the roster. Write a persuasive letter to include arguments for preserving women's sports and helping them grow.
Learning Tips: Writing Persuasive Letters and Compositions

Wii Heart Video Games
The American Heart Association (AHA) is stepping up its efforts to get Americans moving, even if it means endorsing video games. The organization cites studies showing that 40% of people who don't exercise say it's not entertaining enough. To that end, the AHA has teamed up with Nintendo Co., saying that the popular Wii video game console will help motivate the 70% of people who don't get any regular physical activity.

Activity Ideas - Math
The following shows the number of calories burned per hour of activity, based on a body weight of 150 pounds:
Juggling: 272 calories burned per hour 
Bowling: 204 calories 
Kids' Games (hopscotch, t-ball): 340 calories 
Playing Frisbee: 204 calories 
Hacky Sack: 272 calories
Kickball: 476 calories 
Skateboarding: 340 calories
Soccer: 680 calories
Ping Pong: 272 calories
Trampoline: 238 calories 

Calculate the number of calories burned, below

  • Jacob juggled for a half-hour then jumped on the trampoline for an hour. How many calories did he burn? 374 calories272 calories ÷ 2 half-hours in an hour = 136 calories136 calories + 238 calories = 374 calories.
  • Bella spent two hours skateboarding. Afterward, she joined a game of kickball and played for 90 minutes. How many calories did she burn? 1,394 calories. 340 calories x 2 hours = 680 calories. 476 calories ÷ 2 = 238 calories burned in half-hour of kickball. 680 + 238 + 476 = 1,394 calories 
Learning Tips: Breaking Down a Complex Problem

Game of the Week

Crossword Game
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