Activities & Lesson Plans - Kindergarten Newsletter New National Education Standards

Grade: K July 23, 2010 

In This Issue: Creatures Beneath the Great Barrier Reef, Common Classroom Standards, Life-Saving Dummies

Discovery From the Deep
What lurks beneath the Great Barrier Reef? Australian scientists using high-tech underwater cameras have discovered a world of sea creatures that look like something out of science fiction. The dwellers of the deep may represent new species. The scientists plan to get to the bottom of the creatures' origins. 

Activity Ideas - Language Arts

  • Write down all the words that you can think of that rhyme with "fish" and "shark." 
  • Use your imagination to write a poem about the sea creatures that were discovered. 
  • This is not meant to be nonfiction or factual; you can make up the weirdest creatures possible, sticking with your rhymes as much as possible.
Bonus: Illustrate your poem. 
Learning TipsRhyming Words  Shared Standards
Students throughout the country may soon follow the same educational standards. Twenty-seven states have adopted the national standards and 12 more are expected to in early August. The initiative is partially funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and includes the Obama Administration's Race to the Top competition. States with enough points by August 2 will win a portion of $3.4 billion. 

Activity Ideas - Math

Discuss pictographs with your child. 

  • Print an outline of a U.S. map
  • Together with your child, use an atlas to label the states. 
  • Research which states have adopted the national standards. 
  • Color the states that have adopted them. 
  • Help your child make a simple key. 
Learning TipsCollect Data for Graphs  Driving Dummies Crash at Smithsonian
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 you are writing a short story about crash test dummies Vince and Larry. You will need to add more detail to make them seem like believable characters.
  • Choose one and describe his characteristics. 
  • Describe what he has done since the commercials stopped airing in the 1990s. 
  • If you get stuck, ask yourself such questions as, Does he own a dog? Does he have a wife and kids? Where does he live?
  • Review your description. Does it make the dummy seem like a real person?
Learning TipsCharacters, Setting and Important Events  Game of the Week

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