What’s Going on in Our World?

Let’s get back into studying current events! Choose an article below, from my favorite website Newsela.com, and use your nonfiction reading skills to attack the text! Are you hunting for facts? Are you thinking about time and place? Are you thinking about how this might change the world?

What if you couldn’t go to school?

On my favorite nonfiction reading for kids website, Newsela.com, there is an interesting article on children in Afghanistan who can’t afford to go to school. Read the article and let me know what you think. Can you imagine not being able to go to school? How would that change your life?

Shukriya, 8, sells toilet paper in downtown Kabul, Afghanistan. Although child labor is illegal in the country, it is still around today, due to a lack of enforcement and the need of many families to have as many members earning income as possible.

iPads & Literacy


Today, we focused on our improving our literacy skills by reading a fabulous article on The Original Rosie the Riveter on our iPads! This article, on Newsela.com, had some complicated vocabulary. Good readers understand that they don’t have to know every word in a story or article to understand the big picture, or main idea. When you don’t know all of the words, use the clues around the word to help you!

For example, here is an excerpt from the article: “She was trying to escape being poor. Monroe was determined to find work at the Willow Run airplane plant in Ypsilanti, Mich. She wanted to fly a plane. But with two children, she wasn’t allowed.”

I have never heard of the words “Ypsilanti, Mich” before, but using the clues around the word I can see that it is where the airplane plant was located. So, using these clues I bet that Ypsilanti, Mich is a place (ok, ok, since I’m an adult reader I can tell you that Ypsilanti, Mich is a city in Michigan, but I wanted to model how to use clues!)

Keep reading and hunting for clues to unknown words!

Rosie the Riveter Returns!

I noticed something interesting on my favorite nonfiction reading site for kids. Newsela.com is a great website that contains many current news articles written for students. When you click on the left of the site you can change the Lexile level of the article. A lower Lexile level will be easier to read and a higher level will be more difficult, probably on a middle school level. On Newsela I found this great article, The Original Rosie the Riveter had the Right Name for the Job! The article discusses the same Rosie we learned about in Andrea Beaty’s book, Rosie Revere Engineer! Take a few minutes to read and enjoy this article. Adjust the Lexile level on the left if the text seems too difficult or simple!

Here’s one of our favorite pages from Rosie Revere Engineer! (If you want to learn about powerful, smart women then check out this book!)

Idioms all Around Us!

On our walk today, Pablo reminded me of another idiom!

After a long cold winter, we should take time to remember the good and beautiful things in life. That’s why Pablo always remembers to stop and smell the roses. Can you determine what, “Stop and smell the roses means?”


(Ok, yes these are tulips… but I don’t know any idioms about tulips!)

More Crazy English!

Last week, we discussed how often times in English, authors use words and phrases that say one thing when they really mean something else. We said that figurative language helps authors “spice up their writing,” or make it more interesting.

We know when we say, “Kyan is a brain” we are using a metaphor to describe Kyan as smart!

Saying, “Nancy is as bright as a lightbulb,” is simile that is comparing Nancy to a lightbulb because she is bright. We can use our context clues to infer that this simile means Nancy is smart!

We also discussed personification. Can you think of some examples of times when we give human characteristics to things that are not human?

Idioms are another type of figurative language. Idioms are combinations of words that mean something very different than what they say. Here are some examples to think about:



Think about the Genre!

When you’re trying to figure out the author’s purpose for writing, stop and think about the genre of the text. Thinking about the genre will also help you determine why the author included certain text features, like photographs, charts, graphs, and maps. Here are some genres to consider:

Nonfiction articles
“How-tos” or procedurals
Persuasive Essay or editorials

Check out the articles below. Why did the author write them? Why did the author include those text features?

Easy Origami Heart
Roll A Burrito
Mountains of the World

Role Models: Ruby Bridges

This week, we are beginning to work on a new Social Studies standard- Explain key historical events that occurred in the local community and regions over time. A region is a large area, and we live in the Southern region of the United States of America. 

The South of the United States has an interesting history. One major topic in our region’s history is the Civil Rights movement. To begin our study on Civil Rights we are going to start by learning about one of the movement’s tiniest heroines, her name is Ruby Bridges, and she became a Civil Rights hero when she was in first grade! Ruby lived in the Southern state of Louisiana, in the city of New Orleans. Ruby’s story was in the newspapers and on television. Her bravery inspired this painting by Norman Rockwell.

What is a Submarine anyway?

Our new favorite read aloud is, The Fantastic Secret of Owen Jester by, Barbara O’Connor. Yesterday, we finally learned what Owen found that fell off the train. (If you haven’t read the book yet and you don’t want us to ruin it, you may want to stop reading this post now!) Owen finds a small, red, submarine! We were very excited to learn about Owen’s big find, but we aren’t totally sure what a submarine really is. Below is a cool, interactive site that explains what a submarine does and the different parts of the ocean that it explores. This website goes perfectly with next week’s science unit on our oceans and seas!

As a side note, we have decided that we need to “Uuuuuse the Cluuuuues” a little better when reading. There is a submarine on the COVER OF THE BOOK so, maybe we needed to pay closer attention! 🙂