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Click Here for Future Mini Page Topics!

Mini Page activities meet many state and national educational standards. Each week we identify standards that relate to The Mini Page - content and offer activities that will help your students reach them.

Rediscovering Pompeii -- Issue 23 -- June 6-12

This week's standards:


Students understand changes in the Earth and sky. (Science: Earth Sciences)
Students understand the physical and human characteristics of places. (Geography: Places and Regions)
Activities:

1. Draw a dramatic picture of a volcano erupting. Show people running away from it.

2. Create an album of our civilization. Cut out newspaper photos of everyday items that show what people use in their homes, at work and for fun and paste them in three different sections of a notebook.

3. Suppose you had to help rebuild your town after it was destroyed. Look through the newspaper for tools and equipment that would help you rebuild. Make a list of the items on a piece of paper.

4. How were each of these important to Pompeii: (a) aqueduct, (b) volcanic soil, (c) archaeologists, and (d) temples?

5. Use resource books and the Internet to learn more about a volcano in this country. Use these questions to guide your research: Where is the volcano? How large is it? When has it erupted? What is the land like around the volcano? Write a paragraph discussing what you have found in your research. (standards by Dr. Sherrye D. Garrett, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi)®

Rat Tales -- Issue 22 -- May 30-June 5

This week's standards:


Students understand the characteristics of organisms. (Science: Life Science)
Students understand the interactions of animals and their environments. (Science: Life Science)
Activities:

1. Create a "Wanted" poster. Print "Wanted" at the top of a piece of paper. Draw a rat under the word. Then paste newspaper words and pictures to show problems rats can cause under your picture.

2.With a friend, go through the newspaper using two different-colored markers. Circle plants and food that rats might eat with one color. Circle non-food things they might chew on with another color. What is the softest thing you circled? What is the hardest?

3. Compare rats and humans with a Venn diagram. Draw two circles that overlap in the middle. In the center section, write the ways humans and rats are similar. In the left circle, write the ways humans are different from rats. In the right circle, write the ways rats are different from humans.

4. How does each of these items relate to rats: (a) ships, (b) laboratories, (c) diseases, (d) telephone poles and (e) burrows?

5. Use a library book or the Internet to read the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. He had an unusual way of getting rats out of a town. Now write a story with your own creative way of getting rid of rats from a town. However, you are not allowed to harm or kill the rats in your story. You must just get them out of town. Share your story with family members and friends. (standards by Dr. Sherrye D. Garrett, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi)®

Military Kids -- Issue 21 -- May 23-29

This week's standards:


Students understand people and events honored in commemorative holidays. (History)
Students demonstrate respectful and caring relationships in the family, workplace and community. (Family and Consumer Science: Interpersonal Relationships)
Activities:

1. Draw a picture of your family doing something fun together. Now cut out newspaper words that describe your family. Make a frame of your picture with the words by pasting them along the edges of your picture.

2. With a friend, go through the newspaper and circle any words or pictures that show or describe the military. Who found the most items?

3. Look at newspaper ads and pictures for items you could use to stay in touch with a family member who was far away. Paste the items on a piece of paper. Next to each one, write a sentence explaining how that item would help you communicate.

4. Find local news stories and community events that describe special events to celebrate Memorial Day in your community. Write down three events you would like to attend. Explain your choices.

5. Prepare a Memorial Day celebration for your community. Find information in your newspaper to help plan your event: Where would you hold the event? Who would you ask to give a talk about Memorial Day? What musicians would you ask to provide entertainment? What food would you serve? Now write a newspaper story about your event. (standards by Dr. Sherrye D. Garrett, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi)®

Sharing Victories Through Books -- Issue 20 -- May 16-22

This week's standards:


Students comprehend and respond to a variety of images and text. (Language Arts: Reading)
Activities:

1. Find three newspaper photos or stories about people who have done good things. Paste each photo/story on a piece of paper.Write a sentence for each telling about what the person did.

2. Fiction books are make-believe stories. Nonfiction books are about real things. Find three examples of fiction books and three examples of nonfiction books in todayıs Mini Page.Which type of book do you like to read most? Why?

3. Which books in today's Mini Page would you recommend for your (a) science teacher, (b) social studies teacher and (c) language arts teacher? Explain your selections.

4.With a friend, see how many connections you can make between stories in the newspaper and the books in today's Mini Page. Discuss your choices.

5. Find a book in todayıs Mini Page that makes you feel a strong connection. Write a paragraph describing why you feel that connection. (standards by Dr. Sherrye D. Garrett, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi)®

Plug Into the Newspaper -- Issue 9 -- Feb. 28-March 6

This week's standards:


Students read and understand a variety of texts. (Language Arts: Reading)
Students use the structure of text to construct meaning. (Language Arts: Reading)
Activities:

1. Create a "Newspapers and Me" poster. Write your name in the middle of a piece of paper. Paste newspaper words and pictures on your poster that tell about the newspaper and also tell about you.

2. Make a list of five family members and friends. Next to each name, paste the headline of a newspaper story or a comic strip you think that person would like. Write a sentence explaining your choices.

3. You'll find lots of great words in newspaper headlines. With a friend, go through the newspaper. Circle good adjectives with a red marker; circle strong verbs with a blue marker. Create some of your own headlines using the words you've circled.

4. Look at a large display ad for something you'd like to buy. Identify these four ad elements: (a) what gets your attention for the ad, (b) what words give you details about the item, (c) what descriptive words make the item sound good, and (d) what words encourage you to buy the item now?

5. Select your favorite section in the newspaper. What would you need to know in order to be a reporter for that section? What kind of information would you gather? Write a paragraph describing your life as a reporter for that section. Tell about an important story you covered and wrote. (standards by Dr. Sherrye D. Garrett, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi)

A Long Journey -- Issue 8 -- Feb. 21-27

This week's standards:


Students understand that history relates to events and people of other times and places by identifying examples of interesting Americans. (Social Studies: History)
Students understand how democratic values came to be, and how they have been exemplified by people, events and symbols. (History)
Activities:

1. Draw a large circle on a piece of paper. Divide the circle into three equal pie parts. In one section of the pie, put newspaper names and photos of African-Americans in the arts. In another section, put newspaper names and photos of African-Americans in local and national politics. In the last section, put names and photos of African- Americans in business.

2. Interview several family members and friends about President Barack Obama. What do they think his election says about our country? What do they think people in other countries will think? What do they like or dislike about his political positions?

3. Draw a line down the center of a piece of paper to make two columns. Label one column "Good laws for African-Americans" and the other "Bad laws for African-Americans." Now find laws, amendments and court decisions that affected African-Americans over the years. List them in the correct column. For each one, explain why it was a good or bad law.

4. Find a newspaper article about a local or national situation where people feel they are not being treated fairly. Write down: (a) who are the people or groups involved, (b) what is the situation, (c) why is the situation in the news, (d) how was the situation resolved (or how do you think it should be resolved)?

5. Use reference books or the Internet to learn more about one of the African-Americans in today's Mini Page. Use these questions to guide your research: When did the person live? What career did the person have? How difficult was it for the person to succeed in that career because of his or her race? How did the person change opportunities for other African-Americans? Write a paragraph discussing your findings. (standards by Dr. Sherrye D. Garrett, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi)

Making Our Lives Better -- Issue 7 -- Feb. 14-20

This week's standards:


Students understand the abilities of technological design. (Science: Science and Technology)
Students develop abilities of technological design, understanding about science and technology, and abilities to distinguish between natural objects and objects made by humans. (Science: Science & Technology)
Activities:

1. Make a set of engineering trading cards. Select five different kinds of engineers in todayıs Mini Page. Write the name of the engineer on one side of a 3-by-5-inch card. On the other side, paste a newspaper picture that shows the kind of work that engineer might do.

2. Make a list of the different engineers shown in todayıs Mini Page. Then interview friends and family members. Ask each person what kind of engineer he or she finds the most interesting. Have them tell you why they made that choice.

3. Find five newspaper pictures of different kinds of structures, such as a building or highway. Paste the pictures on a piece of paper. Put a star next to the picture of the structure you think was the most difficult to design. Put a check by the picture of the structure that was the easiest to design. Discuss your choices with a family member.

4. What type of engineer might work with (a) transportation, (b) home construction, (c) lakes and rivers, and (d) medicine?

5. Use resource books and the Internet to learn more about a specific type of engineer. Use these questions to guide your research: What type of courses would the engineer take in college? Where would that engineer work? What do you think would be the hardest part of the job? If you wanted to be that kind of engineer, what type of part-time work or summer job could you do that would give you some experience in that field? Write a paragraph discussing your research. (standards by Dr. Sherrye D. Garrett, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi)

Lincoln's Great Speech -- Issue 6 -- Feb. 7-13

This week's standards:


Students understand people and events honored in commemorative holidays. (Social Studies: History)
Students understand that history relates to events and people of other times and places by identifying examples of interesting Americans. (Social Studies: History)
Activities:

1. Draw a memorial plaque for the soldiers who fought at Gettysburg. Cut out newspaper words that describe the soldiers and paste them on your plaque. Share your drawing with your family.

2. Use information from today's Mini Page to make a travel brochure for Gettysburg. Include information about important buildings, the battle and famous people.

3. Look in the newspaper for speeches made by our new president, Barack Obama. Select phrases you like and write them on a piece of paper. Explain why you think Obama made good language choices in his speeches.

4. Abraham Lincoln was a careful writer. Look up these words from the Gettysburg Address and discuss what they mean with a family member or friend: (a) civil war, (b) consecrate, and (c) in vain. Why did Lincoln mean when he said some soldiers gave the "last full measure" of devotion? Why do you think he used "four score and seven" instead of saying "87"?

5. Use resource books and the Internet to learn more about your state's activities during the Civil War. Use these questions to guide your research: Which side did your state take during the Civil War? What did people in your state do to support the side they selected? What battles or military activities took place in your state or in neighboring states? How did your state change after the Civil War ended? (standards by Dr. Sherrye D. Garrett, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi)

Terrific Teeth -- Issue 5 -- Jan. 31-Feb. 6

This week's standards:


Students describe relationships between personal health behaviors and individual well-being. (Family and Consumer Science: Health Promotion)
Students understand how wellness practices enhance individual and family well-being across the lifespan. (Family and Consumer Science: Nutrition Food and Wellness)
Activities:

1. Create a "Terrific Teeth" poster for your room. Draw a large circle on a piece of paper. Divide the circle into three pie-shaped sections. In one section, put newspaper words and pictures for things that help you take care of your teeth. In the second section, put words and pictures of good foods to eat. In the third section, write the names of dentists you find in the newspaper.

2. Go through the newspaper with a friend. Circle any pictures that show teeth or a person or animal biting something. Put a star by the person who has the nicest smile. Don't forget the comic strips.

3. Look through the regular (display) ads and classified ads to see how many dentists you can find in your community. How many dentists did you find? How many "oral surgeons" How any orthodontists dentists who help straighten your teeth)?

4. Which part of the tooth (a) has nerves and blood, (b) is the outer cover, (c) is made of calcium and other minerals, and (d) attaches the tooth to the jawbone? 5. Use resource books and the Internet to learn more about animal teeth.

Select two animals to study: one that lives on land (rabbit, bear, wolf) and one that lives in the water (shark, whale). Use these questions to guide your research: How many teeth does the animal have? What types of teeth are they? How do the teeth help the animal eat or do work? Does the animal have only one set of teeth or can it re-grow lost teeth? Write a paragraph comparing the two animals. (standards by Dr. Sherrye D. Garrett, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi)

The Seeing Eye -- Issue 4 -- Jan. 24-30

This week's standards:


Students understand the characteristics and life cycles of organisms. (Science: Life Science)
Students understand the interactions of animals and their environments. (Science: Life Science)
Activities:

1. Make a "Puppy Plans" poster. Look in the classified ads for breeds that make good service dogs. Cut out the ads and paste them on a piece of paper. Now look in the regular ads to find words and pictures of items you would need to train a puppy. Paste them on your poster.

2. Discuss with a family member what it would be like to be a foster family that trains a service dog. Make a list showing why you would like to be a foster family. Make a list showing why it might be difficult to be a foster family.

3. Find a large newspaper photo that shows a scene such as a street, a mall or a ballpark. Cut out the picture and paste it on a piece of paper. Start at one side of the picture and draw a path to the other side. Now describe how a Seeing Eye dog would help its owner travel that path. What potential obstacles are there? Where would the owner and dog have to make turns?

4. How are these qualities important for service dogs: (a) temperament, (b) breed, (c) size and (d) intelligence?

5. Use resource books and the Internet to learn about different service animals. Use these questions to guide your research: What is the animal? What type of service does this animal provide? Why is this animal suitable for this type of service? Where and how are these animals trained? Write a paragraph describing the animal and the service it provides.
(standards by Dr. Sherrye D. Garrett, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi)

The Northern Lights -- Issue 3 -- Jan. 17-23

This week's standards:


Students understand changes in the Earth and sky. (Earth and Space Science) Activities:

1. Draw a picture of yourself watching the aurora borealis. Then cut out five newspaper words that describe the aurora borealis and paste them along the bottom of your picture.

2. Make a "rainbow line" on a piece of paper. Cut out sections of colors from newspaper photos and ads. Paste them in a straight line following this pattern: red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple.

3. What is winter weather like where you live? Look at the weather page of your newspaper. Write down the high temperature for today. Find two places where the weather will be warmer and write down the cities and temperatures. Now find two places where the weather will be colder and write them down.

4. How are each of these important for the northern lights: (a) sun, (b) oxygen, (c) sun cycle, and (d) the Earth's liquid center?

5. Today's Mini Page gives you the scientific explanation for the northern lights, but people in earlier times may have different explanations. Write a story that uses myth or magic to explain how the northern lights came to be. You may want to Google images for the aurora borealis for inspiration.
(standards by Dr. Sherrye D. Garrett, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi)

An American Tradition -- Issue 2 -- Jan. 10-16

This week's standards:


Students identify key ideals of the United States' democratic republican form of government. (Social Studies: Civic Ideals and Practices)
Students understand the ideas, principles and practices of citizenship in a democratic republic. (Social Studies: Civics)
Activities:

1. Cut out a newspaper photo of President-elect Barack Obama. Paste it at the top of a piece of paper. Now find information about the new president in the newspaper. Write facts about Mr. Obama under his picture on your paper.

2. Look through your newspaper for stories about Vice President-elect Joe Biden. Use a colored marker to circle five facts about Mr. Biden.

3. Divide a piece of paper into three columns. Label the columns: Official Events, Entertainment and Food. Now look through the newspaper to learn about the different things that will happen during the inauguration. Write the information you find under each column.

4. How would you celebrate the inauguration if it were held in your community? Use newspaper stories and ads to find (a) where you could have the swearing-in ceremony, (b) three restaurants where people could eat, (c) a place to have a big dance, and (d) three local people you would invite to the events.

5. The inauguration includes the swearing-in ceremony, a parade and many balls. How would you design an alternate inauguration? You have to have a swearing-in, but what would you do instead of a parade and balls? Write a paragraph describing your inaugural event.
(standards by Dr. Sherrye D. Garrett, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi)

A Kid's 2009 Calendar -- Issue 1 -- Jan. 3-9, 2009

This week's standards:


Students understand people and events honored in commemorative holidays. (History) Activities:

1. Pick one of the special months in today's Mini Page calendar. For that month, draw a picture you could put on a large calendar.

2. Pick an unusual special day from the calendar that you think would be fun to celebrate. Plan a party for that day. Make a list of foods for your party from newspaper ads. Select three comic strip characters you would like to invite.

3. What is your favorite one-day celebration? Week celebration? Month celebration? Have a friend choose his/her favorites. Now talk about your choices.

4. Which holidays would be popular with your (a) social studies teacher, (b) science teacher, (c) music or art teacher, and (d) principal?

5. Select one of the individuals or groups from the Mini Page's 2008 memories. Plan a national holiday for your individual or group. What would you call your day? What kinds of decorations would you use? What special activities or foods would you have? Write a description of your new holiday in a paragraph.
(standards by Dr. Sherrye D. Garrett, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi)

Honoring Nature With Art -- Issue 52 -- Dec. 27-Jan. 2, 2009

This week's standards:


Students identify works of art as belonging to particular cultures, times and places. (Visual Arts)
Students understand how an artist's experiences influence the development of specific artworks. (Visual Arts)
Activities:

1. Find an interesting item in nature somewhere near where you live. Use the warm and cool colors of Georgia O'Keeffe to draw your personal image of the item.

2. See how well you could supply young artists and photographers. Pretend you have $500 to spend. Find painting supplies or cameras and photography supplies in newspaper ads. List each item and its price on a piece of paper. How much can you buy for $500?

3. Plan a series of art adventures in your community. Look in the arts/entertainment section or community calendar section of your newspaper. Find an art gallery or exhibit that features (a) paintings, (b) sculptures, (c) photography, and (d) antiques or collectibles.

4. Analyze a color photograph in your newspaper. What can you say about the effect of the colors in the photo? The subject? The placement of people and places? What makes this a good photograph?

5. Use resource books and the Internet to learn more about Georgia O'Keeffe or Ansel Adams. Use these questions to guide your research: Where was the artist born? When did she/he first become interested in art and nature? Where did she/he study? What did critics say of the artist's early work? When did the public and critics accept the artist's work? Write a paragraph biography of the artist. (standards by Dr. Sherrye D. Garrett, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi)






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