Literature, Literacy and Current Events

Monarch butterflies preparing to migrate
Monarch butterflies preparing to migrate

Sept. 20, 2018 - Monarch butterflies in the United States are on the move. The important pollinator is migrating south to spend the winter in central Mexico and southern California before returning north next spring. The annual migration is watched carefully by scientists to assess the health of the species.

Word of the Day
cluster: noun;a group of either living or nonliving units usually alike or identical; Find it in blue in today's top story!

Writing Practice

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Practice your writing skills with the story above!

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Complete this Writing Practice. Then print or email your document, or if available, save it to Google Drive.

Writing Progress

Track your progress all year. For your Student Summary Report Form:
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Text Sets

Nation pauses for Sept. 11 anniversary Nation pauses for Sept. 11 anniversary
Sept. 11, 2018 - Solemn ceremonies will be held today in New York City, at the Pentagon, and in Shanksville, Penn. to honor those killed on 9/11.

Weekly VOCAB

Week of September 17

hunker: verb; prepare for a period of adverse conditions;
Cardinals, Orioles, and Blue Jays closing out summer

imbued: verb; contained, saturated;
Stamp is a treat for philatelists

resembles: verb; looks like;
CDC: Do not eat Honey Smacks cereal

Today In History

September 20

1878: Upton Sinclair, American novelist and politician, was born in Baltimore, Maryland.

1853: Library of Congress: Elisah Graves Otis sold his first "hoist machines," or elevators, featuring an automatic safety brake that he had recently patented. His seemingly simple invention - guaranteed to stop a rising platform from falling if the ropes that held it broke - not only launched Otis' business, but made possible the development of passenger elevators and, with them, the modern high-rise building. While before 1850 most buildings were no more than six stories tall, today's skyscrapers range from fifty to more than one hundred stories in height. 


More News

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Extra! Extra! Feature Article


  1. How did Norman Borlaug save the lives of one billion people through his research and work in Mexico?
  2. How is the Norman Borlaug Heritage Foundation keeping the legacy of Norman Borlaug alive?
  3. What does it mean to "literally walk in the footsteps of Dr. Norman Borlaug?"

INSPIRE Day was an exciting, informative and educational field trip for students.

I Approve This Message: Decoding Political Ads: Since 1952, political ads have aired on television during presidential elections. Seismic changes have occurred in the nation since that time but the power and punch of political ads remain the same.

Major flooding impacts Iowa: Thousands of residents in eastern and central Iowa spent the Sept. 24-25 weekend filling and placing sandbags around buildings to protect against rising water predicted to reach flood stage in many locations.
Scrumptious Salsa Science: Salsa is scrumptious, a fun food that is super nutritious, super easy to make, and super science. Learn how hydroponic vegetables are grown with Bryan Ellis from the Toledo Natural Science Technology Center. 
One Hot and Cool Topic: The Art - and Science - of Glass: Watch a master instructor of glassblowing sculpt a bowl from a gob of molten glass. 
What are the Iowa Caucuses?: Learn the history of the Iowa Caucuses through "First in the Nation," an exhibit at the Iowa Historical Museum in Des Moines. 

SNN Stories with less than 800 words.

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SNN Stories with less than 1000 words.

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Extra! Extra! Writing Practice Practice your writing skills by summarizing the information contained in the story at the left. What is the main point of the story? What are the key findings? Why is the story an important one? What are its implications? When finished, you can either print or email your document.
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