Weekly Reader Connections

Teacher Guide: Lesson 13.5

The Weekly Reader Connections feature on Kids' Place Houghton Mifflin Math provides your students with additional information about the topics that appear in the Curriculum Connection feature in their student books.

The article “Weird Weather” discusses the possible causes of worldwide drought and flooding over recent years. Students learn that some scientists attribute these extreme conditions to global warming, while other scientists attribute them to changes in the jet stream.

Introduce the article by leading a discussion about recent precipitation in your vicinity. Ask students to tell whether they think that there has been more or less rain than usual. Point out that local variations in weather patterns are normal and do not necessarily indicate changes in climate throughout the world. Ask for suggestions about how to tell the difference between weather and climate. (Weather is the day-to-day variation in meteorological phenomena in a particular area. Climate refers to the measurement of weather over a period of at least 30 years.)

The Word Wise activity discusses the word “drought”—its “ou” sound and its silent “gh”. Students are asked to compare and contrast the pronunciations and meanings of words that are spelled much like “drought." (They may have difficulty identifying the words as the past tense and past participle of the words “bring”, “fight”, “think”, and “seek”.)

The Data Hunt activity presents students with a challenge designed to make them aware of some of the ambiguities involved in reading line graphs. Before having students interpret the graph on their own, you may wish to point out that the "thermometer" that serves as the vertical (temperature) scale is marked in decimals, unlike an actual thermometer scale.

Houghton Mifflin Math Grade 4