Weekly Reader Connections

Teacher Guide: Lesson 6.7

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 “Paradise Lost” tells of the crisis affecting the South Pacific island nation of Tuvalu as it "sinks" into the sea. At 10 square miles, just one-tenth the size of Washington, D.C., Tuvalu is the world's fourth smallest country. Students learn how rising tides, caused by global warming, have impacted Tuvalu. Before having students begin reading, ask them to tell why they think a tropical island might seem like "paradise." After the reading, ask them to discuss why Tuvalu could no longer be called a "paradise."

The Word Wise activity tells students that the prefix dis- means not or opposite. It then presents them with the following list of words, and asks students to write definitions for each. Then students use a dictionary to check their definitions.

  • Disappoint: Let down.
  • Disappear: Vanish.
  • Dishonest: Not honest.
  • Disobey: Not obey, to ignore orders.
  • Disagree: Not agree
  • Dislike: Not like.
Point out that the amount of erosion in Tuvalu differs from one island to another. In 1997, a hurricane washed one entire island out to sea, leaving only jagged coral behind. Explain that the quotation in the Data Hunt activity refers to a thatched building on Funafala, one of the islets of Tuvalu.

To help students imagine what a fathom looks like, you may wish to have them measure and mark off a 6-ft distance in the classroom. Then have them discuss how the people of Tuvalu must feel about this amount of land being washed away.

Students convert customary units of length to answer the following questions.
  1. How man feet are in 1 yard?
  2. How many yards are in 1 fathom?
  3. How many feet are in 12 fathoms?
  4. How many yards are in 12 fathoms?

Houghton Mifflin Math Grade 5