ThinkCERCA Summer Reading Challenge

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HOW IT WORKS

Before the school year ends, assign students independent reading lessons to pair with the suggested books below, which will help build up their background knowledge and reading comprehension skills. On August 12th, any teacher whose students participated in the challenge (at least 20 minutes time on task per student) will be entered into a raffle to win $100 Barnes & Noble gift card and lunch on ThinkCERCA.

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ON THE MOVE: TRANSPORTATION LESSONS

GRADES

THINKCERCA LESSON

3-5

“Are We There Yet?”

Based on the information provided in this article, what is the most important way that car travel has transformed the United States?

“A Car for the Masses”

How did Henry Ford's Model T change the United States?

"NASA Researchers to Flying Insects: 'Bug Off!'”

Why do NASA researchers pay such close attention to tiny flying insects?

“The Man Who Stopped Traffic”

What are some of the significant ways that Garrett Morgan contributed to making the world a better and safer place?

“Dressed to Drive”

How did drivers and passengers dress to drive in the first cars?

“Air Travel Takes Off”

How were the Wright Brothers able to change the world?

6-8

“Self-driving Cars Inch Closer to Mainstream Availability”

What are the issues surrounding using cars that can drive themselves?

“A Hero Emerges in Italy’s Ship Drama”

Should people who are just “doing their job” be hailed as heroes when they fulfill their duties?

“Who's Wearing Seat Belts?”

Based on the evidence provided on this map, what claim could a viewer make about seat belt use in the United States?

“Distracted Driving”

How does the author use data and analogies to convince readers of the dangers of distracted driving?

“Live Wires”

What role did the telegraph play in transportation, business, and the social lives of people, especially young women, in the late 1800s?

“Bridging the Gap”

How and why did bridge engineering develop in China?

“Looking Back at the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill”

What were the causes and effects of the Exxon Valdez oil spill?

“Ethics Report Could Help NASA Weigh Risks of Long-Term Space Travel”

Based on what you learned from the article, upon what values do you believe the committee’s ethical standards are based?

“Carbon Footprint Maps Reveal Urban-Suburban Divide”

Which factors contribute to urban and suburban carbon footprint differences?

“Jellyfish Inspire Flying-Robot”

How can nature inspire technology?

“Attempts at Flight Before the Wright Brothers”

What were the advances and pitfalls in the history of human flight?

9-10

“The Power of Movement”

Who is responsible for making sure we leave a “green” imprint on the planet for future generations?

“Science Fiction Inspires Innovation in Real World”

How has science fiction helped change the world?

“Newsbound: You Are Being Tracked: License Plate Readers Explained”

How should license plate data be gathered, stored, and used?

“Let’s Go More Boldly”

Should we increase funding for NASA?

11-12

“Tracking Improves Teens’ Driving, but Raises Questions of Trust”

Should parents electronically monitor their children’s driving?

“Seattle Bus Ads Featuring Photos of Wanted Terrorists Will Be Removed”

Can most-wanted ads influence stereotypes and create a threatening environment for citizens?

“We the Economy: City on the Rise”

How did interviewees depict the causes of major changes in Detroit's economic situation through their own stories?

GRADES

PAIR WITH

3-5


Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul by Jeff Kinney


Let's Drive, Henry Ford! by Connie and Peter Roop


Moonshot by Brian Floca


Let's Investigate Some Marvelously Meaningful Maps by Madelyn Wood Carlisle


The Raft by Jim LaMarche


Hatchet by Gary Paulson

6-8


Eager by Helen Fox


A Night to Remember by Walter Lord


Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck


Feed by M.T. Anderson


Streams to the River, River to the Sea by Scott O'Dell


Year of the Tiger by Alison Lloyd


Call of the Wild by Jack London


Found by Margaret Peterson Haddix


The Building of Manhattan by Donald Mackay


Whales on Stilts by M.T. Anderson


The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet by Eleanor Cameron

9-10


The Race to Save Lord God Bird by Phillip Hoose


I, Robot by Isaac Asimov


Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury


20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne


The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester

11-12


V for Vendetta by Alan Moore


The Girl Who Fell to Earth by Sophia Al-Maria


We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo


1984 by George Orwell


Neuromancer by William Gibson

PROGRESS OF THE PEOPLE LESSONS

GRADES

THINKCERCA LESSON

3-5

“A Republic of Their Own”

Why was the Boston Newsboys' Republic important to the history of child labor laws in the United States?

“Seeing Is Believing”

How did Lewis Wickes Hine's photographs affect children's rights?

“Progress Is the Law”

How did Elizabeth Cady Stanton use words and actions to fight for the rights of women?

“Alice Paul”

How did Alice Paul help shape history?

“The Other Army: The Women of World War II”

How did women support the war effort during World War II?

“Just Say No! The Daughters of Liberty”

How did women help in the fight for independence?

“An Experiment in Discrimination”

Why was Mrs. Elliott's experiment so powerful?

“Martin Luther King, Jr.”

What made Martin Luther King, Jr. such an inspiring leader?

“Brothers in Spirit, Brothers in Liberation”

Who did Nelson Mandela look up to?

“Freedom Under Cover”

How might quilts have helped people escape from slavery?

“A Special Kind of Olympian”

Why were the Special Olympics formed?

“Air Travel Takes Off”

How were the Wright Brothers able to change the world?

6-8

“Thomas Garrett and the Underground Railroad”

What was Thomas Garrett's contribution to society during a time of slavery?

“Don't Go to Memphis”

Why was the work Martin Luther King, Jr. was doing in Memphis meaningful?

“Free Mandela”

Who fought to free Nelson Mandela?

“A Landmark Concert 75 Years Ago”

What statement did Eleanor Roosevelt and Marian Anderson want to make through the Freedom Concert?

“A Long, Hard March”

Why was the Selma to Montgomery march an effective form of protest for the people involved in the civil rights movement?

“A Legacy for the Future”

How did President Truman break down racial barriers in the United States?

“The Harlem Renaissance”

What conditions made the Harlem Renaissance possible?

“Calling the Constitution's Bluff”

What are the possible challenges to the idea that the Constitution protects the freedoms of all Americans?

“Barriers and Obstacles”

What are some of the possible challenges to the idea that all citizens have equal voting rights?

“Early Women Soldiers”

In what ways did women contribute to the success of military campaigns?

“Employ One. Impact Many.”

How has Wright made a difference in the lives of women in developing countries?

9-10

“My Song Is 'My Weapon'"

In what ways was Paul Robeson influenced by his own past to use his role as a famous artist to influence change in the lives of others?

“Timely Leader"

What made Martin Luther King, Jr. an American hero?

“Young Cesar E. Chavez: The Early Years of an American Hero"

What made Cesar Chavez an American hero?

“Remaking a Nation: President Mandela"

What were the opportunities and challenges of implementing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission after apartheid ended?

“Tracing a Line from the First Black Slave to the First Black President"

Why is President Barack Obama's heritage important to America's history?

“For Dark Skinned Mexicans, Taint of Discrimination Lingers"

What does the fact that dark-skinned Mexican people are rarely portrayed in the media say about Mexican culture?

“Protector of Children"

How did Jane Addams change the history of child welfare in the United States?

“The Duty of Women"

What obstacles within and outside the movement for women's rights did leaders of the movement have to overcome to win the right to vote?

11-12

“The 1936 Berlin Olympics Boycott Debate"

Should the United States have boycotted the 1936 Berlin Olympics?

“Massive Nonviolence"

How did nonviolent protests in Birmingham affect the civil rights movement?

“As a Leader, Nelson Mandela Was Willing to Use Violence"

Why did Nelson Mandela embrace violence as a tactic in the fight against apartheid?

“The World's Leaders Mourn a Moral Giant"

Why is Nelson Mandela remembered and praised by people around the world?

“Study of Recent Popular Movies Find Minorities Are Under-represented"

What are minorities under-represented in popular movies?

“Foxconn Workers Struggle to Build a Better Future"

How can workers' rights to fair working conditions be balanced against their need for jobs?

“It's Hard Out Here for a Voter"

What reforms should we make to voter ID laws?

“North Carolina Voters Fear New ID Law Will Keep Them from Polls"

Do the consequences outweigh the benefits of state voter ID laws?

“Amezaga Has Come Long Way Since Parents Sent Him from Mexico to Miami"

How do immigrants like Amezaga strengthen America?

“The United Nations Foundation"

How does the UN Foundation fight to solve global problems?

“We the Economy: Cave-O-Nomics"

What is the economy and how has it evolved over time?

GRADES

PAIR WITH

3-5


Lyddie by Katherine Paterson


Kids at Work by Russell Freedman


The Hope Chest by Karen Swabach


Riding Freedom by Pam Munoz Ryan


Rosie the Riveter by Christine Petersen


Patsy's Discovery by Elizabeth Massie


A Friendship for Today by Patricia McKissack


Freedom on the Menu by Carole Boston Weatherford


Journey to Jo'burg by Beverly Naidoo


True North by Kathryn Lasky


Wonder by R.J. Palacio


The Wright Brothers by Russell Freedman

6-8


The Glory Field by Walter Dean Myers


Stella by Starlight by Sharon M. Draper


Nelson Mandela: No Easy Walk to Freedom by Barry Denenberg


Eleanor Roosevelt: A Life of Discovery by Russell Freedman


The Watsons Go to Birmingham by Christopher Paul Curtis


Jackie & Me by Dan Gutman


Dave at Night by Gail Carson Levine


Nothing but the Truth by Avi


Spies of Mississippi by Rick Bowers


The Secret of the Lion's Head by Beverly Hall


I Am Malala (Young Readers Edition) by Patricia McCormick and Malala Yousafzai

9-10


Half-Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan


To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee


Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck


Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela


The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman by Ernest J. Gaines


Breaking Through by Francisco Jimenez


The Jungle by Upton Sinclair


Crossing Stones by Helen Frost

11-12


Night by Elie Wiesel


The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd


Kaffir Boy by Mark Mathabane


Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton


Black Boy by Richard Wright


The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan


Freedom's Daughters by Lynne Olson


Freshwater Road by Denise Nicholas


The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros


Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder


The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

SPACE & EXPLORATION LESSONS

GRADES

THINKCERCA LESSON

3-5

“Air Travel Takes Off”

How were the Wright Brothers able to change the world?

“Albina’s Cell Phone”

How does Internet access change the way small villages around the world work?

“Are We There Yet?”

Based on the information provided in this article, what is the most important way that car travel has transformed the United States?

“Cecilia Payne, Astronomer”

How did Cecilia Payne change the world?

“From Reapers to Robots”

How has technology changed the world of farming?

“Robot Relatives”

In what ways are engineers making robots more human-like?

6-8

“Aliens on Our Minds”

How have scientific and technological developments changed people’s understanding of the universe and the possibilities of extraterrestrial life?

“Attempts at Flight Before the Wright Brothers”

What were the advances and pitfalls in the history of human flight?

“Ethics Report Could Help NASA Weigh Risks of Long-Term Space Travel”

Based on what you learned from the article, upon what values do you believe the committee’s ethical standards are based?

“Wind Energy a Wise Investment”

Why is wind energy a wise investment?

“Self-driving Cars Inch Closer to Mainstream Availability”

What are the issues surrounding using cars that can drive themselves?

“Showdown at Separation Point”

Why did scientists debate so much about the existence of the planet Vulcan?

“Jellyfish Inspire Flying-Robot Design”

How can nature inspire technology?

9-10

“Scientists Seek a Newer, Cheaper Solar Panel”

What are the benefits of the new solar panel material?

“Perhaps the Moon Cannot Exist!”

What is the origin of the Earth's moon?

“Let's Go More Boldly!”

Should we increase funding for NASA?

“Distant Planet Terrified It Might Be Able to Someday Support Human Life”

How does the author use a satirical article with a fictional speaker to raise awareness about the damage humans have done to the earth?

“Seeking Another Earth, By the Numbers”

What evidence suggests that there may be another planet like Earth somewhere in the universe?

“TED Talk: What We Can Learn from Galaxies Far, Far Away”

Why should we study galaxies far, far away?

11-12

“Newsbound: Dude, Where's My Mars Rover?”

Is the Curiosity mission to Mars worthwhile?

“How the Solar Plant Works”

Is solar power a viable solution to the world's energy issues?

“With Need for Nuclear Weapons Questioned, Builders Find a New Target—Errant Asteroids”

Should governments be spending resources to develop nuclear weapons they can use to destroy asteroids that might hit the Earth?

“In the Mojave, a Scientist-Entrepreneur Works to "Re-create" Martians”

What does Venter hope to gain by detecting, decoding, and copying DNA?

“Women in Mathematics: Things Are Better, but Still Far from Good”

Does the author make a convincing argument that the mathematics community should make a stronger effort to recognize the work of women?

GRADES

PAIR WITH

3-5



Amazing Feats of Aerospace Engineering by Angie Smibert


Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamwamba


Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Over the Moon by Frank Cottrell Boyce

Women in Space: 23 Stories of First Flights, Scientific Missions, and Gravity-Breaking Adventures by Karen Bush Gibson


Potatoes on Rooftops: Farming in the City by Hadley Dyer


Robotics by Kathy Ceceri

6-8


Alien Worlds: Your Guide to Extraterrestrial Life by David Aguilar


Amazing Feats of Aerospace Engineering by Angie Smibert


Astronaut Academy: Re-Entry by Dave Roman


Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamwamba


Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Over the Moon by Frank Cottrell Boyce


Get Started: Astronomy by DK


Robotics by Kathy Ceceri

9-10


The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau


Dove Arising by Karen Bao


The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe


Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams


The Long Earth by Stephen Braxter and Terry Pratchett


172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad

11-12


Red Rising by Pierce Brown and Tim Gerard Reynolds


The Gods Themselves by Isaac Asimov


Life As We Knew It by Sarah Beth Pfeffer


Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card


"Too Much Happiness" (short story) by Alice Munro