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For Grades K-4 , week of Mar. 04, 2024

1. CHOCOLATE FACTORY MELTDOWN

Kids in Scotland were very disappointed when a Willy Wonka-themed event turned out to be not what they expected. The event was supposed to be an “immersive experience,” which means it was supposed to feel like you were stepping into the world of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. However, when parents showed up with their kids, the event was at a large warehouse that was barely decorated. Even the actors were very disappointed in the event and felt bad for the people who bought tickets. Some parents even called the police about it. Think about how you would feel to be excited about something and it turns out to not be what you expect. How would you handle that situation? Write a short paragraph about what emotions you would feel and what actions you would take.

2. HATCH WATCH

People around the world are tuning in to an online feed to wait for three bald eagle chicks to hatch from their eggs in the Southern California mountains. The eggs were laid in late January and protected by their mother, Jackie, including during a winter snowstorm when she sat on the eggs for almost three days without a break to keep them warm. A charity called Friends of Big Bear Valley, where the nest is located, installed a camera in 2015 to check on the bald eagles and any eggs they might have each year. Look up facts about birds and the process they go through when they lay their eggs and wait for them to hatch. Then, write a summary of what you learned and compare it to Jackie the bald eagle and her nest.

3. BIRTHDAY BOOKS

To honor the 120th birthday of Theodor Geisel, better known as the author Dr. Seuss, the company in charge of his books and the publishing company that makes them are giving away 10,000 copies of “The Cat in the Hat” to babies born March 2 this year. Each book will have a personalized message for the child about their birthday. Make your own Dr. Seuss-style story about a crazy character in a colorful world, just like his books! Write a rhyming story about your own character and draw a picture to go along with it.

4. LEAP YEAR

You probably noticed that you had an extra day of February last week—the month that usually has 28 days gets an extra one every four years. But why? The reason it’s added is because our year doesn’t quite line up with the Earth’s orbit around the sun. It takes the Earth just a little bit longer to orbit the sun than our 365-day year. In fact, there’s an extra 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 56 seconds that the Earth is still finishing its orbit. That extra time has to be accounted for or eventually, our calendar would be totally out of sync with the seasons we expect.

We use the Gregorian Calendar, which was introduced by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582 and created the Leap Day as we know it. But did you know Leap Day doesn’t happen every four years? This is where it gets complicated: Leap years don’t happen in years that are divisible by 100 unless it’s also divisible by 400. That means there was a leap year in 2000 because 2000 can be divided by 400. However, there won’t be a leap year in 2100, even though that would fall on the four year cycle, because 2100 can be divided evenly by 100 but not 400. That’s a lot of math! Write a summary about Leap Day, including five facts you learned here, and what would happen if we didn’t have it.

5. HOLY MONTH BEGINS

While we use the Gregorian Calendar, other cultures and religions use different calendars—you may remember talking about about Chinese New Year or the Lunar New Year in early February, even though our New Year takes place on January 1. For people who practice the religion of Islam, March 10 marks the start of Ramadan, the ninth month of their lunar calendar. Ramadan is a very important month for Muslims, or people who practice the religion of Islam. Healthy adults and children over 14 fast, meaning they don’t eat or drink anything from sunrise to sunset—this is meant to develop empathy for those who don’t have access to food and water and awareness and gratitude for everything the person has. The month ends April 9 with a big celebration called Eid al-Fitr, or the “festival of breaking the fast.” Write a summary of Ramadan and what you learned about it, including at least five facts.