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For Grades K-4 , week of May 06, 2024

1. METEOR SHOWER

A meteor shower that happens every year in early May reached its peak last weekend. Meteors are pieces of comets that broke apart. When they enter the earth’s atmosphere, they glow and look like they have bright, fiery tails behind them—this is because the resistance from the air as they fall creates heat. This meteor shower is made up of pieces of Halley’s Comet, and it will be visible in the night sky until May 27. However, last Sunday had 10 to 30 meteors visible per hour in the Northern Hemisphere. Write a summary of this story, using 3 to 5 facts you learned, and draw a picture of a meteor or shooting star to go with it.

2. CELEBRATING THE GODDESS OF THE SEA

Thousands of people on the island of Taiwan gathered together last week to celebrate Mazu, the Goddess of the Sea. People join the noisy, colorful parade for a pilgrimage, or journey, where they carry Mazu statues through the streets. There are dance performances, fireworks, bright lights and colorful lanterns, the sound of gongs and pop songs, and the smell of incense. Shop owners and people who live along the route set up stands and offer the pilgrims food and drinks on their way. Those who carry the statue of Mazu decided what route the goddess wants to take or where she wants to stop on the way to the temple that is her final destination. The pilgrimages used to be mainly older people from rural villages, but now, more young people have taken more of an interest and joined in the celebrations. Draw pictures of what you imagine the celebrations to honor Mazu in Taiwan look like, using details from the story to guide you.

3. ZEBRA ON THE LOOSE

Four zebras escaped a trailer into a rural neighborhood in Washington while they were being driven to Montana. Three were quickly found, but one is still on the loose in the state. Officials closed local trails at a nature area to keep people away and hopefully make it easier to capture her. The owner runs a petting zoo in Montana and had bought the zebras in Washington to bring them to the zoo. Several people stopped to help gather them when they escaped, including horse trainers and a rodeo clown. Write a story or draw a comic strip from the perspective of the escaped zebra, using facts from the summary in your story.

4. ANIMAL DOCTOR

An orangutan named Rakus surprised scientists who were studying him in the wild. He had an injury on his cheek and he used a plant to treat it. The plant is used by people to treat pain and swelling. Rakus the orangutan chewed up the plant, used his fingers to put some of the juices onto his injury, and then covered the wound with the piece of the plant like a bandage. Scientists found that a month later, Rakus’ wound was fully healed. Because Rakus put the plant on his injury and no where else on his body, scientists think he may have understood that the plant would help it heal. People have seen other types of primates, like chimpanzees and apes, use plants as medicine, too. Are you surprised that other animals know how to use plants as medicine? Why or why not? Write down your reaction to this story and share with your classmates, listening to how their perspectives are different from or similar to yours.

5. STAR WARS DAY

Last Saturday, May 4th, was Star Wars Day, a play on the famous phrase from the movies, “may the force (or, May the fourth) be with you.” The informal holiday is celebrated by Star Wars fans as a day to watch the movies and some companies announce new Star Wars-related products or projects. Streaming service Disney+used the day to share a new trailer for Star Wars: The Acolyte, a new TV show in the franchise. If you could create a holiday based on your favorite book, show, movie, or video game, what day would it be? What would you do to celebrate? Write a paragraph about your ideas for your new holiday.