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For Grades K-4 , week of June 24, 2024

1. CELEBRATING JUNETEENTH

Juneteenth is a holiday celebrated on June 19th in the United States. It marks the end of slavery in 1865. On that day, Union soldiers in Galveston, Texas, told 250,000 enslaved people they were free, even though they should have been freed two years earlier by the Emancipation Proclamation. Juneteenth started in Texas and spread as Black people moved to other cities. It became a state holiday in Texas in 1980 and a federal holiday in 2021. Celebrations include parades, cookouts, and music festivals to honor freedom and equality. Write a paragraph that includes five facts you learned about the history of Juneteenth.

2. EDITOR STEPS DOWN

The Washington Post had a new editor named Robert Winnett who was supposed to start, but he changed his mind and decided to stay in England. This caused a lot of problems at the newspaper, which is already having a hard time with money. People were worried about Winnett's honesty and if he would fit in with how American journalists work. The CEO of the Post, Will Lewis, told the staff about Winnett leaving and said they would find someone else to take his place soon. They also talked about making changes to how the newspaper works to try to make more money from their stories. Think about what would be important if you were writing a story for a newspaper. What do newspaper stories have in common? What are the reasons people read newspapers? Write a paragraph about this and share your thoughts with your classmates.

3. PROTEST AT STONEHENGE

Two people were arrested in England for throwing orange powder on Stonehenge. They did it to make people think about how using fossil fuels affects the climate. Stonehenge is a very old circle of big stones where people go to mark the longest day of the year. The powder didn’t seem to damage the stones, but it worried people who care about Stonehenge. The police arrested the protesters who did it. They might go to jail for up to two years. Some people were upset because Stonehenge is important to them spiritually. Using the internet or a reference book in your classroom, look up the history of Stonehenge. Then, write at least five facts that you learned about this unique rock formation.

4. ANCIENT ROMAN BEACH RETURNS

Almost 2,000 years ago in what is now Italy, Mount Vesuvius erupted near the ancient city of Herculaneum, covering it in volcanic ash and lava. People who were waiting for help in stone boat houses on the beach were buried. Now, after restoration work, visitors can walk on this beach for the first time since the disaster. The area is known for its black volcanic sand and holds the remains of over 300 people, mostly women, children, and their animals. The site, near the famous city of Pompeii that was also buried by the volcano, gives a glimpse into Roman life before the eruption. Recent discoveries continue to intrigue scientists and tourists who come to the area to learn about this ancient tragedy. Write down what you know about volcanoes and what happens when they erupt. Then, use the internet or a reference book in your classroom to see whether you’re correct and what you can learn more about them.

5. MEXICO’S FIRST FEMALE PRESIDENT

Claudia Sheinbaum made history on June 2, 2024, by becoming Mexico's first female president. She's also the first leader of Mexico with Jewish heritage. This is a big deal because women in Mexico only got the right to vote in 1953. Sheinbaum, who is 61 years old and used to run Mexico City, isn't a typical politician. She's a scientist who studies climate and energy. She wants to switch Mexico from using fossil fuels to cleaner energy like wind and solar power. She wants to cut down Mexico's use of fossil fuels by half in six years. She'll spend a lot of money on green energy projects and make public transportation better. Even though her job is tough, Sheinbaum is already inspiring girls and women everywhere. She's proving that women can be leaders on a big stage like this. If you could talk to Claudia Sheinbaum, what questions would you ask her? Write down at least five questions along with why you’d want to ask those specific questions.