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for Grades K-4

July 22, 2024
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For Grades K-4 , week of July 22, 2024


Bodhana Sivanandan, who is 9 years old and in fourth grade, started playing chess during the Covid-19 pandemic when she found an old chessboard her dad was going to throw away. She quickly learned the game by watching YouTube videos and playing online. Bodhana got really good at chess, even winning a big European championship and beating adults. Now, she is one of England’s best players and will play for England at the Chess Olympiad, which is like the Olympics for chess. Her dream is to become the youngest grandmaster in the world. A grandmaster is a super high rank in chess, and the current youngest grandmaster was 12 years old when he got the title. Bodhana has a few years to try and beat that record. She practices chess for about an hour every day after school with the help of some really good coaches. Bodhana’s dad is very supportive and wants her to enjoy the game and set her own goals. Write a summary of this story, including five facts you learned.


In northern Wisconsin, spearfishing for walleye is an important tradition to the Ojibwe people. However, the tribe faces challenges from warming waters, unpredictable seasons, and lakeshore development. These changes threaten the walleye population, which is crucial for the Ojibwe’s food, culture, and fishing rights. To protect the walleye, tribes and local conservation teams are working together. They limit how many fish can be caught and help boost natural fish populations. Historically, the Ojibwe had to fight for their fishing rights, facing resistance and harassment. Today, conservation efforts and respecting tribal knowledge are key to keeping the walleye and the spearfishing tradition alive. If you could interview Ojibwe people about their fishing traditions, list five questions you would ask.


A very rare whale, called the spade-toothed whale, washed up on a beach in New Zealand. Scientists are excited because this whale is so rare that they have never been able to study one closely. Only six of these whales have ever been found, and none of them were alive. This whale was found quickly and put into a freezer, so it’s in good condition for scientists to study. They plan to dissect it to learn more about the species. This will be the first time they can do this with a spade-toothed whale. Scientists hope to find out more about what these whales eat, how they live, and other important details. Before they can start the dissection, scientists need to talk to the local Indigenous Maori people because whales are considered sacred to them. Using the internet or books in your classroom, look up facts about whales, including how many different species there are, what they eat, and where they live. Then, write a paragraph summarizing what you learned.


The Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, swam in the Seine River to show it's clean enough for the upcoming Paris Olympics. A lot of work and money were spent cleaning the river so it can be used for Olympic events. Mayor Hidalgo swam in the river to keep her promise and show it’s safe. The river will be used for swimming and other events during the Olympics, which start soon. This is the first time in more than 100 years that people can swim in the Seine, thanks to this big clean-up effort. The river was too toxic for most fish and swimmers for decades, filled with trash and used for shipping and passenger boat traffic. Previously, bacteria-filled wastewater was dumped directly into the river after heavy rains. Now, there’s a storage facility the size of 20 Olympic swimming pools where the dirty water will be treated before being put back in the environment. Write a paragraph about the Seine River and how it’s been changed, and draw a picture or map to go along with your summary.


Leleo Kinimaka is a Hawaiian man who makes special surfboards called alaia boards, which have been used in Hawaii for a long time. He grew up in Kauai, surfing and swimming in the ocean, so making surfboards is very personal for him. Leleo carves designs into the surfboards that tell stories and show Hawaiian symbols. Some boards are made for surfing, while others are more like art pieces and are sold to museums and collectors. He uses local wood and tries to make his work as eco-friendly as possible. After learning carpentry in California, Leleo returned to Hawaii and began creating these unique surfboards in 2009. He enjoys blending traditional Hawaiian culture with his craft and feels very proud of his work. If you were going to design a surfboard that included symbols or images from your life, what would you put on it? Draw a version of your design and write what the different elements you chose represent.