For Grades K-4 , week of Mar. 11, 2024


The last nine months have broken records for the hottest of each ever recorded. February was an average of 56.37 degrees Fahrenheit, breaking the record set in 2016 by about one-eight of a degree. The temperatures of the world’s oceans are also breaking records. In February, temperature of the surface of the water has broken the record set in August 2023 and is still rising. The El Niño weather pattern, which happens every few years and brings heat from the ocean into the atmosphere, is partially to blame for the higher temperatures. However, climate scientists are still worried about how high the temperatures rose, even with the El Niño going on. Did you notice the weather being warmer than usual this February? While you may have enjoyed more time outside or not having to bundle up in warm coats as much, why could a warmer winter be a bad thing? Write down at least three reasons you can think of why this could be a problem. Then, share your answers with your classmates.


Cole Brauer recently became the first American woman to race nonstop around the world by herself on a sailboat. The journey took 130 days to cover 30,000 miles and ended in Spain. She was part of a competition called the Global Solo Challenge, where sixteen sailors from ten countries sailed around the world. The competition allowed different kinds of boats and adjusted when each participant started based on what kind of boat they were using. Cole was the only woman and the youngest person in the competition. More than half the competitors dropped out of the four-month-long race so far. Less than 200 people have successfully sailed around the world alone. Think about the different challenges someone would face sailing alone for so long, between physical challenges of managing a boat to mental challenges like being lonely without people to talk to except for phone calls and video chats. Then, write down five questions you would ask Cole about her journey if you had the opportunity to interview her.


An eight-year-old chess player recently became the youngest person to beat a grandmaster in classical chess. Grandmaster is the highest title a person can achieve in chess and there are only about 2,000 grandmasters ever named by the world chess organization. Ashwath Kaushik, who is eight years and eleven months old, beat 37-year-old Jacek Stopa in an international chess competition and became the only person under nine years old to win against a grandmaster—the previous record-holder was five months older than Ashwath is now. Ashwath spends at least two hours each day after school and most of his weekends practicing chess and learning from experts. Write a summary of this story, including at least five facts you learned.


A scientist who was studying a type of electric fish called the elephantnose fish, discovered how they use electricity to understand the world around them. The fish can send and receive weak electrical signals in the water. The scientist studying them noticed the fish would arrange themselves in a very specific way in their tanks, floating in a group together. The scientist figured out that by hanging out in a group, the fish were creating an electrical network in the water that was bigger than any one fish could create by itself. This way, the group of fish would all be able to sense changes in the water around them, like if a predator fish was approaching, because they were all touching the same electrical network. These fish work together to do more than they could do on their own. How can that idea relate to humans? Write down an example where working together can lead to better results than what a person can do on their own.


Winds in California were so strong recently, they actually moved an entire lake! The 30- to 50-mile-per-hour winds were part of a storm that was moving across California and Nevada. Over three days, they blew across California’s Death Valley National Park, where there’s a temporary lake called Lake Manly. The lake forms when there’s enough rain and this February, the lake was six miles long, three miles wide, and one foot deep. The wind caused the shallow lake to move two miles north, but by the end of the week, it had slowly drifted back to its original location. Write a summary of this story, including at least five facts you learned.