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For Grades K-4 , week of Dec. 11, 2023

1. WARMING UP TURTLES

Sea turtles live in warm climates close to the equator, where the waters they swim in are nice in warm. For fifty-two sea turtles in New England, the waters got too cold, and the turtles experienced “cold stun.” Turtles are cold-blooded, which means their bodies adapt to the temperature of their surroundings instead of maintaining a consistent body temperature like we do. When the water gets too cold, the turtles’ blood circulation system slows down and they’re unable to swim properly. These turtles were flown from the New England Aquarium in Massachusetts to sea turtle rehabilitation facilities in Florida to warm back up before they’ll be returned to their natural habitat. Look up other animals that are cold-blooded and write down other characteristics they have in common. Where do they live? Do cold-blooded animals only live in warm climates?

2. LEMONADE TROUBLE

Fast-casual restaurant Panera Bread is again facing trouble for its “Charged Lemonade,” a highly caffeinated lemonade drink. The family of a 46-year-old man is suing Panera because he died after drinking the lemonade. He usually avoided caffeine because of a medical condition, but his family says he drank the Charged Lemonade because it wasn’t advertised as an energy drink, so he didn’t realize it had so much caffeine. Think about how important advertising and labels are in making decisions about everything from what you buy to what you eat and drink. Find an advertisement in a newspaper, magazine, or online and read all the text. What did you learn about the product or service it’s selling? Why do you think it’s important to have clear information on an advertisement? Write down your answers.

3. FALSE ALARM

Jamaal Bowman, a member of the House of Representatives from New York, is in trouble after falsely setting off a fire alarm in a House office building. He was caught on video pulling the fire alarm when his party was stalling for time to review a proposal from the opposing party that was shared just before it was set to be voted on. He was accused of trying to delay the vote, but he said that he didn’t do it to cause a delay, he was trying to open a door that wouldn’t open and mistakenly pulled the alarm. He was charged with a false fire alarm crime and agreed to pay a $1,000 fine. Then, the rest of the House of Representatives voted to censure him, which basically means being publicly reprimanded and is one step below being expelled from Congress. Whether Jamaal Bowman meant to pull the fire alarm to delay the vote or was only trying to open a locked door, do you think he should face consequences for his actions? Do you think it’s fair that he faces both legal consequences and consequences at his workplace, where the event took place? Why or why not? Share your answers with your classmates.

4. WORD OF THE YEAR

Every year, the Oxford University Press, which publishes the Oxford English Dictionary, chooses a Word of the Year based on a word that’s attracted interest over the last 12 months. Previous winners have been “podcast” in 2005, “gif” in 2012, and the crying-laughing emoji in 2015. This year’s nominees were “Swiftie,” “prompt,” “situationship,” and the winner: Rizz. The term, which is popular with Gen Z and Gen Alpha, is short for charisma and originally comes from Black culture before it was popularized on TikTok. What word would you choose if you were going to pick your own Word of the Year? Look up or write your own definition based on how you use the word and share your word picks and definitions with your classmates.

5. THE WHITE CONTINENT

An iceberg the size of a small city that broke off from Antarctica is heading northward to warmer waters where it will eventually melt. It’s the largest iceberg in the world right now at about 1,500 square miles wide, about the size of Rhode Island, and 1,300 feet thick, about the same as the height of the Empire State Building in New York. It broke off the Antarctic continent in 1986 but has been in the Weddell Sea, south of South America, ever since. Then, it began moving again in 2020, heading out to sea in the Southern Ocean. It’ll eventually break down into smaller pieces and melt into the ocean. Look at a map or globe and find Antarctica, which is surrounded by the Southern Ocean. Then, look up some facts about Antarctica: What is the temperature like there? What kind of animals live there? What is the land like? (Hint: It’s actually home to the largest desert on earth!) Write a paragraph about what you’ve learned.

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