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For Grades K-4 , week of July 17, 2023

1. OTTER SEARCH

Local officials are searching for a sea otter in California who has stolen surfboards from surfers the past few summers. The five-year-old southern sea otter is no longer afraid of humans, but instead swims up and jumps onto surf- and paddle-boards, sometimes damaging them by taking bites out of the hard material. There are only about 3,000 southern sea otters left along the central California coast and officials want to make people aware that they shouldn’t feed or approach wild otters. Why might it be bad for an otter or other wild animals to be fed by humans? Write down your ideas and share them with your classmates.

2. MOON MISSION

India has launched a rocket carrying a robotic lander and rover aimed at landing on the moon August 23 or 24. The country’s last robotic space mission crashed on the moon’s surface four years ago, but the new version is simpler and better suited to landing on the moon’s surface. India plans to send astronauts to the International Space Station with the United States next year. Write a short summary of the story of India’s recent space launch and create your own illustration.

3. SOCCER PAYDAY

For the first time, all the soccer players at the Women’s World Cup will be paid at least $30,000 this year, with teams who do better in the tournament earning more. Last year, players called on FIFA, the organization in charge of the tournament, to pay them more fairly compared to the men’s World Cup and for a part of the prize pool to be guaranteed to go to the players, rather than the teams they play for. While the women’s teams are still earning far less than the men’s tournament, a portion of the prize money will go directly to the players. Write your own story summarizing the women’s teams’ accomplishment in getting better pay.

4. EARLY AMERICANS

New evidence shows that humans may have lived in the Americas earlier than previously thought. Artifacts made from the bones of giant sloths, an extinct mammal that stood at least 10 feet tall, indicate that human beings migrated from Africa to South America thousands of years earlier than scientists thought. The artifacts were studied to see if they had been carved from bones thousands of years after the giant sloths went extinct, but the results showed that the work to turn the bones into personal objects like jewelry were done just days to years after the animal had died, which meant humans and giant sloths lived in South America at the same time. Draw a picture of what you think giant sloths would have looked like compared to ancient humans.

5. ON STRIKE

Writers and actors in Hollywood are now on strike against studios and streaming services like Disney, Universal, Netflix, and Amazon. More than 170,000 workers are trying to negotiate their contracts to keep jobs from being replaced with Artificial Intelligence technology, as well as higher pay for background actors, stand-ins, and other groups of actor who aren’t always in the spotlight. Write a paragraph about how you think television shows and movies could be affected if actors and writers refuse to work until a new contract is reached.

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