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For Grades 5-8 , week of Mar. 18, 2024

1. GOING OUT OF PRINT

National magazine Sports Illustrated will no longer publish in print after its May issue this year. The announcement came after months of conflict between the magazine’s owner, Authentic Brands, and operator, the Arena Group. Authentic Brands bought the publication in 2019 and licensed the brand to the Arena Group, a media company with news websites, for them to operate the magazine. Last November, the magazine faced controversy when it was discovered that a number of product reviews it had published under fake author names were apparently generated by artificial intelligence. In January, most of the magazine’s staff was informed they would be laid off within 90 days after the deal between the two companies went sour; Authentic Brands ended the arrangement after Arena Group didn’t pay a $3.75 million payment it had agreed to. While Authentic Brands is looking for other people or companies to take over the license and operate the magazine, its future is still uncertain. Write a summary article of this story, using research online or in your newspaper for additional facts about the magazine.

2. WOODSTOCK HISTORY PROJECT

While music festivals happen all over the country each year, there’s one that stands out in history: the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair. The iconic festival in 1969 is an important part of the era’s culture, an iconic event where almost half a million people joined together at a dairy farm in New York to listen to Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and other famous acts of the time. The average age of Woodstock’s attendees is now 75 years old. The Bethel Woods Center for the Arts museum, which sits on the grounds of the original festival, is hoping to reach at least 4,500 of those attendees, or 1 percent of the audience, to hear about and record their unique experiences. They’ve set up a mobile studio to trek across the country, hoping to record at least 500 people’s stories this year. What do you know about Woodstock and its importance to music history? Read about the festival online from at least three different sources. Then, write a paragraph on why you think it would be important to capture these first-person accounts of what it was like from the surviving people who attended.

3. SNACKIFICATION CONTINUES

The fifth annual State of Snacking report from Mondel?z International came out last week, tracking consumer trends in the snack industry across 2023. The takeaway is the continuation of “snackification,” or the preference for many smaller meals instead of large sit-down versions. About 60 percent of people surveyed said they prefer eating that way and 88 percent said they eat snacks daily. Snack spending stayed about the same, even though inflation has brought an increase in grocery prices, and many people—especially millennials and Gen Z—use social media to discover new snacks to try. Millenials are the group most likely to prioritize snacks that have less plastic packaging, with 71 percent of millennials surveyed saying that’s important to them. Read more from the report. If you were a reporter tasked with making an article from this report, brainstorm ideas of what you could report on or write about based on the statistics you read.

4. BEE PROBLEMS

At the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament, a quarter-final match was delayed when bees invaded the court. A beekeeper had to be called in to gather the hordes of bees that were gathering on camera equipment all over the court. He used a vacuum that filtered the around 3,500 bees into a live-catch container, where they can then be released in a better environment, like the hives he keeps. The Indian Wells Tennis Garden, where the event took place, is home to many flowers that bloom this time of year, making it a hotspot for bee activity; bees can also be attracted to low-frequency sound waves and music, which probably also lured them to the court during the tournament festivities. Write a summary of this story, including facts from research about why it’s important to relocate bees instead of killing them.

5. *NSYNC FOR ONE NIGHT ONLY

Justin Timberlake reunited the members of his former band, *NSYNC, last week to perform together for the first time since 2013, when they joined him onstage at the MTV Video Music Awards. Timberlake, who has had a successful solo career after getting his start with the boy band in the late 1990s and early 2000s, has been performing one-off shows across the country in anticipation of his new album, “Everything I Thought I Was,” which came out last Friday. *NSYNC last performed together following their last album, “Celebrity,” which was released in 2001. Write a short profile on Timberlake to accompany the announcement of his latest album release, including details about the recent concert with his former bandmates.