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for Grades K-4

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For Grades K-4 , week of Apr 29, 2024

1. TUNNELS FOR TOURISTS

Below London, there’s a secret network of tunnels that may soon be open to the public. The maze-like network of tunnels was built in the 1940s during World War II. It was later used as storage for government documents and the site of a secret communications system used during the Cold War. The tunnels haven’t been used since the 1980s and have been vacant since then. But soon, people will be able to visit the tunnels to look at art, watch fashion shows, and more. A businessman bought the complex of tunnels and plans to turn it into a tourist destination by 2027, restoring them and adding technology like new lighting. Write a summary of this story, including five facts you learned.

2. FIRST S.T.E.M. FESTIVAL

Last week, the United States Department of Education hosted the first National STEM Festival in Washington, D.C. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The event celebrates students who have come up with new and interesting ideas on topics like the environment, food shortages, health, technology, and outer space. It started with the STEM Challenge, where students submitted projects in one of the topics. Then, up to two hundred finalists from around the country were chosen to share their projects at the festival. Some of the nation’s leaders attended the festival to learn from these young, creative minds! If you were to create a project for this festival, what world issue would you want to help tackle? Write down some ideas for problems and brainstorm solutions with your classmates.

3. DEBRIS IN FLORIDA

A family in Florida got a big surprise when a hunk of metal the size of a soda can fell through their roof and into the floor. It wasn’t a meteorite, but instead a large battery pallet from the International Space Station. The International Space Station is about the size of a football field. It orbits around the Earth and astronauts from different countries use it to conduct experiments and research. NASA dropped the batteries and pallet three years ago and said what day they would reenter the Earth’s atmosphere. The object fell through the Florida home the exact day they predicted. They thought it would break up when it came through the atmosphere instead of staying intact and potentially causing damage. Because the space station is used by several countries, the country that controls the part that the debris came from will be responsible for the damage. This piece seemed to be from the United States’ equipment. Write a summary of this story, including five facts you learned.

4. CICADA SEASON

Police in South Carolina got calls from concerned residents about strange noises that sounded like sirens or a load roar, but the cause turned out to be insects! The sheriff’s office posted a message on Facebook letting people know that what they were hearing were cicadas. The noisy bugs burrow into the ground for years and come up in 13- or 17-year cycles. This year, those two cycles line up and there will be more cicadas than usual that come out of their underground hiding to mate. They can sound like a lawn mower or even as loud as a jet engine! Read more about cicadas online or in books. Then, write a list of at least five facts you learned about cicadas and how they’re similar or different from other insects.

5. NEW TRAFFIC TOLLS

New York City is launching a new program to help deal with some of the country’s worst traffic. The city will begin charging tolls on June 30 to get into the busiest areas during peak times. It will cost regular cars $15 a day to enter Manhattan’s “congestion zone,” or the busiest areas, and trucks will pay based on size. The program is anticipated to bring in at least $1 billion a year for projects like improving the city’s buses and trains. It will also lower the number of vehicles in the area by around 17 percent. A survey showed that 63 percent of New Yorkers are against the new toll, while a study of public comments showed that around 60 percent of commenters support it. Write a summary of this story and how you think this would affect the city.