For Grades 5-8 , week of Apr 22, 2024


A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that the rate emergency room visits for heat-related illnesses increased significantly last year as temperatures warmed across the country. People in the South were particularly affected, with the highest rates occurring in a region that encompasses Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. Last year was the hottest summer on record and 90 percent of the nearly 120,000 heat-related emergency room visits occurred between May and September. Heat illness can manifest as fatigue, dehydration, nausea, headache, confusion, and increased heart rate as the body heats up. Look up the effects of heat-related illness on the body and write an article that warns people about what to look out for and tips about how to stay safe during the hottest months of the year.


College basketball superstar Caitlin Clark signed a four-year contract with the Indiana Fever as the WNBA’s top draft pick. However, her salary drew criticism for the gender pay gap between men’s and women’s teams. Clark’s contract is worth $338,056 while last year’s No.1 NBA draft pick was given a $55 million contract for the same length of time. Clark set a new record as the NCAA’s Division 1 overall top scorer for both men and women during her college basketball career. A WNBA spokesperson said that Clark stands to make much more than just the base salary of her contract, as the earnings she’ll receive through marketing agreements, endorsements, and other partnerships is already expected to be $3 million or more. However, others argue that the same is true of NBA stars, despite their base salaries being so much higher. Write an article about the gender pay gap in sports, using Caitlin Clark’s story as an example.


The United Arab Emirates saw record-breaking rainfall last week, flooding communities and roadways and temporarily closing the world’s busiest airport for international travel. Dubai International Airport reopened for some carriers even as floodwater still covered one of the airfields. The desert nation was hit with about 5.5 inches of rain in 24 hours, more than its average annual rainfall. Scientists say that climate change is responsible for more frequent extreme weather events around the world, which could explain the unusually intense rainstorm in the desert city-state. Research other extreme weather events that have happened so far in 2024. Then, write an article that includes what you’ve learned and the recent flooding in UAE.


Prince Harry moved to the United States with his wife, Meghan Markle, in 2020 after the couple stepped away from their royal duties. Now, a new filing in the United Kingdom shows that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex changed their primary residence to the US. The change was reported because Harry updated the primary residence for his business, a London-based company called Travalyst Ltd.—which he founded and owns 75 percent of—that advises travel brands on sustainable tourism. Harry has also previously shared that he has considered applying to become a US citizen. Using online research, write a short summary of Prince Harry and Meghan’s move to the US and their current relationship with the royal family.


Grocery chain Trader Joe’s recalled organic fresh basil from stores in 29 states—the entire eastern half of the country—for a salmonella outbreak that left 12 people ill, including 1 hospitalized, across Florida, Georgia, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin. Salmonella is a bacterium that can affect the GI-track and cause uncomfortable symptoms within 12 hours to 3 days after exposure. It can be especially dangerous for young children, the elderly, or those with weakened immune systems. It can be spread by contact with contaminated food, water, people, or animals. Consider what the important info would be to share if you were writing an article about a salmonella outbreak or other public health emergency like this. Write a list of the facts you would need to know and who you would get that information from in order to keep your audience informed.