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For Grades K-4 , week of Oct. 16, 2023


Across the world in the Middle East, a war has broken out between Israel and a group called Hamas, after a terrorist attack against innocent civilians by Hamas. The two sides have been fighting for years, but it has now escalated to a war. The fighting has prompted people to express their support for both Israelis and Palestinians, who have been killed, hurt, or forced to leave their homes in order to stay safe. Look at a world map and find where Israel is in relation to the United States. (If you have trouble finding it, start by locating Egypt, in the top right corner of Africa. Israel is the country that borders Egypt to the east.) Write a journal entry talking about what you know about the war and how you feel.


Last week, a rare solar eclipse called the “ring of fire” moved across the sky in North and South America. It happens when the moon lines up between the Earth and sun, blocking all but the sun’s outer edges from view. While this isn’t a total solar eclipse, because the moon is too far from Earth to completely block out the sun, all that’s visible in the sky is a bright circle, or “ring of fire,” around the outline of the moon. It’s important to know that you can’t look at a solar eclipse directly, the same way you shouldn’t look directly at the sun. It can hurt your eyes, particularly the part of the eye that sends information to the brain. This is because the solar radiation that comes from the sun is still there even when the sun is in shadow from the moon, so even though it doesn’t hurt to look at like it does when it’s at full brightness, it can still end up hurting your eyes. Write a paragraph summarizing what an eclipse is, including a picture to represent it, and why you can’t look directly at it.


A man in Minnesota pleaded guilty last week to stealing the ruby slippers that Judy Garland wore in “The Wizard of Oz” movie. The theft took place in 2005 from the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, the actor’s hometown, and the shoes were recovered in 2018. The man who stole them said he thought they contained real rubies and he had hoped to sell the gems, but when he found out the stones were made of glass, he got rid of them and they made their way to the FBI. Judy Garland wore several pairs of the famous ruby slippers during the filming of the 1939 movie, but only four authentic pairs are known to still exist. The stolen pair is currently worth $3.5 million. Write a short article summarizing the facts of this case.


As an entertaining way to learn about bears in their natural habitat, Katmai National Park and Preserver started Fat Bear Week. The annual contest tracks brown bears that live in the park as they stock up on salmon before moving into hibernation for the winter, live-streaming trail cam videos for anyone to Tuen into on their website. Viewers vote during Fat Bear Week on which bear to name as the year’s winner. Of an estimated 2,200 brown bears in Katmai, the winner this year was a fierce mama bear named Grazer. Read about what it means for a bear to hibernate in the winter. Then, write a paragraph that explains why bears need to eat a lot in the summer in order to hibernate successfully.


Rapper 50 Cent is sponsoring a girls’ soccer team in Cardiff, the capital of Wales, making him the latest celebrity to support a Welsh team. The father of one of the players worked with the rapper on a tour and he agreed to sponsor the team for players under age 14, putting them in the spotlight. As part of the sponsorship, the team’s jerseys will include the name of 50 Cent’s hip hop group, G-Unit. Imagine you owned a team for your favorite sport. Draw your own jerseys, including sponsorship logos from any brands or celebrities you would want to sponsor your team and, of course, the team name.