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For Grades K-4 , week of Mar. 18, 2024

1. PENGUINS PROPERTY STOLEN

Fans of the Pittsburgh Penguins were looking forward to receiving bobblehead figurines of former star player Jaromir Jagr, but the giveaway will no longer happen at the upcoming game against the San Jose Sharks. The reason? The entire shipment of bobbleheads was stolen! The team is working with police to figure out what happened to the shipment of thousands of figurines. Jagr has the second most points in the National Hockey League’s history over the course of his career with 1,921 and helped the Penguins win the league’s championship Stanley Cup in 1991 and 1992. He will attend the game where his bobbleheads were meant to be given out to all the fans in attendance. Write a short fiction story or comic strip about the bobbleheads being stolen and what could happen to the thief.

2. READING AND WRITING REDO

About 14 years ago, public schools in the United States no longer had to teach students cursive handwriting. They felt the script-like writing was becoming unnecessary and students would be better off focusing on computer skills, like typing on a keyboard. However, 23 states have changed their mind on the topic, making teaching cursive a requirement again in elementary schools. Research has shown that penmanship or handwriting skills are important to development and academic success—writing by hand helps with memorizing and staying focused on a topic, and cursive is meant as a faster way of writing. Do you know how to read cursive writing or how to write it yourself? Do you think it’s a good thing for students to have to learn? Write at least three ideas of why you think it is or isn’t a good requirement. Then, share your answers with your classmates and think about all the different ideas!

3. REPORTERS OF ALL AGES

Time Magazine has a section of their website called Time For Kids, which reports on current events in short stories for kindergarteners through sixth graders. They also hire kid reporters! Since 2000, they’ve picked kids from all over the country who have wanted to learn what it’s like to be a reporter, and they get the chance to interview celebrities and politicians for real news stories on the website. To apply, kid reporters need to write a news article with quotes from an interview and share why they want to be a TFK Kid Reporter, and they must be under 13 years old. If you were going to apply to be a TFK Kid Reporter, who would you interview for your news story? Write down who it would be and at least five questions you would ask them in order to write your story.

4. NO DRIVER NEEDED

There’s been lots of news about self-driving cars in the last few years, but it’s slowly becoming a more common sight in Los Angeles, California. Fifty self-driving “robotaxis” were released in the city last week, run by a company called Waymo. Their main competitor, Cruise, isn’t allowed to operate in California anymore after one of their self-driving cars injured a pedestrian last year. Both Cruise and Waymo’s cars have been accused of getting in the way of emergency vehicles and blocking public buses from their routes. Other people are worried about the cars taking away jobs from taxi drivers. Write a summary that includes at least five facts about the new self-driving cars in Los Angeles.

5. STARSHIP TAKES OFF

A rocket called Starship was launched into space as a test last week, making history as it traveled halfway around the Earth. This type of rocket, which was built by Elon Musk’s company SpaceX, will eventually take NASA astronauts back to the moon. It wasn’t meant to make it around the Earth, but Starship was the biggest and most powerful rocket to ever fly, standing as tall as a 40-story building. SpaceX lost communication with the rocket 49 minutes after it launched and the company said it had broken up on re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere and probably fell into the Indian Ocean. Write a story about the rocket launch and draw a picture to go along with it.