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For Grades K-4 , week of Apr 15, 2024


A dog named Roger in Taiwan was training to sniff out drugs that people might be bringing into the country, but he was too friendly to people, so he was taken out of the program. Recently, a strong earthquake hit Taiwan and caused lots of buildings to collapse. Roger found a new job, sniffing for people that might be trapped under buildings or other rubble. He’s one of four search and rescue dogs that helped the local fire department search for people, but he became a star for his playful personality during the difficult time. At a news conference, he even tried to bite on a reporter’s microphone. Using this story as a basis, write and illustrate your own comic strip about Roger.


The packaged snacks Lunchables have been popular with generations of kids and are even available at some schools as a lunch option. However, a new report shows they may not be the healthiest for kids, even when compared to similar snack-pack products from other companies. Lunchables have higher levels of sodium and even lead than other snack-packs. The company also made special packs for schools to meet government requirements of protein and whole grains but two of the packs—Turkey & Cheddar Cracker Stackers and Extra Cheesy Pizza—have even more sodium on the nutritional facts than the grocery store ones. Write your own paragraph of 3 to 5 sentences about why it’s important to know what’s in your food and make sure you’re eating a well-balanced diet.


Game company Mattel is making a new version of its Scrabble word game that’s been around for more than 75 years. They say the new version is “collaborative” and more accessible for players. It’s called Scrabble Together and it will have a faster pace and be easier for people who find word games intimidating, or scary. It was made in response to a survey that shows people are becoming less competitive in younger generations, so people can work together toward a fun goal in this new version. Are you a competitive person or do you prefer working together? Have you played a board or card game where you work with other players instead of competing against them? Think of a competitive game you like to play and make your own version of the rules that’s collaborative instead!


Three men were stranded on a deserted island in the Pacific Ocean but were rescued thanks to a message they put in the sand. They were fishing when they hit a coral reef and their boat got a hole in the bottom of it, which made it start to sink. They knew they wouldn’t be able to make it back to where they set out from, so they brought their boat to an island nearby. They survived for more than a week and to attract attention from rescuers, they used the leaves from palm trees to spell out “help” in giant letters on the beach. Their plan worked when searching planes spotted their message and came to their rescue. What would the most important things be to do if you’re stuck on a deserted island? Write down 3 to 5 things that you think would be important to do first and discuss them with your classmates.


Recently, more than 140 Japanese cherry blossom trees were removed in Washington, DC, so the area around them can be restored. The mayor of Tokyo gave the United States 3,000 cherry blossom trees in 1912 as a symbol of the relationship between the US and Japan, and they became an important tourist attraction for Washington, DC, when they bloomed in the spring. Now, Japan’s prime minister has pledged 250 new cherry trees to replace the ones that had to be removed. The gift is in honor of the 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, which will take place in 2026. Write a summary of this story that includes at least three facts that you learned and draw a picture to go with it.