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For Grades K-4 , week of June 03, 2024

1. PALACE UNCOVERED

People in Collyweston, England, have long told stories about a grand palace that belonged to Lady Margaret Beaufort, the mother of King Henry VII. The palace disappeared over time, but a group of villagers decided to find it. They used old maps and records and even got help from a historian and technology like drones and ground-penetrating radar. In 2021 and 2022, they found evidence of the palace buried underground. Recently, volunteers dug up more clues about what the palace looked like. The villagers hope to learn more about their history and maybe even build a museum to share their discoveries. Write a 3- to 5-sentence summary of this story.

2. CAT ISLAND

On a small island near Japan, there's a special shrine called the Cat Shrine, where people leave gifts for cats. This island, Tashirojima, has more cats than people! Long ago, the islanders believed cats were good luck and protected their homes from rats. Fishermen also thought cats could predict the weather and bring them lots of fish. One day, when a fisherman accidentally hurt a cat, the people built the Cat Shrine to apologize. Today, over 100 cats live on the island, along with about 50 people. Visitors can walk around the island, pet the cats, and enjoy their company. Write a fiction story from the perspective of a cat that lives on the island.

3. WINNER OF THE BEE

At the Scripps National Spelling Bee, two finalists, Bruhat Soma and Faizan Zaki, faced off in a speedy spell-off. Bruhat, from Tampa, Florida, won by spelling an amazing 29 words correctly. Some words were tricky, like those with the schwa sound, which sounds like "uh," and homonyms, words that sound the same but have different meanings. Some spellers stumbled on words from Indigenous languages. Despite Texas usually having strong contenders, this year, only two made it to the finals, with Faizan coming in second place. The eight finalists came from different parts of the United States, showing the Bee's nationwide reach. Write a summary of this story and include at least 5 facts you learned.

4. RETURN OF THE PANDAS

The National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is getting two new pandas from China named Bao Li and Qing Bao. They are expected to arrive by the end of the year. Pandas are very popular, and their return to the zoo is causing excitement among visitors and local businesses. The pandas will spend some time in quarantine before being introduced to their new home. This agreement between the United States and China is a sign of friendship between the two countries. The pandas will be on loan, and any cubs born at the zoo will eventually return to China. Look up facts about pandas, using the Internet or books in your classroom to learn about where they live, what they eat, and other fun facts. Then, write a summary of what you learned.

5. ISLAND EVACUATED

The people of Gardi Sugdub, a tiny island off Panama’s coast, are getting ready to move to the mainland because the rising sea levels are making their homes unsafe. Even though they're sad to leave behind their island life, they know it's necessary to stay safe. Climate change is causing stronger storms and higher tides, making living on the island too risky. The government is helping them move to a new place on the mainland. It’s a big change for them because their culture and way of life have always been connected to the sea. Many other coastal communities around the world are also facing similar problems because of rising sea levels. Imagine what it would be like for your entire community to need to move to a new place. Write a paragraph about what you think that would be like, from what you would have to do to prepare to how it would feel emotionally to leave your home.