Weekly Update for 12/12/14

Blog Posting for 12/12/2014

This week news4kids.org aired the following stories:

Antarctica Ice Marathon K-2

Hawaiian Lava Flow 3-5

Panda Plays in the Snow K-2

Comet Landing 3-5


Newscast: Antarctica Ice Marathon K-2

Essential Question: Why is a marathon in Antarctica especially difficult?

Vocabulary: Antarctica, South Pole, marathon, glacier, wind chill, rehydration

Learning Objectives:

            – Identify Antarctica as Earth’s southernmost continent that is on average the        coldest, driest, and windiest of the seven continents.

Summary: 50 athletes from 17 countries braved freezing conditions to complete the 10th annual Antarctic Ice Marathon. When the race started, the runners were challenged with temperatures below 5°F, which felt even colder with the wind chill factor. The competitors ran two laps for the course around the Union Glacier Exploration Camp, complete with several rehydration stops with hot drinks and snacks.


Newscast: Hawaiian Lava Flow 3-5

Essential Question: How do volcanoes form?

Vocabulary: volcano, lava, magma, mantle, rupture, noxious gas, tectonic plates, molten rock, summit, plateau, eruption, active/inactive

Learning Objectives:

– Identify the difference between an active and inactive volcano.

– Explain how a volcano forms.

– Explain what causes a volcano to erupt.

          Summary: A slow-moving volcanic lava flow on the big island of Hawaii has been gradually moving down the hillside towards the rural town of Pahoa since June of this year. The source of the lava comes from the Kilauea volcano, which began leaking lava in June.


Newscast: Panda Plays in the Snow K-2

Essential Question: What are some characteristics of giant pandas like Da Mao?

Vocabulary: solitary, hibernate, endangered, extinct, habitat, digestive, bamboo, captivity

Learning Objectives:

– List some key characteristics of giant pandas.

– Explain that giant pandas in the wild are native to South Central China, and that some, like Da Mao, live in captivity.

Summary: This week, the Toronto Zoo caught its male giant panda, Da Mao, on camera playing in the fresh snow. He was having a blast sledding and rolling around in his enclosure. Although you might not think of pandas as animals who love the snow, Da Mao showed us that he likes to play in the snow as much as a polar bear!


Newscast: Comet Landing 3-5

Essential Question: What is remarkable about the Philae space probe?

Vocabulary: space probe, Comet 67P, magnetosphere, solar power, transmission

Learning Objectives:

– Identify the Philae space probe as the first to land on a comet.

– Explain that the probe relies on solar power and cannot work unless its solar       panels have access to sunlight.

Summary: The Rosetta spacecraft was launched 10.7 years ago by the European Space Agency from French Guiana. On November 12th, 2014 it finally released its space probe, Philae, which became the first probe to successfully touch down on a comet.

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