Weekly Update for 2/20/15

Blog Posting for 2/20/2015

This week news4kids.org aired the following stories:

New White Tiger Cubs in Japan K-3

Sri Lankan Buddhist Pageant 4-8

Starling Migration in Israel K-3

Captive Killer Whale Controversy 4-8


Newscast: New White Tiger Cubs in Japan K-3

Essential Question: What characterizes a white tiger?

Vocabulary: Bengal tiger, endangered, rare, gene, pigmentation, carnivore

Learning Objectives:

– Identify white Bengal tigers as carnivorous animals that are very rare and are also endangered.

– Note that no two tigers have the same stripe pattern.

Summary: Four rare white tiger cubs were born at the Tobu Zoo in northwest Japan. The parents of the babies are the zoo’s white tigers Rocky and Carla. White tigers are believed to be Bengal tigers with a unique color variation and due to their inability to blend in with their surroundings, they are very rare in the wild. Today, there are an estimated 100-200 white tigers remaining worldwide. The majority of these tigers are found in zoos, 30 of which are in Japan alone.


Newscast: Sri Lankan Buddhist Pageant 4-8

Essential Question: What are the basic tenants of the Buddhist tradition?

Vocabulary: Buddhism, Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama, enlightened, sublime, nirvana, nontheistic religion, cremated

Learning Objectives:

– Identify Siddhartha Gautama, more commonly known as Buddha, as the      founder of Buddhism, noting that he is seen as an enlightened teacher who lived and taught between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE.

– Identify the ultimate goal of Buddhism, which is to reach the sublime state of nirvana.

Summary: Tens of thousands of people lined the streets of Sri Lanka’s capital to watch an annual Buddhist pageant. During the pageant, hundreds of drummers and dancers escorted brightly decorated elephants down the streets.


Newscast: Starling Migration in Israel K-3

Essential Question: Why do starlings migrate for the winter?

Vocabulary: migrate, murmuration, synchronized, predator, hemisphere

Learning Objectives:

– Explain that many birds migrate south during the winter due to lack of food           in the cold northern hemisphere.

– Explain that by traveling together in flocks, birds protect themselves from   predators.

– Define a murmuration in their own words.

Summary: A large flock of migrating starlings recently formed a spectacular sight of ‘dancing clouds’ in the skies of southern Israel. The starlings were flying over the region in a synchronized manner, causing a murmuration. A murmuration happens when a group of starlings creates a shape that looks like a black cloud.


Newscast: Captive Killer Whale Controversy 4-8

Essential Question: What is the controversy surrounding Lolita the killer whale?

Vocabulary: orca, endangered, activists, captivity, assimilation, rehabilitation, incremental

Learning Objectives:

– Identify Lolita as a killer whale, also called an orca, that has been held in      captivity by Seaquarium for almost 45 years.

– Explain the arguments of both the activists and Seaquarium.

Summary: Activists seeking to free a captive killer whale, or orca, named Lolita have developed a new plan to move forward with their efforts. Activists are hoping that federal regulators will label the orca species endangered, allowing them to sue a Miami aquarium to release her back into the wild.

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