Weekly Update for 8/15/14

Blog Posting for 8/15/2014


This week news4kids.org aired the following stories:


Tallest Drop Ride Opens K-2,

Electric Harley 3-5,

Dog Surfing Contest K-2,

Banksy Exhibition 3-5,

Panda Turns 2 K-2,

Israeli Palestinian Conflict 3-5


Newscast: Tallest Drop Ride Opens K-2


Essential Question: What makes the Drop of Doom so special?


Vocabulary: Big Ben, Statue of Liberty, Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom, Kingda Ka, engineer


Learning Objectives:

– Identify Six Flags Great Adventure’s Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom as the tallest            and fastest drop rollercoaster in the world.

– Explain that engineers use math and science to create rollercoasters.


Summary: The Six Flags Great Adventure amusement park debuted the tallest drop in the world on the Fourth of July to celebrate the park’s 40th anniversary. Students will learn about the ride and how engineers designed it using math and creativity.


Newscast:  Electric Harley 3-5


Essential Question: What is special about Harley-Davidson’s LiveWire?


Vocabulary: Harley-Davidson, LiveWire, charge, chopper, rebellion, pollutants


Learning Objectives:

– Identify the Live Wire as Harley-Davidson’s first electric motorcycle.

– Identify Harley-Davidson as America’s most well-known motorcycle company founded with their first motorcycle in 1903.

– List some benefits of electric vehicles over ones powered by gasoline.


Summary: Harley-Davidson, America’s most well-known motorcycle company, has begun to tour its very first electric motorcycle in Project LiveWire. Students learn about the benefits of electric vehicles and make a connection between the growing market for electric vehicles and the new Harley motorbike. They learn about the historic motorcycle company and how its motorcycles were used in WWI and WWII and how they became the signature bike for the countercultural movement.


Newscast:  Dog Surfing Contest K-2


Essential Question: What is the Petco Surf Dog Competition?


Vocabulary: surf, competition, champion, tandem


Learning Objectives:

– Identify this competition as an event in San Diego, California.

– Identify the different categories in which dogs can compete.

– Explain how surfing can help dogs learn water safety and have fun at the same     time.


Summary: Surfers from many different places gathered in San Diego with their pets for a one-of-a-kind surfing competition. Dogs of all shapes, sizes, and breeds came together to compete in the Petco Surf Dog Competition to see who could take the waves. Students learn about the different categories that dogs compete in and how surfing can help dogs learn water safety while having fun at the same time.



Newscast:  Banksy Exhibition 3-5


Essential Question: Who is Banksy, and what is the significance of his work?


Vocabulary: Banksy, exhibition, graffiti, Sotheby’s, pseudonym, unauthorized, unidentified, stealthy, propaganda, satire, irony, injustice, unsanctioned, vandalism, penalties


Learning Objectives:

– Identify Banksy as an anonymous graffiti artist whose satirical political art I            s world-famous

– Explain that graffiti/street art can be traced back to prehistoric times and is           recognized as a true art form today

– Note that the punishment for graffiti art can be severe


Summary: An unauthorized exhibition of work by the street artist known as Banksy is taking place at the famed Sotheby’s auction house in London. Students learn that Banksy is a pseudonym for an unidentified Britain-based graffiti artist whose satirical political art is recognized worldwide. They gain a better understanding of the history of graffiti and how it has transformed over time. Examples of the famed artist are shown and his style and political themes are discussed.







Newscast:  Panda Turns 2 K-2


Essential Question: What happened this week at the San Diego Zoo?


Vocabulary: giant panda, Mr. Wu, bamboo, captivity, wild, scent, endangered, extinct


Learning Objectives:

– Identify a giant panda as a bear-like animal with large black and white        patches

– Identify Mr. Wu as a giant panda in the San Diego Zoo who just turned two

– Explain that giant pandas are an endangered species


Summary: Xiao Liwu, a giant panda that lives at the San Diego Zoo, just celebrated his second birthday with a big party. Students learn about what pandas eat, where they live in the wild, and that they are endangered due to their loss of natural habitat and low birth rate. The story shows the adorable young bear frolicking in his enclosure surrounded by his tasty treats.


Newscast: Concordia Floats to Scrapyard


Essential Question: What happened to the Costa Concordia?


Vocabulary: shipwreck, salute, oil spill, scrapyard, tugboat, salvage, recycle, maritime, Greenpeace


Learning Objectives:

– Identify the Costa Concordia as a cruise liner that sunk in 2012 after the      captain performed a “salute.”

– Explain the process by which engineers and specialists salvaged the ship.

– Identify this salvage as the largest and most expensive one to date.

– Identify Greenpeace as a major environmental protection organization.



Summary: The shipwrecked cruise liner Costa Concordia made its final journey as it was towed to an Italian scrapyard. The ship sunk in January 2012 when the captain, Francesco Schettino, performed a “salute,” or a maneuver bringing the ship close to shore to let the captain display the ship to locals. The ship hit rocks and ran aground. More than 4,000 passengers and crew were onboard, and 32 of them died. Students learn how the ship became shipwrecked and about the process that engineers and specialists used to float the ship to the scrapyard. They also learn that this was the most expensive salvage ever.

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