Weekly Update for 8/21/14

Blog Posting for 8/22/2014


This week news4kids.org aired the following stories:


Harry Potter Theme Park Opens K-2,

Toxic Water in Toledo 3-5,

Australian Whale Tour K-2,

Nepal Landslide 3-5,


Newscast: Harry Potter Theme Park Opens K-2


Essential Question: What is the theme for Universal Studios’ newest amusement park?


Vocabulary: Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling, Luna Lovegood, replicate, scenery, franchise, popular, fantasy, imagination



Learning Objectives:

-Identify Harry Potter as a popular fantasy book series written by J.K.             Rowling

– Explain that the Harry Potter theme park in Osaka, as well as the one in      Orlando, brings the books and movies to life by replicating the scenery


Summary: This month, Universal Studios opened its biggest attraction, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, based on the popular fantasy book series. The theme park consists of games, rides, and shops that replicate the scenery from the books and movies. Walking through the park feels like exploring the wizarding world of Harry Potter. Students learn that a new park based on J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books has opened in Japan. They learn that the author has sold over 450 million copies and that the amusement park is as fun as the books are to read.


Newscast: Toxic Water in Toledo 3-5


Essential Question: What is wrong with the water in Lake Erie?


Vocabulary: contaminated, algae, phosphorous, toxins, Lake Erie, microcystin, bloom, urban runoff, debris, disinfect


Learning Objectives:

– Identify Lake Erie as one of the Great Lakes.

– Define “contamination” in everyday language.

– Explain that an algae bloom produced toxins that made the water in Lake   Erie unsafe for drinking.

– Explain the importance of having access to drinkable water.


Summary: Recently, dangerously high levels of toxins from algae on Lake Erie left 500,000 people in Toledo, Ohio, without safe water. Many residents were forced to drive to other states to find water for drinking. As a result, most restaurants and the Toledo Zoo were forced to close. A state of emergency was declared for the region, and the Ohio National Guard and state workers had to bring safe drinking water to those in need. Students learn about how Lake Erie has generated an algae bloom that made the water in the Toledo area unsafe for drinking. They also gain a better understanding of why having access to drinkable water is important.



Newscast: Australian Whale Tour K-2


Essential Question: What makes Dwarf Minke whales so special?


Vocabulary: Great Barrier Reef, Dwarf Minke whales, pod, school, marine, mammal, annual, marine biologist, habitat, endangered


Learning Objectives:

            – Identify Dwarf Minke whales as the second-smallest species of whale, noting      that they are particularly friendly and interactive with humans.

– Identify the Great Barrier Reef as an exciting marine wildlife site located off the   coast of Northern Queensland, Australia.

– Define a pod as a school of marine mammals, like Minke whales.


Summary: This story takes us to the Great Barrier Reef, located off the coast of Northern Queensland, Australia. Every summer, tourists sail out to open ocean waters to have a once-in-a-lifetime experience—coming face to face with whales in the wild.



Newscast: Nepal Landslide 3-5


Essential Question: How did the recent landslide occur? What are the effects of this natural disaster?


Vocabulary: Kathmandu, Sunkoshi River, landslide, monsoon, agriculture, dislodged, evacuated, downstream


Learning Objectives:

            -Explain that Nepal is a country in which 70% of the population works in     agriculture, and that many Nepalese live in villages situated below mountains.

– Define a monsoon as heavy rains.

– Explain how a landslide occurs.


Summary: Recently, a massive, deadly landslide, triggered by heavy rains in northeast Nepal, hurt dozens of people and buried many homes. The landslide created a mud dam blocking the Sunkoshi River, about 37 miles northeast of Kathmandu, heightening fears of floods that could potentially reach as far as several regions in eastern India. Students learn that the majority of Nepalese live in the mountains, and that during the monsoon season they are in danger of deadly floods. They also gain a basic understanding of how landslides occur.



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