Weekly Update for 9/12/14

Blog Posting for 9/12/2014


This week news4kids.org aired the following stories:


Washing Big Ben K-2

Honeybees on the Runway 3-5

New Tortoises at the Bronx Zoo K-2

Shakespeare World Tour 3-5


Newscast: Washing Big Ben K-2


Essential Question: What is Big Ben?


Vocabulary: Big Ben, rappel, clock, bell, Palace of Westminster, Parliament, Sir Benjamin Hall, carriage, bulb, maintenance


Learning Objectives:

– Identify Big Ben as the famous clock tower in London, England.

– Explain the origins of Big Ben and how it arrived in London.

– Explain how a team of climbers was able to clean the face of the clock.

– Identify Parliament as the British body of government.


Summary: A team of rappelling climbers, armed with cloths and buckets of soapy water, set out to clean Big Ben, the famous clock tower in London. The tower stands at 314 feet tall, and it is one of the most recognizable images in the world. Students learn about the history of Big Ben and the British Parliament.


Newscast: Honeybees on the Runway 3-5


Essential Question: Why are honeybees being used around an airport in Germany?


Vocabulary: Airbus, biomonitoring, pollen, nectar, pollution, colony


Learning Objectives:

– Define biomonitoring as the process of testing levels of dangerous    chemicals in nature.

– Explain how bees pollinate flowers.

– Explain how the bees’ honey is used to test pollution levels around the        Hamburg airport.


Summary: A patch of scrubland at the end of an airport runway in Hamburg has become the home of thousands of bees that the European airplane manufacturer Airbus is using to measure pollution levels. Hundreds of green boxes containing beehives have been placed alongside the runway. These hives house a colony of bees that form part of an initiative by Airbus to measure the impact of its services on the environment. Students will learn about how producing honey at the end of a runway helps evaluate airliner jet pollution.


Newscast: New Tortoises at the Bronx Zoo K-2


Essential Question: What are some characteristics of tortoises?


Vocabulary: tortoise, terrapin, reptile, herbivore, Seychelles, conservation


Learning Objectives:

– Explain that tortoises are a type of turtle that cannot swim, and that giant   tortoises are very large and heavy.

– Identify tortoises as reptiles and mostly herbivores.


Summary: They may not be pretty, and they certainly are not fast, but these two new additions to the Bronx Zoo are quickly winning the hearts of animal lovers. A pair of tortoises, Rocket and Abdul, has moved in and now calls New York City home. Students will learn that the two tortoises came from Seychelles and other fun facts about the two new additions to the Bronx Zoo.


Newscast: Shakespeare World Tour 3-5


Essential Question: What makes William Shakespeare such a celebrated figure in history?


Vocabulary: United Nations, Hamlet, Globe Theatre, playwright, Stratford-upon-Avon, dysfunctional, testament, William Shakespeare, tragedy


Learning Objectives:

– Identify William Shakespeare as a 16th-century English writer who many people consider one of the greatest writers of the English language.

– Identify Hamlet as the Shakespearean play being performed on a two-year             tour celebrating the playwright’s 450th birthday.

– Identify the Globe Theatre as the theatre in which Shakespeare’s plays were          performed during his time.


Summary: Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre is celebrating the 450th birthday of its inspiration, the world-renowned playwright, William Shakespeare. To honor him, members of Shakespeare’s Globe Theater will participate in a world tour of one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays, Hamlet. The actors of Shakespeare’s Globe will perform Hamlet in every country of the world during a two-year tour. Students will learn that the Globe Theatre performed at the United Nations headquarters in New York. They will gain a better understanding of why Shakespeare is considered the greatest writer of the English language.



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