Weekly Update for 3/13/15

Blog Posting for 3/6/2015

This week news4kids.org aired the following stories:

Watermelon Skiing in Australia K-3

Polar Bear Research 4-8

New Baby Orangutan K-3

Afghanistan Wins First Cricket World Cup Match 4-8


Newscast: Watermelon Skiing in Australia K-3

Essential Question: What happens at the Chinchilla Melon Festival?

Vocabulary: Chinchilla, skiing, tradition, bungee, chariot, drought

Learning Objectives:

– List at least three activities that occur at the Chinchilla Melon Festival.

– Explain that the money raised in the festival benefits local farmers and charities.

Summary: Every two years, locals and tourists gather in the small country town of Chinchilla to participate in the Chinchilla Melon Festival. The festival takes place in a remote area of the Australian bush and includes many fun events and contests, all involving watermelons. Activities range from melon bungee, a watermelon-throwing contest, to the melon chariot races. The most popular event of the festival is watermelon skiing.


Newscast: Polar Bear Research 4-8

Essential Question: What are the goals of the San Diego Zoo polar bear research?

Vocabulary: pollution, climate change, carnivore, conserve, behavior, vulnerable, endangered

Learning Objectives:

– Explain how scientists are tracking Tatqiq’s movements.

– Identify where polar bears live in the wild.

– Identify the circumstances that are threatening polar bear survival in the wild.

– Explain how the research at the San Diego Zoo will help polar bears in the wild.

Summary: Tatqiq, a 14-year-old polar bear at the San Diego Zoo is helping scientists learn about her species by wearing a special collar. Each day, Tatqiq is fitted with a collar that tracks her movements so scientists can understand the behaviors of polar bears. Tatqiq is wearing the collar as part of a project to study the needs of polar bears that live in the wild Arctic.


Newscast: New Baby Orangutan K-3

Essential Question: What are some key characteristics of orangutans?

Vocabulary: attraction, diet, native, primate, caretaker

Learning Objectives:

– Identify orangutans as members of the primate/ape family.

– Identify Indonesia and Malaysia as the native home of orangutans in the wild.

– Identify key characteristics of orangutans such as diet, appearance, and special    skills.

Summary: Recently, a one-month-old orangutan, Rieke made her first appearance at the Berlin Zoo. Rieke was born at the Berlin Zoo earlier this year, but is now getting ready to be moved to a new home in England. Rieke is being moved to the Monkey World Ape Rescue Centre where she can play with lots of other young orangutans. However, patrons at the Berlin Zoo will be sad to see her go as she has been a star attraction at the zoo since her birth.


Newscast: Afghanistan Wins First Cricket World Cup Match 4-8

Essential Question: What is the significance of Afghanistan’s cricket victory?

Vocabulary: cricket, war-torn, al-Qaeda, Taliban, condemned, inexperienced, dismantle

Learning Objectives:

– Briefly explain the events that led to the US entering into war with Afghanistan.

– Identify the similarities between cricket and baseball.

Summary: Recently, Afghanistan celebrated their first World Cup cricket victory. The match was against Scotland and it was very close, but the Afghans ultimately came out on top. The victory came as quite a surprise and delight due to the country’s inexperience in the cricket World cup and the war-torn condition of their country.

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