Weekly Update for 3/6/15

Blog Posting for 3/6/2015

This week news4kids.org aired the following stories:

No Car Day in Bogota K-3

Oscar Winner Highlights Stephen Hawking 4-8

Guayacan Trees Bloom in Ecuador K-3

President Obama Vetoes Keystone XL Pipeline 4-8


Newscast: No Car Day in Bogota K-3

Essential Question: What is “No Car Day?”

Vocabulary: ban, greenhouse gases, pollutants, carbon monoxide, emissions, global climate change

Learning Objectives:

– Identify the goals of “No Car Day.”

– Identify cars and other vehicles are major emitters of greenhouse gases.

– Name some ways that they can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Summary: Residents of Bogota, Colombia walked, rode their bikes, and took public transportation around town for the annual “No Car Day”. The one-day ban on vehicles including cars and motorcycles is designed to reduce pollutants in the air of the city and open up the streets.


Newscast: Oscar Winner Highlights Stephen Hawking 4-8

Essential Question: Who is Stephen Hawking?

Vocabulary: portrayal, ALS, paralyzed, speech-generating device, prestigious

Learning Objectives:

– Identify Stephen Hawking as an English theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and   author who serves as the Director of Research in his department at the University of Cambridge.

– Note that Hawking suffers from a rare, early-onset slow-progressing form of ALS, which has gradually paralyzed him over the course of his life.

– Identify the Oscars, or the Academy Awards, as an annual awards ceremony that aims to celebrate excellence in filmmaking and those who push the boundaries of cinema.

Summary: On Sunday, February 22nd, the 87th annual Academy Awards ceremony took place in Hollywood, California. This year, Eddie Redmayne won the coveted Best Actor award for his portrayal of Stephen Hawking in the film The Theory of Everything.


Newscast: Guayacan Trees Bloom in Ecuador K-3

Essential Question: What makes the guayacan trees so special?

Vocabulary: guayacan, tropical, rainfall, vitamin-rich, lumber, symbol

Learning Objectives:

– Identify guayacan trees as a treasured species that is native to the tropical areas of Central and South America and blooms just once per year.

– Identify Ecuador as the home of the largest guayacan forest in the world

Summary: Tourists from all over the world are coming to Ecuador’s Mangahurco region to catch a glimpse of the spectacular yellow blossoms of guayacan trees during the annual “Festival of the Blossoming Guayacanes.”


Newscast: President Obama Vetoes Keystone XL Pipeline 4-8

Essential Question: What are the implications of the Keystone XL Pipeline Bill?

Vocabulary: veto, tar sands oil, environmentalist, habitat, toxic, additive, lethal, emissions, corrode, Ogallala Aquifer, dependence, pollution, override

Learning Objectives:

– Explain the goals of the Keystone XL Pipeline Bill.

– List the three main reasons for environmentalist opposition to the Keystone XL Pipeline Bill.

– Identify at least one argument and counter-argument surrounding the proposed pipeline, beyond the environmental risks.

Summary: Recently President Obama vetoed the Keystone XL Pipeline Bill, a proposed crude-oil pipeline, which would run from Alberta, Canada to the Gulf Coast of the United States. The proposed 1,200-mile pipeline would carry tar sands oil, which is a combination of clay, sand, water, and oil. Many environmentalist groups have called tar sands the dirtiest oil on Earth because of three main reasons.

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