en·vi·ron·ment in vīrənmənt/ noun 1.the surroundings or conditions in which a person, animal or plant lives or operates. Environment Whether you think about it or not, the environment affects the way you live on a daily basis. If it’s cold outside, what do you? You put on a jacket. Do you put on a jacket when you are going to the beach? No, because it is hot outside. The environment just affected the way you dress. If you live in a big city, you probably will not see a lot of farms. Instead, when your parents get ready for work, they are probably heading off to an office, a factory or some other job, not outside to plant the crops. The environment affected the way your family makes a living. If you live in Idaho, you probably do not worry too much about hurricanes. But if you live on the Texas coast, hurricanes are a major concern throughout the summer. The same can be said for snow. If you live in Pennsylvania, snow can be a major problem throughout the winter; that isn’t the case in most of California. The country of Sweden is divided into three regions: Norrland, Svealand and Gotaland. Norrland, the north of the country, is known for its vast mountains and forests. Norrland is the largest region — covering about 3/5 of the country, but has the smallest population because of its environment, most of which is in the Arctic. The Arctic Circle marks the latitude above which the sun does not set on the summer solstice and does not rise on the winter solstice. At the North Pole, the sun rises once each year and sets once each year; there are six months of continuous daylight and six months of continuous night. At lower latitudes, but north of the Arctic Circle, the duration of continuous day and night is shorter. This area is part of Norrland. The northern most part of Norrland is an area known as Lapland. Lapland is a mountainous region that is defined by coasts, river valleys and forests. Located in the Arctic Circle, it is also extremely cold. The harsh climate makes it difficult for people to live there on an ongoing basis. In Sweden, the average number of people per square mile is 188. In Lapland, it is two. Lapland is home to the Sami People, or Laplanders, who live in a protected area in the Arctic known as the Sampi. Because of the harsh environment where they live, the Sami people have pursued a variety of ways to make a living, including fishing, fur trapping and sheep herding. Traditionally, the biggest way they make their living is through reindeer herding. They are the only people in the Nordic countries that are allowed to raise and herd reindeer, which they use for meat, fur and transportation. Did You Know… • Lapland makes up about 25 percent of Sweden’s total area. • In Lapland, the sun is visible around the clock for 73 days in the summer. • There are no polar bears in Lapland. • Ninety percent of the Arctic has almost no snow and ice during the summer. Many kinds of shrubs and plants grow there. • Lands along the Arctic include Alaska, Canada, Greenland/Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia.
One way your parents may help you get what you want is by giving you an allowance. al•low•ance verb 1. give (someone) a sum of money regularly. Most children have to earn their allowance by doing chores. chore noun 1. a routine task, especially a household one. While you are young, your chore may be as simple as putting your toys up or washing your hands before you eat. As you get older, your chores will get harder, and often your allowance will increase. budg•et noun 1. an estimate of income and expenditure for a set period of time. Some of the first words children learn are “Momma” and “Dada.” Words that come quickly after are “I want” and “Mine.” That doesn’t change much as we get older. Wanting your own things is perfectly natural, just as learning to work for them is. Many of you have already learned that if you want something, like a good grade or perhaps a new toy, you have to earn it through either hard work or good behavior. Your parents may give you permission to use your allowance to buy the things you want. But at this age, it is important that you begin to learn how to budget to make sure you always have enough money to do the important things. The amount of allowance a child gets varies from person to person and is based on what your parents feel comfortable with and what fits into their budget for ensuring your household runs properly. If you budget your money correctly, it should be broken into separate categories. Lori Mackey, an author and founder of prosperity4kids, recommends that you should use the following formula for budgeting your money: 10-10-10-70. What this means is that you should save 10 percent of your allowance (if your allowance is $1, then that’s a dime.)You should invest 10 percent (another dime) and give 10 percent (another dime) to charity or those in need. You can then use the remaining 70 percent (70 cents) to do what you want. The money you put into savings is money that you can use to purchase more expensive items or to spend on vacation. If you learn how to save, you will always have a little money put away in case of an emergency. Some children save their money in a piggy bank, while others actually have their money deposited in a bank. They may be able to access that money via a debit card, which is a form of electronic payment. Both are great ways to keep track of your money, and you probably will find that when you have to work for your own money, you don’t spend it as quickly and that the words “I want …” don’t come out as quickly. Did You Know… Most of you have or have had a piggy bank in your room. The bank, usually with a smiling face, can be ceramic or silver or even plastic. What’s important about the piggy bank is that it is a great place to store loose coins and save them for something special. Have you ever wondered why people use pigs to store their money? There are many different explanations, but this is the most common: Containers for storing coins, known as money boxes or coin banks, have been used for centuries. To encourage saving, a small slit was placed on the top of these so that coins could enter but not exit. Because the only way to get the coins out was by breaking the container, they were mostly made of cheap materials. Eventually, these simple containers evolved into piggy banks. The most common legend of how piggy banks were created dates back to 15th century Europe, where a type of clay called pygg was used to make plates, bottles and vessels. When people threw their spare coins into these types of pygg containers, they started to call them pygg banks. Eventually, through a misinterpretation of the word pygg as pig.
A biography is a written account of another person’s life. The world is full of interesting people to learn about. Here is just one example: Curious George is a popular story about a little monkey discovering the world around him. It is a great series that has brought joy to children since 1941. This is wonderful, but perhaps even more astounding, Curious George saved his creators’ lives. Curious George was written by Hans Augusto and Margret Rey, who were both Jewish and originally from Germany. They lived in Paris, France, during World War II, and at the time, Adolph Hitler was making his way through Europe and conquering all of the countries that he crossed. His next stop was France. The Reys decided to flee the city on their homemade bicycles in order to escape Hitler’s invasion in June of 1940. The bikes were small and didn’t leave room for many belongings, but the couple did want to bring some of the manuscripts that they were working on. Curious George was one of the manuscripts that they decided to take along with them. However, George was named “Fifi” at the time. On their way out of France, they were stopped and searched because an official thought that their German accents were suspicious. Curious George saved the couple. When the official saw that they were carrying manuscripts of children’s stories, he allowed them to continue. The Reys escaped into Spain, then Brazil and finally to New York. It was then that Fifi was renamed Curious George. Stories are very powerful. The many Curious George stories have inspired and entertained children for generations. But even more powerful are the stories of people. The lives of the Reys greatly influenced how they wrote about their favorite monkey, and knowing about them reveals even more about Curious George. Did you know… That Adolph Hitler was responsible for the deaths of millions of Jewish people throughout Europe during World War II. This was known as The Holocaust. “Holocaust” is a word of Greek origin meaning “sacrifice by fire.” Hitler was the head of the Nazi Party, which took over Germany’s government in 1933. The Nazis believed that Germans were better than everyone else and that the Jews were less than everyone else. That’s when the Holocaust began. Many people had to hide or flee their homes, just like the Reys did. Most were not as lucky.
Mesopotamia is sometimes referred to the birthplace of civilization. The earliest cities and civilizations developed there more than 6,000 years ago. There are many reasons it is called the birthplace of civilization: the first cities grew up there, they developed the earliest forms of writing and the first real rules and laws for the way a group operates were established. The Hammurabi Code was put into place by King Hammurabi, who ruled from 1792 to 1750 B.C. The code includes 282 laws and standards. These rules covered everything from the way people conducted business to punishments for people who broke the law. The code was inscribed onto a finger-shaped black stone pillar, which was a four-ton slab of diorite. At its top is a two-and-a-half-foot carving of Hammurabi getting a measuring rod and tape from the the Babylonian god of justice. The measuring rod and tape represent the law. The stone was stolen by invaders and was rediscovered in Iran in 1901 by Jacques de Morgan, a French mining engineer, who led an archeological dig. CODE noun \ kōd\ 1: a systematic statement of a body of law; especially: one given statutory force 2: a system of principles or rules 8 Things You May NOT Know About Hammurabi’s Code • It’s not the earliest known code of laws. • The Code included many bizarre and gruesome forms of punishment. • The laws varied according to social class and gender. • The Code established a minimum wage for workers. • The Code includes one of the earliest examples of the presumption of innocence. • Historians are still unsure of the role the Code played in Babylonian culture. • The Code endured even after Babylon was conquered. • The laws weren’t rediscovered until the 20th century. Did you know? Hammurabi’s Code includes many harsh punishments, sometimes demanding the removal of the guilty party’s tongue, hands, eye or ear. But the code is also one of the earliest examples of the idea of the accused being considered innocent until proven guilty. Here are some examples of the rules: If a man steals an ox, he must pay back 30 times its value. A doctor’s fee for curing a severe wound would be 10 silver shekels for a gentleman, five shekels for a freedman and two shekels for a slave. A doctor who killed a rich patient would have his hands cut off, while only financial restitution was required if the victim was a slave.
Last month when we studied the food chain, we learned that there were producers (plants and animals that fed the food chain) and consumers (the animals that ate the producers.) In our economy, there are also producers and consumers, and, believe it or not, the relationship between producers and consumers in the economy is not that different from in the wild. Let’s check it out! Producer [pruh-doo-ser] noun 1. a person who produces. 2. Economics: a person who creates economic value, or produces goods and services. Your birthday is coming up, and you want a new bicycle. Can you make your own bicycle? Probably not. So, you go to the store and pick out the perfect bicycle. In this case, it’s bright red with big tires. The store where you bought your bike did not make it. They bought it from another company. That company probably didn’t make all the parts of your bike either. One company produced the metal that goes into your bike frame. Another company produced the tires. A new company produced the seat, and yet another company produced the paint. Finally, a company gathered all of those pieces together and created your bike. At a minimum, there were five producers who worked to create that great bike you got for your birthday. Along the way, each company got paid for its part in creating the materials to make your bike. Then their employees (the people who work for them) were paid for doing the work to make the parts and pieces of your bike. In turn, those employees used the money they were paid to pay for their houses, their cars, their clothes, their food and maybe even a bike for their child’s birthday. The producers then became consumers — just like you. Consumer [kuh n-soo-mer] noun 1. a person or thing that consumes. 2. Economics: a person or organization that uses a commodity or service. Goods are items you can actually touch and include things like clothing, food or toys. Services include bike repairs, receiving a haircut or your house being supplied with electricity. These are services provided to consumers by others. The interactions between producers and consumers not only keep people happy because they have jobs and they have the things they want, but it also puts money into the economy, which is defined as the wealth and resources of a country or region, especially in terms of the production and consumption of goods and services. With that in mind, throughout your life, you will be both a producer and a consumer!
One of Disney’s most famous movies is The Lion King. You may have watched this movie with your family. The movie tells the story of Simba, a young lion cub, who is trying to find his place in a very confusing world. Simba’s father, Mufasa, rules the pride lands (or grasslands) where they live. He is the ruler because the lion is at the top of the FOOD WEB on the African plains. A food web describes all the different living things in an ecosystem, or a group of living organisms (plants, animals, etc.) that work together with nonliving parts of the environment (things like air, water and mineral soil), and how they interact with each other. There are two primary categories in a food web: Producers make their own food and do not depend on any other organism for nutrition. Some producers in Simba’s Pride Land would be plants, grasses and trees. Consumers are animals that eat the producers in order to survive. There are many levels of consumers. Primary Consumers in the Pride Land are herbivores, or animals that eat only the plants and grasses. Examples of these animals are elephants and zebras. Secondary Consumers are animals like cheetahs and hyenas that eat the zebras and other herbivores. As animals get bigger or learn how to hunt in a pack, they reach a higher level in the food web. In the Pride Land, the lion is the apex predator, or the top of the food web. Look around your yard. Look at the many different creatures that are around. See if you can create a food web. Remember: always start your web with plants and grasses! Food Web – noun 1. a series of organisms related by predator-prey and consumer-resource interactions; the entirety of interrelated food chains in an ecological community. Also called food cycle. Did you know? Before they worked on The Lion King, several of the film’s creators spent two weeks on safari in Kenya, studying how real lions live. They watched hunting lions, mothers with cubs and big male cats stretched out in the sun. One time, they tied a rope behind their Land Rover and drove slowly as lion cubs chased the rope, batting and playing with it just like house cats chase yarn. They made sketches and took photos of playful cubs to create young Simba and Nala.
Character is basically a big word that really means how you act when no one is looking. Character is a set of qualities that shape our thoughts, actions, reactions and feelings. People with strong character: • Show compassion (put yourself in someone else’s shoes and think how the would feel if they were treated a certain way.) • Are honest and fair you give everyone a change • Display self-discipline in setting and meeting goals • Make good judgments • Show respect to others • Show courage in standing up for what they believe in • Have a strong sense of responsibility • Are good citizens who are concerned about their community • Maintain self-respect Information from U.S. Department of Education char•ac•ter: ˈkariktər/noun noun: character; plural noun: characters 1. the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual.”running away was not in keeping with her character” Goodness is about character — integrity, honesty, kindness, generosity, moral courage and the like. More than anything else, it is about how we treat other people. Dennis Prager For Parents: How to teach your kids character • Talk about the point-of-view of others as you watch TV, read books or discuss other people with your child. For example, ask, “What do you think that character is feeling and thinking?” • Show care toward others, such as doing errands for sick neighbors or opening doors for others. • Give others the benefit of the doubt. If your child complains that a classmate deliberately pushed her down on the way to lunch, explain that sometimes when people are in a hurry, they don’t watch where they’re going — they don’t mean to push or hurt anyone. • Be open to differences. If your child says “Our new neighbors dress funny,” explain that people often wear clothes that reflect their cultures or native countries. • Most of all, teach your children right from wrong. More importantly, model it for them on a daily basis. Did you Know… Being kind can actually make you happier and help you live longer! Research also shows that people who don’t know how to be kind or how to accept kindness from others are just as unhappy as they are unkind.
Children come from so many different cultures, communities and families. That’s what makes the world such a special place. No two people are just alike. Even if you are a twin, you are uniquely different from your twin. The way you live and learn helps shape the person you become. Whatever culture, community or family you belong to, using your manners and being respectful is always the right thing to do. It is important to respect and value people regardless of the color of their skin, the language they speak, the clothes they wear or their physical abilities. This is being a responsible citizen of society by treating others as you would like to be treated. Practicing this now will help in relationships later on as an adult, socially and in the workplace. You will then have a positive impact in your own life as well as in others’ lives. It is important to celebrate and value diversity and family traditions. What are the ways that people’s cultures are different? The clothes we wear, the foods we eat, the languages we speak, the daily routines and the traditions we follow. How can you learn about other children’s cultures? You can read books, surf the Internet (with the supervision of a responsible adult) and ask questions. In American Samoa, for example, each village is made up of a group of aiga (extended families), which includes many relatives. Each aiga is headed by a matai (chief) who represents the family in everything, including the village council, or fono. Matais hold title to all assets of the aigas, or families. They represent and are responsible for making sure the family members obey the laws and they determine the punishment when people break the rules in their villages. • Having family traditions can instill positive memories that are fun to remember. • What are some things that you and your family can do together for fun? • Here’s a list of activities that cost little or no money at all: o Run a race with your siblings or friends o Blow bubbles o Swing o Read a book o Count the stars o Catch lightning bugs at nighttime o Pick berries at a farm or orchard o Have a picnic o Watch the sunrise o Watch the sunset o Pick flowers o Ride a bike o Ask someone who’s older than you to tell a story about when they were younger Culture – noun: ’kəl-chər 1. the beliefs, customs, arts, etc., of a particular society, group, place or time 2. a particular society that has its own beliefs, ways of life, art, etc. Com·mu·ni·ty – noun: kə–myü-nə-tē 1. a group of people who live in the same area, such as a city, town or neighborhood Did You Know… • Animals have families, too. • Once baby elephants are born, along with their mother, the other females (called Allomothers) in the herd help take care of them. • Orangutan mothers stay with their young between six to seven years, and female orangutans sometimes visit their mothers up until age 15 or 16. • An emperor penguin father balances the egg of his offspring on his feet in subzero weather until his chick hatches.
Summertime is a great time to enjoy being outside, with so many fun things to do and warm sunshine, green grass and dirt! Do you like to have fun playing in the dirt? Maybe you like to dig with a small shovel. What kinds of things do you find when you dig? Maybe when you grow up, you could study archaeology and be an archaeologist. How do things get buried so deep underground? As time passes, they just get covered up deeper and deeper. How do archaeologists know where and what to study? Archaeologists conduct many hours of studying and researching books, maps and the Internet to gain information. • Archaeologists learn how ancient people lived long ago by studying the artifacts they find. • They can gather information to learn about their culture, their appearances and what tools they used. • Since limited written records to read about prehistoric civilizations exist, artifacts may be some of the only clues used to gather information to study the past. How would you like to find thousands of clay soldiers? Well, that’s just what some workers who were digging a well discovered in 1974. The soldiers were deep underground in corridors. They were very life-like in appearance and in standing position. They were also placed according to their rankings. Archaeologists also discovered weapons like arrows and swords. They also found chariots made of wood with clay horses. Why were these soldiers there? Archaeologists learned that they were buried there along with China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huang Di, to guard him. This discovery is known as one of the greatest archaeological findings in the world. Another amazing discovery is the Newport ship. In June 2002, this sailing vessel was found by archaeologists at Newport, South Wales, in the UK on the bank of the River Usk. Construction of the Riverfront Theatre was taking place when the ship was discovered. The entire length of the ship was originally 25 meters (about 80 feet). Damage to the ship may be the reason it was brought to Newport and abandoned. What was found on the ship? Hundreds of things were found: a stone cannonball, pieces of cork, Portuguese coins, an hourglass, grape seeds and an expensive shoe. Experts think that the cork, coins and seeds may have been present on the ship because of trade to and from the Iberian peninsula. ar·chae·ol·o·gy noun är-k-ä-l-j – a science that deals with past human life and activities by studying the bones, tools, etc., of ancient people ar·chae·ol·o·gist noun är-k-ä-l-jist – a scientist who studies the remains of past civilizations or groups of people; a specialist in archaeology Did You Know? Sometimes people who aren’t archaeologists make discoveries without even intending to. As house builders are digging to build houses, they have to dig deep in the ground and sometimes find things. Farmers also make accidental discoveries while working. They can then contact archaeologists for help. SOURCES: http://idahoptv.org/dialogue4kids/season7/archaeology/facts.cfm http://science.nationalgeographic.com/science/archaeology/emperor-qin/, http://encyclopedia.kids.net.au/page/li/List_of_famous_archaeological_discoveries, www.newport.gov.uk/heritage/index.cfm/home/
It is the force of attraction that causes physical things to move towards each other and to fall towards the Earth. Gravity keeps Earth and all the planets in our solar system in orbit around the Sun. Gravity also keeps the Moon in orbit around the Earth. Without gravity, we would be floating around like astronauts in space! All objects in our universe containing mass are exerting a gravitational force on other mass. If an object is small, the gravitational pull is smaller. If an object is large (like the Earth and Moon), the gravitational pull is enormous. So how is the Moon staying up there in the sky? Since there is a force of attraction toward the Earth, it’s as if the moon “falls” into an orbit around the Earth and revolves around us. The gravity of the Earth that is holding us down is also keeping the Moon in orbit. Otherwise the Moon would just travel in a straight line. A common playground game that children play is called tether ball. A volleyball is attached to a rope, or tether. That rope is attached to a metal pole and a stationary base. Each player’s objective is to hit the ball one way. The winner of the game is the player who winds the ball all the way around the pole down to the rope. What does this have to do with gravity, you ask? Well, if the volleyball becomes detached from the rope, the ball would sail through the air in a straight line, losing gravity. However, while the ball is attached, the string is being pulled towards the player’s hand much like the gravitational pull of the Earth. Connections content provided by April Cox, 5th grade teacher at Jo Byrns Elementary School in Robertson County, Tennessee G-force? G-force is the measurement of acceleration (speeding up) forces. 1-g is the force of Earth’s gravity and determines how much we weigh. At 5-gs, a race car driver experiences a force equal to five times his weight. Race car drivers can experience over 100-gs if they have a crash that causes them to decelerate (slow down) quickly over a short distance. Some roller coasters have been known to include G-forces of around 4 to 6-g. People can experience increasing G-forces also, such as those who participate in airplane acrobatics and space training. John Stapp was called a G-force pioneer because he experienced the highest known acceleration by a human at 46.2-g. As part of a test program, he rode a rocket sled that was designed to measure the effects of deceleration on the human body. Why did he do this? He wanted to help improve the aircraft design by better protecting passengers and pilots. What Are Tides? Tides are the regular upward and downward movement of the level of the ocean that is caused by the pull of the Sun and the Moon on the Earth. Because the gravity of the Moon pulls on the Earth, the tides rise and fall daily. The sea level swells in waves when the Moon passes over the ocean. There are low tides and high tides daily, with constant movement. If you’ve ever been to the ocean, you may have seen flags that are used to explain conditions of the water. The red flag describes when the tidal current (horizontal or sideways flow of water) is the strongest and when there are the most serious conditions in the water because of the up-and-down tidal movement. When the tide is rising, it is called flooding current. When the tide is falling, it is called ebbing current. There are times when there is no ebbing or flooding. This is called slack water. Did You Know… Isaac Newton’s theory of gravity was inspired by seeing an apple fall from a tree. Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity is used to describe gravity. Sources: www.physics4kids.com/files/motion_gravity.html, www.sciencekids.co.nz/sciencefacts/gravity.html, www.boatsafe.com/kids/tides.htm, www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gravity, www.rocketcityspacepioneers.com/space/rocket-sled
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