Activities & Lesson Plans - 3rd & 4th Grade Newsletter Harry Potter Theme Park

Grade: 3rd-4th


June 21, 2010 | Grades 3&4

In This Issue: Harry Potter's New Park, Law Against Lead in Toys, Sea Turtle on YouTube  Wizarding World Opens
Send your child to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry this summer. On June 18, the Harry Potter theme park opened to great fanfare. The celebration included flying broomsticks, moving paintings and—oh, wait, those are daily occurrences. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort recreates Harry's school and the village of Hogsmeade for fans to enjoy. 

Activity Ideas - Math

Two roller coasters—Dragon Challenge and Flight of the Hippogriffs—are ready to roll. The rides may look magical, but they couldn't keep up with the world's fastest (see below).

1. Kingda Ka, Six Flags Great Adventure, New Jersey                   128 mph
2. Top Thrill Dragster, Cedar Point, Ohio                                      120 mph
3. Dodonpa, Fuji-Q Highland, Japan                                           106.8 mph
4. Steel Dragon 2000, Nagashima Spa Land, Japan                         95 mph
5. Millennium Force, Cedar Point, Ohio                                          93 mph

Coaster Questions
  • The fastest coaster is _____ mph faster than Millennium Force.  35 mph faster (128 mph - 93 mph = 35 mph)
  • What is the speed limit of the street that you live on? Based on this, Kingda Ka is ______ times faster than a drive down your street. About 4 times faster, if street is 30 mph. (128 mph ÷ 30 mph = 4.3)
  • You have to be 54 inches tall to ride Kingdom Ka. How tall is that, in feet? 4.5 feet  (54 inches ÷ 12 inches = 4.5 feet)
  • You have to be 52 inches tall to ride Top Thrill Dragster. You are 4.4 feet tall. Can you ride Thrill Dragster? Yes; you are taller than the minimum height of 4.3 feet tall (52 inches ÷ 12 inches = 4.3 feet)
Learning Tips: Write How to Convert Units
Take a Virtual Ride at Kideos: Kingdom Ka

Get the Lead Out
A child-safety law to protect kids from toys containing lead may be hurting small businesses. Some mom-and-pop toy shops have had to close because they can't keep up with the costly testing required for certification. Generally, the smaller retailers have more control over their products and are more likely to import toys from Europe, where lead laws are very strict.

Activity Ideas - Language Arts

  • Imagine that you want to write a report about the damaging effects of lead on the body. Where would you look for the facts about lead poisoning? Encyclopedia,
  • You also want to include recent news about toys and lead. Where would you look? Online newspapers.
  • Finally, you want to hear from both sides on the issue. Paraphrase what small toy retailer Hertzler is quoted as saying in the article. The larger toy retailers can afford the testing, but the small business owners can't. It doesn't seem fair because mom-and-pop shops have more control over products. 
Learning Tips: Writing Information Reports

A Sea Turtle's Snapshots
An unidentified sea turtle is making a splash on YouTube. After shooting video of its ocean swim, the turtle let the digital camera float onto a beach in Key West. A Coast Guard agent found the digital camera and put its video clips online, hoping its owner would come forward. The owner, a Navy sailor did turn up, but the sea turtle has gone underground—or underwater, in this case. 

Activity Ideas - Math

Imagine that the seven species of sea turtle want to seesaw with you. Based on your weight and each sea turtle's weight (below), how many of you would need to sit on the seesaw to move it off the ground?
  • A loggerhead turtle can weigh up to 350 pounds. If you weigh 50 pounds, then 7 of you would have to sit on the seesaw. 7 You's = 1 Loggerhead (350 pounds ÷ 50 pounds = 7)
Use this formula to determine how many "You's" make up one sea turtle. (Don't forget to plug in your weight.)
  • Flatback sea turtles weigh an average of 198 pounds.
  • Kemp's ridley and olive ridley sea turtles weigh up to 100 pounds.
  • Hawksbill sea turtles weigh up to 150 pounds.
  • Leatherback sea turtle - the largest ever recorded weighed in at 2,019 pounds.
  • Green sea turtle - the largest ever found was 871 pounds.
Language Arts Bonus: Identify the following figurative language - She saw seven species of sea turtles seesawing by the seashore. Alliteration

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