In This Issue: New Kind of Lizard, A People's Garden, Cash for Being in Class
A 6-Foot Secret What has scales and polka dots and stands as tall as a person (if it stood, that is)? A new species of lizard found on Luzon island in the Philippines. The monitor lizard has been hidden in full view from scientists; Luzon locals have long known of—and eaten—the fruit-loving reptile. Last summer, scientists finally had the opportunity to study the elusive creature.
Activity Ideas - Language Arts Most people don't know the scientific names of animals, which are usually a combination of Latin and Greek terms not commonly used today. You don't have to be an ancient Greek to decipher some of the names; just keep in mind that many English words still closely resemble their Latin roots.
1. Translate the king vulture's scientific name, Sarcorhamphus papa: (b)
a. sister that soars b. father with a curved beak c. winged king of pop 2. Acinonyx jubatus means "sharp clawed and maned." This is the scientific name of a: (c)
a. chipmunk b. robin c. cheetah 3. Dendrobates comes from Greek words meaning "one that walks in trees." Azureus comes from the French word meaning "blue." The frog with this scientific name must: (c)
A Garden Grows Tourists visiting the National Mall in Washington, D.C., this spring may be surprised to find a living exhibit outside of the Agriculture Department headquarters. The People's Garden, created last year by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, grows organic peas, peppers, tomatoes, and other produce for donation to area food pantries and soup kitchens. Vilsack called on other USDA employees to create gardens; currently, 255 have taken root worldwide. Activity Ideas - Language Arts Personification Get your creative juices flowing—watch "Tomato Says Sorry" on Kideos.
Discuss what it means to personify a plant, animal or other object. In what ways do we already do this? (By referring to nature as Mother Nature.)
Come up with examples of human-like behavior in nature: (For example, a leaf fluttering in the breeze might look like a child's hand waving; a wind rustling the leaves could sound like whispering.)
In this way, challenge your child to imagine life in a vegetable garden. (Are the tomatoes teasing the squash for their odd shapes?)
Write a poem from the point of view of a plant or plants in the garden.
Bonus: April is Poetry Month. Introduce your child to a poet that you like. Don't dig poetry? Try this instead... Math Bonus: Last year, USDA gardens yielded 29,656 pounds of vegetables. The D.C. garden produced 300 pounds.
Round up the total pounds: 30,000
The D.C. garden's produce made up what percentage of the total?: 1% (300/30,000 =1/100 = 1 ÷ 100 = 0.01 or 1%)
Paid to Perform In recent years, low-performing schools have experimented with paying kids to do well. Some people oppose a cash-reward system, saying that schools need to motivate kids—not bribe them. A recent study indicates that kids respond better to programs that pay them for specific actions within their control, like getting to school on time.
Activity Ideas - Math
Which is a better price per unit: two chocolate bars for $4 or four for $6? Write answer as a rate and a unit rate. $6/4, $1.50/1 ($4 ÷ 2 chocolate bars = $2/bar) ($6 ÷ 4 bars = $1.50/bar)
Gas is $2.75 per gallon. How much will it cost to buy five gallons? Write as a rate. $13.75/5 ($2.75/gallon x 5 gallons = $13.75)
Students at Money School get 25¢ for getting to class on time. How many days will it take to earn $5.00? 20 days ($5.00 ÷ 0.25 = 20 days)
Imagine that you are getting $5 an hour to watch your neighbor's dog. You pet-sit for 6 hours and 30 minutes. How much will you earn? $32.50 ($5 x 6 hours = $30) ($5 ÷ 2 = $2.50) ($30 + $2.50 = $32.50)
Bonus: To complete the school study mentioned above, the head researcher paid 18,000 kids a total of $6.3 million. How much money is that per student? $350 ($6,300,000 ÷ 18,000 students = $350/student) Learning Tips: Rates