Wednesday, 6 October, 2021
Today's Exercises - Exclusive to Squiz Kids For Schools members
Facebook’s on the fritz; Pooh’s bridge is up for sale; how Tik Tok is playing tricks on kids; and why elephants are scared of bees.
Coronavirus fact checking resources:
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It’s been a crazy couple of days for Facebook … yesterday, millions of users of the popular social media site were left in hashtag limbo when Facebook and the two other social media services it owns, Instagram and WhatsApp, all crashed at the same time.
The crash was put down to a technical hitch within the company. It was not, they said, the result of a hack. A hack is when someone from outside breaks into a computer network and gets their hands on data they’re not supposed to have access to.
The big crash came only days after a woman who used to work for Facebook and Instagram gave an interview to a TV news program in America saying that even though the platforms knew they could be bad for people’s mental health – and especially bad for teenagers – they chose to do nothing about it because they were making too much money to change – claims the company denies.
SPIN THE GLOBE
Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops, and today we’ve landed in Kent, a beautiful county in England where a bridge made famous by Winnie The Pooh is up for sale.
If you’ve ever read the classic Winnie The Pooh books by author A.A Milne, you know that one of Pooh’s favourite games is Pooh Sticks .. where you stand on a bridge with a friend, throw a couple of sticks into the stream below and run to the other side to see which one emerges first.
The bridge which is being offered for sale in England is the same one that Pooh author A.A Milne used to stand on with his son Christopher Robin and play Pooh Sticks.
Lovers of Winnie The Pooh are hoping the bridge will be bought by a museum and put on display for Pooh lovers everywhere to enjoy.
I’ve stuck a link to a cartoon of Poohsticks in today’s episode notes. Which if you are really well behaved, your parents or teachers might let you watch later.
And so to Africa we go – where in the country of Kenya, farmers have come up with a creative way to keep elephants from eating their crops.
They’ve started building fences with beehives. You see, elephants are terrified of bee swarms. A bee swarm is when a bee hive is disturbed and the bees swarm together in a big clump and chase after whoever or whatever has disturbed them. And given that bees sting and all, it’s not exactly a pleasant experience – even if you’re an elephant and you have really thick skin.
Kenya’s farmers have been experimenting with lots of different ways to keep elephants out of their fields and away from the crops they grow for food. Sometimes they even shoot guns at the elephants.
By putting up wire fences and hanging beehives off the wire – when an elephant touches the wire, it disturbs the beehive, bees fly out to see what’s going on – and the elephants turn on their heels and scamper. Nobody gets hurt. Everyone’s a winner.
Today we’re launching a new segment of Squiz Kids called Newshounds .. part of our new Squiz Kids For Schools program. Every day, all over the world, millions of people believe things that aren’t true that they see on the Internet, on their phones, and sometimes even in newspapers or on TV. Why? Because they don’t Stop, Think, and Check.
Together with Squiz-E the Newshound (HOWL!), we’re going to do just that – scratch beneath the surface of stories we think are fishy, and sniff out the truth.
And to kick off proceedings .. a new study of the social media platform TikTok has found that within minutes of logging on, children as young as nine years old saw videos promoting some pretty silly lies about COVID and vaccines.
One TikTok video even suggested getting the vaccine would turn you into a zombie.
But a good Newshound knows to stop, think and check.
Think about it for a second: If there were widespread terrible side effects – like becoming a zombie – would all these doctors, nurses, and scientists be encouraging us to get vaccinated? Does it make sense that this is only being reported on TikTok, and not by professional journalists? And, of course… do zombies really even exist?
And once you’ve thought about it – go and check for yourself. Look for some facts, like a good Newshound would. There are some terrific Covid fact-checking websites where journalists have already done the work for you – and I’ve post a couple of links in your episode notes.
Oh – and a spoiler alert—you may get a sore arm, but a Covid vaccine will not turn you into a zombie. Promise.
The 143-Storey Treehouse is out soon, and it features a baked bean geyser, a spooky graveyard where it’s always midnight, and a fish milkshake level… euugh … apparently the penguins love it there! Author Andy Griffiths is a good friend of Squiz Kids, and he’s agreed to take the Q+A hot seat once again, but this time with a difference. Instead of answering your questions about his new book, he wants to hear YOUR craziest, most creative ideas for a treehouse level. We’ll choose the best ones, you’ll record yourself presenting the idea, and he’ll pick the best one. And of course, there are prizes up for grabs! Send in your suggestion – in 250 words or less – using your best descriptive writing skills – or send a drawing, to [email protected]
This is the part of the podcast where you get to test how well you’ve been listening …
- What’s the name of the famous bear whose famous bridge is going up for auction in England?
- What insect are elephants especially scared of?
- Which social media platform has been found to be spreading vaccination misinformation to kids?
It’s October 6… the Nobel Prize for Chemistry will be awarded in Sweden today … which means the Nobel Peace Prize will be awarded later this week. It’s also National Mad Hatter Day in America – where fans of Alice In Wonderland go a little crazy.
Plus, it’s a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today…Lacey from Exeter, Karl from Brisbane, Olivia from Thornleigh and Charles from Double Bay.
And belated shout outs to the following Squiz Kids who celebrated birthdays during the school holidays – for which we’re rolling out the ol’ birthday reggae tune … hit it … ..Happy belated birthday to Nate and Oscar from Brisbane, Samuel from Abbotsford, Clementine from Footscray, Lachlan from Narrabeen, Aparajita from Mount Colah, Miranda from North Ryde, Reuben from Kingston, Toby from Auckland, Samantha from Padbury, Abbey from Book Book, Elsie from Melbourne, Aisha and Sophie from Perth, Iylah from North Nowra, Hugh from Mitcham, Lachlan from Corrigan and Livvy and Emmy from Narraweena.
And finally … because our friends in Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney are still in lockdown we are sending out home learning herograms…
Herograms go to Mrs Killick and class 4/3K at Belrose Public School, to class 5G at Belair Public School in Adamstown and class 5/6N and Miss North at Dobroyd Point Public School. Jamie in class 5/6M at Stanmore Public School sends a home learning shout out to Miss Mitchell and thanks her for being an awesome teacher. And Abbey from Narraweena would like to thank her teacher Miss Barnsley for making zoom calls so fun.
And finally – a classroom shout out to year 4 at St Mary’s School in Yoogali in country NSW, who are lucky enough not to be in lockdown.
The S’Quiz Answers:
- Winnie The Pooh
- Tik Tok