More Information
Scholastic News Online

Scholastic News Online is a free resource with breaking news and highlights from the print magazine.

Available for grades 1-6, Scholastic News magazine brings high-interest current events and nonfiction to millions of classrooms each week.

Additionally, our subscribers have FREE access to Scholastic News Interactive, an exclusive online learning tool featuring digital editions, videos, interactive features, differentiated articles, and much more.

Kids Make a Law!

Fourth-graders at Wedgwood Elementary School in Seattle, Washington, recently helped make a law in their state. The new law made the Olympic marmot, a rare animal, into an official state symbol.

Each of America's 50 states has symbols like birds, flowers, and songs. The Olympic marmot was named Washington's official endemic animal. An endemic animal is one that lives in only one area. The Olympic marmot is named after Olympic National Park in Washington, the only place in the world where these rare marmots can be found.

As a class project, students had to argue to lawmakers why the marmots should become a state symbol. They first e-mailed their thoughts to lawmakers. Later, they spoke before lawmakers in the state capital of Olympia. Finally, they watched Governor Christine Gregoire when she signed the bill making their furry friends a state symbol.

Law of the Land

In each state, a law must be passed to approve an official symbol. To get their law passed, Wedgwood students had help from the Constitution. This important piece of writing sets rules for passing U.S. laws. States follow similar rules. Thursday is Constitution Day, a day to celebrate the signing of the Constitution on September 17, 1787.

The Constitution spells out how the U.S. government works. It says that Congress makes laws for the nation. First, lawmakers in Congress must vote to pass a bill, or plan for a law. Then, if the President signs the bill, it becomes a law for the country.

State laws come about in a similar way. First, state lawmakers vote to pass a bill. If the bill passes, the Governor may sign the bill into law. The Governor is the elected leader of the state.

With help from teachers, Wedgwood students asked State Senator Ken Jacobsen to write a bill to make marmots their new state symbol. "I am proud of these fourth-graders for taking the time to learn about this state mammal and learn about the process of proposing a bill," Jacobsen said.

State Law, State Pride

Many people in the state were excited when Governor Gregoire signed the bill into law. The students who helped make it happen were among the most excited. "The whole school was abuzz," said Kelly Clark, a teacher at Wedgwood Elementary School.

"It's not every day kids make a bill and get this experience," student Caroline Malone told The Seattle Times.


blog it

Use words from today's story to complete this crossword puzzle about Washington's furry state symbol.

Download it here!


Do you know your rights? Learn about them here! Celebrate Constitution Day with games, articles, and activities. Read interviews with Supreme Court Justices, travel through time with Ben Franklin, and check out the full text of the Bill of Rights.


Get the latest on national and international events, movies, television, music, sports, and more from Scholastic News Online.

  • Teacher Store
  • The Teacher Store  
    The Signers

    The Signers

    by Dennis Brindell Fradin and Michael McCurdy

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.

    For more than 225 years these words have inspired men and women in countries the world over to risk everything in pursuit of these lofty ideals. When they first appeared in our nation's birth certificate, the Declaration of Independence, they were a call to action for a colony on the brink of rebellion. The 56 men who dared to sign their names to this revolutionary document knew they were putting their reputations, their fortunes, and their very lives on the line by boldly and publicly declaring their support for liberty and freedom. As Benjamin Franklin said as he signed his name, "We must all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately."

    Who were these men who are the first heroes of our nation? Award-winning team of author Dennis Brindell Fradin and illustrator Michael McCurdy bring their considerable talents together to illuminate the lives of these valiant men, ranging from the poorest farmers to the wealthiest merchants, whose dauntless courage inspired thousands of colonists to risk all for freedom.

    $5.21 You save: 25%
    Paperback Book | Grades 4-6
    Add To Cart
    Educators Only
    The Signers
    Grades 4-6 $5.21
    Add To Cart
  • Teacher Store
  • The Teacher Store  
    Cornerstones of Freedom™—Third Series: The Branches of U.S. Government

    Cornerstones of Freedom™—Third Series: The Branches of U.S. Government

    by Michael Burgan

    Dramatic and defining moments in American history come vividly to life in this series designed to make children feel they are on the scene as history is being made Accomplished through text, illustrations, photographs, and engravings, these titles support history, social studies and geography curricula. Index included.

    $6.71 You save: 25%
    Paperback Book | Grades 4-6
    Add To Cart
    Educators Only
    Cornerstones of Freedom™—Third Series: The Branches of U.S. Government
    Grades 4-6 $6.71
    Add To Cart
Help | Privacy Policy




(Separate multiple email addresses with commas)

Check this box to send yourself a copy of the email.


Scholastic respects your privacy. We do not retain or distribute lists of email addresses.