December 24, 2012

#8 on our list of the Top 10 Stories of 2012 is an amazing science news story. More than a year after the massive tsunami in Japan, debris from the huge waves started to show up on the West Coast of North America. This blog post was a Writing Wednesday exercise, and the story moved many readers to write about their own feelings.

Welcome to Writing Wednesday! Every week there is a new opportunity to publish your own creative writing on the Seymour Science blog. This week, we are asking you to read a science news story about a long-lost soccer ball, and then answer a question about that story.

The Facts:

  It is a good thing that Misaki Murakami’s name was on his soccer ball. He thought it was lost in last year’s tsunami in Japan, but it was returned to him after it washed up on an island in Alaska last weekend.

15-year-old Misaki Murakami was home when the tsunami struck Japan in March 2011, and he grabbed his pet dog and ran to safety on higher ground. His family lost everything, including their house, and have been living in temporary housing ever since. 

Misaki and his family members have been looking for their belongings, but the soccer ball is the first thing that has been found. His name and the name of his school were written on the ball with a Sharpie because this was not just any old soccer ball. It was a goodbye gift from his teacher and classmates when he had to change schools seven years ago. He has kept it next to his bed ever since.

Your Assignment: Once you have read and understood the story above, answer this question. Why was it so surprising that Misaki got his soccer ball back, and why was it important to him?  



One of our regular correspondents, Will B. in Ohio, wrote: It was surprising he got his soccer ball back because that is like trying to find a needle in a big pile of needles….like the size of Texas!  I saw the Tsunami in video.  I cannot imagine finding anything after that.   The ball was important to him because his friends gave it to him.  


Many kids from a school in Pennsylvania also wrote about this story, and why finding the ball was so important.

To Misaki Murakami, the soccer ball is a suprise present from his classmates and his teacher seven years ago when he had to go to a new school.That is why the soccer ball is so important to him.It was on a island in Alaska that is really far away.   — Joyce


It was suprising that he got his soccer ball back because water could have carried it anywhere! It was special because his friends gave it to him.      — Bradley


It was his favorite thing and he lost it. Someone found it in another continent. He was so happy that his soccer ball came back.      —Sean


I THINK IT IS AMAZING because it washed up very far away from him. I know how you feel because I lost something that was special to me too!! : )      — Bryn


It was suprising to him that he found his ball because it was like 100000000000000000000000000 miles away. That is a real cool fact. I would love to know who found the ball????      — Ryan



Posted by: Seymour Simon

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