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For Grades 5-8 , week of Oct. 23, 2023


A judge fined Donald Trump $5,000 for violating a gag order that was imposed recently that bans him from saying or posting personal attacks on the court staff, prosecutors, and other people involved in the New York civil fraud trial. The judge had ordered Trump to remove a post on his campaign website about a court staffer but it stayed up for weeks. The former president can be put in jail if found in contempt of court for violating the gag order, but the judge said he was only fining Trump a small amount for them “first time violation.” Trump’s lawyers said the post remaining on the website was unintentional, as it was deleted from social media promptly but the complex network amplifying Trump’s posts on different platforms for his campaign led to it being missed. Do you think former president Trump should be responsible for the post remaining on his website, even though he may not have been directly involved with the website management or the post being shared there? Why or why not? Write a paragraph defending your position.


Rep. Jim Jordan tried unsuccessfully last week to become the next Speaker of the House. The House Judiciary Committee Chairman and a hardline Republican, Jim Jordan didn’t reach the threshold needed in three votes on the House floor. Following that, the party he’d a closed-door meeting and voted to give up on Jordan as their pick for the role. With his ouster as the candidate, Republicans are back to square one finding a candidate to unite the party in the House of Representatives. Write an article that summarizes the Speaker race thus far.


As the Israel-Hamas war continues, world leaders including President Joe Biden and U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres negotiated to open the border between Egypt and Gaza to allow aid into the Palestinian territory. Israel had previously insisted that no aid would be allowed into the territory until Hamas released all of the hostages from the October 7 attack. Only 20 trucks were allowed in, which aid workers said was not nearly enough to address the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. More than 1 million Palestinians have fled their homes and hospitals have begun running low on medical supplies and fuel for emergency generators amid the territory-wide power blackout. Read about the latest developments in the war from at least two different sources. Then, write an article summarizing what you learned in your own words.


Amid President Biden’s diplomacy efforts in Israel, the Senate unanimously voted to declare solidarity with the country in the Israel-Hamas war. The resolution adopted by the Senate declares the United States’ “unequivocal support for Israel” in the war, pledging security, diplomatic, and intelligence assistance. House Democrats have called for a cease-fire in the region and hundreds of protestors gathered outside the Capitol building during the vote to echo that demand. What does the Senate’s resolution mean for the US and for Israel? Using your newspaper or online research, look up the Senate resolution and its effects. Then, write a paragraph summarizing what you’ve learned.


A Democrat from Arizona is hoping to become the first Native American to represent the state elected to the House of Representatives. Jonathan Nez will run against Eli Crane, the incumbent representative who was among the small group of Republicans who voted to oust House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. The district Crane represents is larger than some US states and includes 14 of the 22 federally recognized Native American tribes in Arizona. Nez is part of the Navajo Nation, one of the largest federally recognized tribes in the country and served as the tribe’s president from 2019 to 2023. Read more about Jonathan Nez online. Then, write a list of interview questions you would ask if you were writing an article about him.