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for Grades 9-12

July 22, 2024
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For Grades 9-12 , week of June 10, 2024

1. COURT CONTROVERSY CONTINUES

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas recently updated his financial disclosure to include luxury trips he took in 2019, one to an Indonesian island and another to a secretive all-male club in California. These trips were with Harlan Crow, a conservative donor. Other Supreme Court justices disclosed gifts, travel, and earnings from books. Justice Thomas' disclosures have sparked interest due to past revelations about gifts and travel from wealthy donors. The disclosures offer a glimpse into the justices' lives outside the court. Justice Thomas received criticism for accepting gifts and private jet flights. The Supreme Court adopted its first ethics code in response to public scrutiny, but critics argue that it lacks enforcement mechanisms. Research other recent scandals involving Supreme Court justices like Clarence Thomas accepting luxurious gifts and trips. Then, write an opinion piece that explains how the Court should deal with this situation and why it’s important for the public to have trust in the Supreme Court, using research to back up your claims.

2. ELECTION CLERK FACES BACKLASH

In a small county in Nevada, Cindy Elgan, who runs the elections, faces a surprising challenge. Mary Jane Zakas, a respected member of the local Republican Party, presented a recall petition against Elgan, claiming interference in elections. This comes after the controversial 2020 election, fueled by conspiracy theories and distrust. Despite Elgan's efforts to educate and assure voters, many remain convinced of election fraud and have accused Elgan of misconduct because she certified the results. During the verification process for the petition, many of the signatures on it were found questionable, so the recall was thrown out, but this is just one of many examples across the country of the issues faced by election officials since 2020. Write an outline for an article that reflects on how ordinary people are dealing with the aftermath of a divisive election and navigating a landscape where misinformation thrives. Consider what sources you would use, who you would talk to, and how you would frame this story so that it is impactful for the reader while getting your point across.

3. D-DAY MILESTONE

Reenactors in period clothing gathered in Utah Beach ahead of commemorative ceremonies while soldiers, veterans and others laid wreaths or threw flowers into the water at the shore. Nearby, U.S. joint military service academy choir members clutched horns as they took part in their own ceremony while international pipers dressed in green and yellow marched their way from Bayeux Cathedral to the Great Vigil at the Commonwealth War Grave Commission’s Bayeux War Cemetery. The gathering was in honor of the eightieth anniversary of D-Day, the invasion of Normandy during World War II. Some veterans who took part in the invasion are still alive today; most are around 100 years old. Research the history of D-Day and the impact that particular event had on the rest of World War II and its aftermath. Then, write an article to highlight the eightieth anniversary and events that took place this year to honor the milestone.

4. RAGE APPLYING

Recently, a new trend called 'rage applying' has been gaining popularity on TikTok, especially among Gen Z and millennials. Rage applying involves applying to numerous jobs out of frustration with one's current employment situation, often sparked by missed promotions, lack of raises, or general dissatisfaction with the job or company. The goal is to escape the current job and secure a new one with better pay or benefits. While some TikTokers have reported success with rage applying, it's important to consider the potential drawbacks, such as making impulsive decisions that may not align with long-term career goals. Alternatives to rage applying include having open communication with your boss about your concerns, carefully reviewing job descriptions before applying, and leaving your job in a calm and professional manner if necessary. Write an opinion article that describes how you think rage applying could be beneficial or problematic, considering the perspective of employees and employers. Use research about applying for jobs and leaving a job to back up your claims.

5. JOURNALIST MAKES AN IMPACT

In March 2020, the NBA season was suspended due to a player testing positive for COVID-19, marking the seriousness of the pandemic for many Americans. The league later created a "bubble" at Disney World to resume the season safely. Malika Andrews, a young journalist, covered the bubble extensively, displaying both humor and competence. She reported on health protocols and players' reactions to social issues like the Black Lives Matter movement. Despite facing online criticism and harassment, Andrews has risen in her career at ESPN, earning respect for her thorough reporting and willingness to cover sensitive topics. She continues to excel in her role, maintaining strong relationships with players and demonstrating dedication to her craft. Write an outline of what questions you would ask if you were interviewing Andrews for a podcast or talk show.