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for Grades 5-8

July 15, 2024
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For Grades 5-8 , week of July 15, 2024

1. ASSASSINATION ATTEMPT

During a rally in Butler, Pennsylvania, on July 13, 2024, former President Donald Trump was the target of an assassination attempt. While Trump was speaking, gunshots were fired, and he was quickly pulled off the stage by Secret Service agents. Trump later posted that a bullet grazed his ear, causing him to bleed. The suspected shooter was killed by the Secret Service, and at least one person at the rally also died. Two people were critically injured. Trump’s campaign said he was okay and receiving medical attention. The incident was the first serious attempt on a presidential candidate since 1981, and it happened just before the Republican National Convention where Trump is set to be nominated again. President Joe Biden condemned the violence, and the Secret Service is investigating the event. Despite the chaos, Trump was seen giving a fist pump to the crowd before leaving the rally. Read articles sharing the details of this story from at least 3 sources. Then, write a summary that compares the different articles, including what details are shared and any differences in tone or word choice that you notice.

2. ESCAPING RISING TIDES

In Taholah, Washington, the Quinault reservation is becoming unlivable because of water damage, rotting wood, and black mold from the rising Pacific Ocean. The ocean has moved closer over the years, and big waves often crash over a 15-foot seawall, forcing residents to evacuate multiple times. The Quinault Indian Nation is trying to move homes and buildings to higher ground to escape the flooding and possible future tsunamis from an offshore fault line. However, they need more than $400 million to complete this relocation, and they haven't raised enough money yet. Native American tribes are among those most affected by climate change around the world. Choose at least one tribe and research how they might be affected based on geography and other factors unique to their land and customs. Then, write an article summarizing what you learned and share with your classmates.

3. OTHER INCUMBENT WOES

After a tough presidential debate for President Joe Biden, some Democratic leaders have called for him to step down and let delegates pick a new candidate before the election. Some worry that replacing Biden so close to the election could be risky and could split the party, especially since Vice President Kamala Harris, who would likely be the main choice to replace him, isn’t doing well in polls. This situation isn’t new; something similar happened in 1968. President Lyndon B. Johnson faced massive protests and criticism over the Vietnam War, which led him to quit the race for re-election. The resulting Democratic National Convention was chaotic and led to a major loss for the Democrats in the fall election, where Richard Nixon beat incumbent vice president Hubert Humphrey. While some hope a new candidate could energize voters, the history of last-minute changes in candidates shows it can often lead to bigger problems. Write a pro/con list about whether a new nominee this close to the election would be good or bad for the Democratic Party. Use research online or from your newspaper as needed to create your list.

4. DATA BREACH

AT&T recently announced that it had a major security breach, where data from about 109 million customer accounts was downloaded by hackers. This breach mostly involved data from 2022 and was discovered in April of this year. The leaked data does not include personal details like Social Security numbers or the content of calls and texts. However, it does contain information about which phone numbers interacted with each other, which could be used to figure out who was calling or texting. The data came from a third-party platform called Snowflake and did not affect AT&T's own network. The breach has raised concerns about the risks of storing large amounts of data on cloud services. An investigation is ongoing, and at least one suspect has been caught. This incident is part of a bigger trend of increasing cyberattacks affecting various sectors, including businesses, schools, and healthcare systems. Write a press release or speech as if you were the president of AT&T announcing the data breach to the public. What points would you make and what tone would you use to convey what happened and how it’s being dealt with? What would your priorities be as you write the letter or speech?

5. HURRICANE HITS HOUSTON

After Hurricane Beryl hit Houston last Monday, hundreds of thousands of people are still without power and might not get it back until later this week. The storm knocked out electricity for about 2.7 million homes and businesses, causing huge damage like downed power lines and uprooted trees. While power has been restored to about 1.4 million customers, nearly 900,000 are still in the dark. The extreme summer heat has made it urgent to fix the power lines quickly, and the city has set up cooling centers for those affected. CenterPoint Energy, the company responsible for restoring power, is facing criticism for its response. They have brought in about 12,000 extra workers to help, but repairing the damage is slow and difficult. Some rural areas might not have power restored for up to two weeks. This is not the first time Houston has faced major power issues. The city has suffered from other storms and outages in recent years. Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is handling the state's response while Gov. Greg Abbott is currently on a trip to Asia. If you were writing a story about this for a newspaper or TV news show, what would you focus on in order to tell the story? Who would you talk to and what would you interview them about? What information would you want to convey to your audience? Write a paragraph about the approach you would take.

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