This Week's News

  • New Challenges in Aftermath of Family Separation | PBS NewsHour

    For students who want to read along, the transcript can be found here. Total video time: 5m:07s. For the sake of time, you may wish to stop the video at 2m:49s.

    After much criticism, on July 5, 2018 Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar said that his department is prepared to reunite migrant children under age 5 with their parents. The week prior, Democratic attorneys general in 17 states and the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration, arguing that its family separation policy violated the due process and equal protection clauses of the Fifth Amendment. The attorneys general asked the federal government to provide more immediate information and access to those detained under the policy on an expedited schedule. The motion included more than 900 pages of personal testimonies from parents, children and other family members who were directly impacted by the Trump policy.

    President Donald Trump signed an executive order reversing his family separation policy at the border after public backlash. Two weeks later, HHS confirmed that the separations have stopped. Trump remains dedicated to his zero-tolerance policy. He tweeted on July 5, “Tell the people ‘OUT,’ and they must leave, just as they would if they were standing on your front lawn.”

    July 6, 2018 video and resource materials from PBS NewsHour.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Continuing Fight for Equality | PBS NewsHour

    “I ask no favor for my sex. All I ask of our brethren is that they take their feet off our necks,” states Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in a new documentary about her life. The documentary 'RBG' follows 85-year old Ginsburg’s roots, education, family life, and career, along with her continuing fight for sexual, socio-economic, and racial equality. Ginsburg says at one point she felt like a kindergarten teacher when it came to instructing other judges about the meaning of sexual discrimination. She would ask them to reflect on how they’d like their daughters and granddaughters treated.

    As you listen to Ginsberg describe her relationship with her late husband, discuss the following: Who is someone in your life who you believe will always remain in your heart and mind even though they may have passed away? How did they help you become the person you are today? See the support materials below to continue in-classroom discussion.

    June 3, 2018 videos and resource materials from PBS NewsHour.

    Grades: 6-12
  • How Separating Children from Parents Became U.S. Government Policy | PBS NewsHour

    Read this NewsHour story to learn more about the Trump Administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy.

    On June 18, 2018, theTrump Administration responded to protests and criticism over its “zero tolerance” policy on immigration that has resulted in separation of children from parents at the southern U.S. border. Nearly 2,000 children have been taken from their mothers or fathers since Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the policy, which directs Homeland Security personnel to charge adults with illegal entry and place them in jail, away from their children. Children are required to be turned over from shelters within three days to be housed by another government agency, the Department of Health and Human Services.

    See support materials below for additional background information and classroom discussion questions.

    June 18, 2018 video and resource materials from PBS NewsHour.

    Grades: 6-12
  • North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump Meet Face-to-Face | PBS NewsHour

    Update since the summit:

    Early morning in Washington, the White House released the text of the document signed by President Trump and North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un after their summit.

    You may also want to read the PBS NewsHour article: Trump and Kim signed a joint statement. What does it mean?

    President Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un are scheduled to meet on June 12, 2018 in Singapore. Possible topics include North Korea’s nuclear program, officially ending the Korean War that began in 1950, and removing North Korea from state-sponsored lists of terrorists. Kim Jong Un has followed in the dictatorial footsteps of his father and grandfather, and had not met with a single foreign leader before six months ago. In the past year, Kim and Trump have exchanged tweets, each leader stating the strength of their nuclear weapons’ programs.

    See the support materials below for classroom discussion questions.

    June 11, 2018 video and resources from PBS NewsHour.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Santa Fe Study Guide: Have School Shootings Become Part of American Culture? | PBS NewsHour

    Watch the first video, Remembering the Santa Fe Shooting Victims, to learn about the eight students and two teachers who were killed in the school shooting at Santa Fe High School on May 18, 2018 near Houston, Texas. Next, read the Associated Press (AP) story about the circumstances surrounding the shooting and answer the discussion in support materials questions below.

    Then, watch the second video, Texas School Shooting Days Before Graduation Draws Governor’s Call for New Gun Laws. Consider how the words spoken by student Paige Curry relate to those spoken in the aftermath of the shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. 

    May 22, 2018 video and resource materials from PBS NewsHour.

    Grades: 6-12
  • U.S-North Korea Summit Study Guide | PBS NewsHour

    Use this study guide to discuss the history of U.S-North Korean relations and the significance of diplomacy with your students ahead of the U.S-North Korea summit set to take place on June 12, 2018.

    There are signs of progress just days after South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un met during a historic encounter in late April 2018. Both leaders met on South Korean territory, in the demilitarized zone (DMZ) that separates the two nations. North Korea announced it would re-sync its time zone with South Korea’s starting Saturday. In 2015, they had set clocks 30 minutes behind Seoul. South Korea said it would remove the loudspeakers that blast propaganda into the North.

    After watching the video below, read the article “Trump Says Time, Place Set for Planned U.S.-North Korea Summit" and consider the significance of the upcoming meeting between Kim Jong Un and President Trump on the heels of this recent positive North-South Korea exchange. 

    May 7, 2018 video and resource materials from PBS NewsHour.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Why Do Hyperpartisan News Sites Exist? | PBS NewsHour

    This story is an installment of PBS NewsHour’s four-part series on “Junk News,” and explores who is behind creating inflammatory news sites, and why. Science correspondent Miles O’Brien profiles a leading purveyor of junk news, Cyrus Massoumi, who has hit the jackpot exploiting the trend toward hyperpartisan news. Why does Massoumi do it? He makes a lot of money and it’s easy.

    After watching this video, classrooms may engage in a discussion about who has the responsibility to address the dangers of junk news. Is it the people who make the news, or the people who consume it? See support materials below for guiding questions and additional information about media literacy.

    May 6, 2018 video and resource materials from PBS NewsHour.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Connection Challenge: Building Stronger, Safer Communities | PBS NewsHour

    Inspired by Parkland students, three schools across the U.S. participated in the Connection Challenge as a way to step out of their comfort zones and connect with other young people at school with whom they wouldn’t normally interact. PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs teamed up with Snapchat on April 20th, the day of the National School Walkout, to cover the event.

    Watch the video and answer the discussion questions in our support materials below. Your class or school may want to hold its own Connection Challenge. Check out the extension activity linked below under Follow Up.

    Grades: 6-12