Article of the Week Theme: Government Shutdown

Posted October 9, 2013 under Article of the Week, Common Core, New Features

Welcome the inaugural launch of Subtext’s Article of the Week, a new free round-up of grade-level content related to current events that teachers and students can immediately use in their classrooms. [If you want more informational texts, you can find hundreds of pieces of nonfiction in our premium Book and Article Collections, all organized by grade level and topic.]

New articles launch every Friday!  See below for article links and resources, all of which are ready to go inside Subtext!

To access these articles, simply join the Article of the Week teacher group, where you can get weekly articles and discussion questions and assignments for each article.

It’s easy; click here for a handy tutorial.

Each week, Articles of the Week will be refreshed, so be sure to look at our archives and check this blog for a steady stream of high-quality content to enhance your instruction!


October 7th, 2013

Articles of the Week: US Government Shutdown

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Feel free to leave your own thoughts and discussion questions in the comments!

Grades 4-5: “Government Shutdown

After a battle in Congress, the U.S. government shuts down until lawmakers can reach an agreement on the nation’s budget

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Sample discussion questions: After reading this article and viewing the attached video, explain the following in your own words:

A. What is a government shutdown why does it happen?

B. Given the effects of the shutdown, what do you think is keeping government officials from finding a solution to end the shutdown?


Grades 6-8: “The Government Shutdown”

With Congress having failed to pass a federal budget on Monday, some government services have stopped

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Watch embedded video:


 Grades 9-10: “What History Will Say About Obamacare and the Government Shutdown”

On October 1, 2013, Democrats opened up a program to bring health care to all, while Republicans peacocked around trying to stop history. It’s obvious which side will be judged more kindly years from now, says Michael Tomasky.

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Sample Discussion Questions:

A. As you read, highlight passages where the author identifies Republican efforts to end the government shutdown in one color, and Democratic efforts in another color.

B. After reading and reviewing your highlighted examples, do you feel the author is more positive towards Republicans or Democrats in this article?  Cite textual evidence that supports your conclusion.


Grades 11-12: “Rattled Congress Seeks Way Out of Its Standoff”

Republican efforts to resolve the fiscal standoff that has closed much of the federal government heated up Thursday, the third day of the shutdown, with new talks over a broad budget deal and an effort by more moderate House members to break the logjam.

Sample Assignment Template (Premium Users Only): 

A. As you read, highlight words and phrases that use figurative language.  Be prepared to discuss both the figurative and connotative meanings of the words you highlight.

B. Choose several words from among those you highlighted.  For each, explain the connotation of the word or phrase.  How does this meaning affect the overall tone of the text?



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