I think that it is very important for my 5th graders to be up to date on the current issues facing our country. The best way I have found to do this is by showing my students a 10 minute daily news program called CNN Student News.
You can stream the program straight from the internet, but I prefer to use iTunes to download the daily podcast. It's simple to download: Open up your iTunes, go to the iTunes Store, type in CNN Student News, and download the current episode. It's completely free!
I have shown this program for 4 years, and think it has a great impact on my students and their knowledge of current events and important issues facing America. Over the years, my students have been up to date on all the important events; like the 2008 Presidential Election, the Earthquake in Haiti, and most recently, the miners in Chile.
I recommend this program to all 5th grade students and above. It helps students become more aware of their country, helps meet state curriculum standards, and overall makes them better American citizens.