LESSON TWO: Back to the Past
Students research the year 1938 and make individual/cultural connections to the radio play War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells.
R1I Compare, contrast, analyze, and evaluate connections between information and relationships in various fiction and nonfiction works, text ideas and own experiences, text ideas and the world by analyzing and evaluating the relationship between literature and its historical period and culture.
§ Sources of literature
o War of the Worlds By H.G. Wells
o Transparencies, markers, or chalk
o Overhead transparency (school evacuation plan)
o Internet access or hard copies of stimulus materials on the year 1938
o Copies of directed reading questions on interactive whiteboard
o Hard copies of War of the Worlds script
o Audio version of War of the Worlds
o Computer with speakers for playing radio play for whole unit instruction
§ Handouts provided
o Making Connections
o War of the Worlds script
§ Words to know
FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT Assessment Scoring Guide
Students make one text-to-history culture connection between the War of the Worlds and the year 1938. Students use two details and/or examples from the passage to support their answer.
1. Compile a brainstormed list about history and culture in the year 1938.
What do you know about the year 1938?
Who were some well-known figures during this time?
What types of music did people listen to?
Who were some famous movie stars of 1938? Authors? Movies?
What scientific inventions were created?
What was daily life like in the year 1938?
2. Students answer and share responses to guided reading questions about the history and culture of 1938.
Put students in random groups of four. Give each group a stimulus material describing life in 1938 and a question from the list of guided reading questions. Have students answer the question and make a list of other interesting facts they discover about the year. Using Kagan’s Team Jigsaw cooperative learning strategy, students share with other students the information they gather.
§ Organize the students into pre-determined home groups. Each group needs a clean copy of the passage.
§ Each member will become the “expert” of a persuasive element for their home group.
§ Members of each home group form cooperative expert groups by teaming with others who have identical passages.
o Expert group example, all ‘supporting evidence’ students in the home groups come together to form a supporting evidence expert group.
o This expert group reads the passage, discusses the information, and identifies all supporting evidence. The information is recorded on the argument chart.
o They also discuss the best method of sharing their acquired knowledge and understanding with their cooperative home group.
§ After discussion, the expert group members return to their home groups to explain their element. The home group discusses so that all members have an understanding of each element. However, each member is an expert on only one element
Kagan, S. (1994). Cooperative Learning. San Clemente, CA: Resources of Teachers, Inc.
What technology/communication existed in 1938? (answer: radio was the source of communication, no cell phones, satellites or cable television, no television, no internet, party lines, etc.)
What science knowledge existed in 1938?
What supernatural creatures existed on the radio in 1938?
What significant historical events happened in or near this year?
What did people do for entertainment?
What type of music did people enjoy?
How did people get news?
What would people in 1938 fear?
3. Students examine the printed script of the radio drama War of the Worlds.
Teacher may plan with local library media specialist for resources with information on 1938. Teachers may choose to have students listen to a portion of the radio play a second time and follow along with the printed script. This action allows students to hear obvious connections from music, technology, etc.
A computer is necessary to download the radio play script and/or audio version of the radio play.