Group Project: Exploring
News Stories with Surprise Casts of Characters
Each group will be looking
into a news story where an element of surprise was expressed about the criminal and the nature of his or her crime. After
investigating the assigned story, students will present their findings to the class in a mock newscast.
Blair, journalist accused of plagiarizing and fabricating articles (related Web sites: http://www.cnn.com/2003/US/Northeast/06/05/nytimes.resigns/ and http://www.jayson-blair.com/)
Wilbanks, a.k.a. the Runaway Bride. She didn’t show up for her wedding, claiming she was kidnapped (related Web
3: Lee Boyd
Malvo and John Allen Muhammad, snipers who terrorized Washington, D.C. (related
Web site: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/law/sniper/)
Cullen, a nurse who killed patients over the course of 16 years (related Web site: http://www.cnn.com/2006/LAW/03/02/killer.nurse/)
5: Nate Newton,
an ex-pro football player convicted on drug charges (related Web site: http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2059715)
6: Mary Kay
Letourneau, a teacher who raped—and then married one of her students (related Web site: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7926717/ and http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/05/21/letourneau.wedding/index.html)
7: John Phillip
Walker Lindh, an American convicted of conspiracy to support terrorism, etc. (related Web site: http://msnbc.com/news/666499.asp?cp1=1 and http://www.usdoj.gov/ag/criminalcomplaint1.html)
Students should answer
the following questions about their news story:
o What was the event or series of events?
o When did this happen?
o Where did this happen?
o Who are the major figures in this story?
o How was this story resolved?
o What effect did this story have on society? Consider new laws, safety precautions, etc.”
Students should prepare
a script for the newscast focusing on the following story angles:
o event description
o criminal’s background
o event’s outcome
o impact on local community, the nation, legal world, etc.