Lesson Plan: US Government

Date: September 2, 1997

Objectives: The students will

I. describe and evaluate the life and contributions of Diana, the Princess of Wales.

II. discuss the factors that led to her death and determine the meaning and limits of "freedom of the press."

III. Outline the significance of the British monarchy in world affairs and compare the British form of government with that of the United States.

IV. Determine and evaluate the qualities of the print and electronic media.
Warm Up Activity (Anticipatory Set): What Do You Know?

A) Have the students join into groups of two or three. Have them list all they know about Diana, Princess of Wales. Allow 4-5 minutes for students to develop a list of items.
B) When the time has passed, have student pairs read their lists. If students have the same item, they should check it off. Link: Material on Diana can be found at A Tribute To Diana, Princess of Wales.

C) Post all unique items on the board until a biographical sketch has been developed. Discuss what might be truth or myth.
D) Have the students classify the final items within the following biographical periods:

Background and childhood
The Wedding
Life as the Princess
The Press
The Divorce
Life After Charles: Her Activities

Main Activity (Instructional Input): Research and Discussion

A) Assign each of the topics listed in Part 1, D to student groups of four or five.

B) If the Internet is available, have each group visit the CNN biographical web site on Princess Diana at http://cnn.com/WORLD/9708/diana/

C) Have students add new information from those sections. Students can add to their research by visiting the MSNBC website on the life and death of Princess Diana at http://www.msnbc.com/news/diana_front.asp

D) If the Internet is available on a limited basis, print and copy the pages listed above. The same result can be achieved by showing video containing similar content. Students can also be given time in a traditional library setting to learn how to use the Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature, since periodicals would provide a wealth of information on Diana. Basic information on Diana can be located in CD ROM collections such as Encarta 97 and its on-line library.

Information Sharing Using The Jigsaw Structure

A) Have student-groups divide up so that one individual in each group goes to the other groups in the class and discusses what they found. Students in the "Background and Childhood" group would "teach" what they found to all the other groups individually.

B) Allow for a certain amount of group discussion. Individuals must share what they found with the groups as the receiving groups take notes and ask questions of the "teaching students."

C) Students can also prepare lecture notes, handouts, or Powerpoint presentations before they break up into "teaching" mode.
These can be shared with the whole class after the teaching session, or they can be used as instructional aids as students share their findings.

D) Each group proceeds in turn until all students have all the information.

Examples (Modeling): Class Discussion

A) Have students answer the following questions orally or in writing:

1) What was Diana's role in the British royal family after marrying Prince Charles?
2) What do you think were the primary causes of the failure of their marriage?
3) How did the divorce change Diana?
4) What is meant by the terms

5) Why do you think the Press became so interested in Diana?
6) How well did Diana handle the attention she received?
7) What charities or world issues did she become involved with after her divorce?
8) Is there any person or couple in American history who commanded similar attention?
9) Describe the alleged role that the Press/paparazzi played in the death of Diana?
10) Why do you think there has been such a strong reaction to her death?
11) Why do you think people follow the lives of famous people?
12) Has there ever been a famous person who had an effect on your life?

Check For Understanding: Fact vs. Opinion in The Newspaper

A)  Bring in a copy of the newspaper that contains an article on Diana's death.

B) Have students read the article(s) and create a chart where they list FACTS on one side and OPINION on the other.

C) Have students write an editorial on the following questions: (2-3 paragraphs)

Guided Practice: Editorials On Diana's Death and Freedom of the Press

A) Locate and copy opinion pages from the Internet or from print media that discuss this issue.

B) Compare the editorials from the newspaper with students' positions on the issue.
Homework (Independent Practice): The TV News

A) Have students watch one or more news broadcast on these issues.

B) Have students create a comparative chart that discusses the similarities between the following media:

NEWSPAPER                 TELEVISION                   INTERNET

Use of  Pictures
Use of Video
Sharing of Opinions
Accuracy of Facts
Speed in reporting the News

Wrap-Up Activity (Closure): Discussion On Diana, Princess of Wales

A) Have students discuss their charts described above.

B) Have students write or discuss this sentence by completing the phrase:

C) Have students defend their responses.

D) Have students read and discuss An E-mail Exchange: On the Death of Diana. Princess of Wales.

Evaluation: The lesson will be evaluated by:

I. the accuracy of student's written responses;

II. student's scores on future tests and quizzes.

George Cassutto's Cyberlearning World

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