One Event: Different Perspectives
- Grades: 9–12
- Unit Plan:
Different presentations of the same event may present various points of view.
- Students will learn how to compare separate presentations/interpretations by the media of the same event and point out the similarities and differences among them.
- Students will develop an understanding of how coverage of an event by the media can vary depending on the type of media and its source.
- Students will understand that different presentations may present various points of view.
- Students will understand that in presentations/interpretations by the media choices are made in the filming, directing, casting, etc. that influence the way the events are portrayed. This includes choices of how elements and content are selected or omitted.
- Students will apply what they've learned above to participate in a classroom discussion or debate on how scenes from The Path to 9/11 were depicted and how they and other sources affected their understanding of the event.
- Have your students select a scene from The Path to 9/11 miniseries, such as the depiction of the USS Cole bombing in Yemen. Instruct your students to write a brief summary of the event as shown in the miniseries.
- Then have students visit http://www.9-11commission.gov/report/index.htm to download a free copy of the 9/11 Commission Report. Students should search the report for information pertaining to the same event they selected in step 1.
- Once the students have found the information in the 9/11 Commission Report, have them compare the depiction of the event in the miniseries to its representation in the report.
- Have students consult a second print news source for another example of how the event is portrayed in print media versus the miniseries and report.
- Have students summarize their comparisons in a short essay. Remind them to include specific examples from the miniseries and the report as they write their essays.
- Have students consider these questions: Are there matters of dispute in the docudrama? Does the scene you researched portray events that conflict with the 9/11 Commission Report or additional news source? Does it portray events that reflect the information in the 9/11 Commission Report?
- Ask for volunteers to share what they have discovered about the similarities and differences between how the event was depicted. Lead a class discussion or debate about whether or not The Path to 9/11 is an accurate representation of the events described in the 9/11 Commission Report and additional news source.
- As part of this debate, have your students consider if they feel that event depicted in the scene they have chosen was a contributing factor for the terrorist attacks and why. Possible discussion or debate starters include: Contrast these feelings and insights with other sources. Has the publicity surrounding the docudrama affected your perspective of the events depicted in the scene you have chosen.