by Nicole Herche, Saint Joseph's University

Using the novel War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells and its corresponding infamous 1938 radio broadcast as a backdrop for this lesson, students will evaluate the historical implications which enabled Orson Welles to "fool" an entire population. Students will (1) compare the audience from that time with the audiences of today, (2) will make predictions regarding elements that would cause widespread fear and panic in today's society and (3) will create an artifact which uses some of the students' propositions.

Teacher Introduction

Using H.G. Wells' the War of the Worlds and various websites on science fiction and famous hoaxes, challenge your students to think about how the world today differs substantially from the world that was easily fooled into believing that ALIENS had LANDED.  By tasking your students with identifying fears derived from our supposed modern conveniences, you will ask your students to evaluate the plausibility of their own trust in our technologies.  Finally, your students will create a believable artifact that could fool the audience for whom it is intended and will invite your students to be crazily creative.