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.


You have just finished reading H.G. Wells' science fiction novel War of the Worlds and listened to the Orson Welles' broadcast, which caused widespread panic in 1938.  Now it is your turn to create a literary ILLUSION of your very own. 

This will be a study in HYPERREALISM, which is defined in Merriam-Webster as:  Realism in art [literature, or any other media] characterized by depiction of real life in an unusual or striking manner.

Using the novel, website research and your knowledge of current trends apparent in our society, you will develop a scenario and accompanying artifiact that would potentially cause terror in the hearts of your audience.

If you need to review the novel before continuing, click on the link below:

War of the Worlds Study Guide