You have already been assigned to your group of 3-4 students for this activity.  The first part of the activity requires you to do a little bit of group research. 


First, the better you understand WHY people believed Orson Welles' radio broadcast, the more convincing your own artifact will be.  Visit the websites at the bottom of the page, search for any relevant information to answer the questions below.  Write the questions on a piece of paper and answer each one as a group.  Each question should be answered fully with supporting information. 

The questions will be collected at the end of the class and will be graded according to the Focus on Topic, Working with Others, Contributions and Time Management sections on the rubric.

1.  How would you describe the audience for the 1938 radio broadcast of War of the Worlds?  How was the audience different from our current society?

2. What evidence (factual, based in reality) was provided in the novel that made the broadcast so convincing? 

3. What evidence (not based on reality) would have provided the audience with clues that the broadcast only fiction?

War of the Worlds Website

Article from "Transparency"

Influence of Radio

National Geographic Article on the Broadcast

Why the Hoax Worked

Pyschological Power of Radio





The answers to your group questions have been returned to you and you are now ready to enter the second phase of the activity.  Using the answers to your questions and the websites at the bottom of this page, your group will be required to turn in the following information at the end of class:

  1. List (3) three technologies  or advancements that did NOT exist in 1938.  Examples are, iPods, television, cell phones, DVDs, the WWW, YouTube, the atomic bomb (invented in 1945), the slinky, LSD, the microwave (invented in 1946 for commercial use), velcro (invented in 1948), the frisbee, credit cards, birth control pills, ATMs, or any other invention which occurred after 1938.  This site is helpful if looking for suggestions:  20th Century Timeline for Inventions
  2. Using the three technologies or advancements above, choose ONE to be the focus of your project. 
  3. List (3) three potential, hoaxes (fictional fears) that could be inspired by the technology or advancement.  For example, if using "personal computers," the three fears could be:  computer viruses, computer robots taking over the world, eye illnesses caused by staring at coomputer screens.  If you have chosen computers, you MUST use different fictional fears than the ones I have provided.
  4. Based upon your answers to question three, making sure that all group members have a voice in the discussion, identify the most interesting and easily supported fictional fear. 

The questions will be collected at the end of the class and will be graded according to the Focus on Topic, Working with Others, Contributions and Time Management sections on the rubric.

American Popular Culture

American Cultural History - The Twentieth Century

Time Magazine - Top Ten Literary Hoaxes

About: Urban Legends

WSBTV News Story: Greatest April Fools Hoaxes Ever

The Moon Hoax

15 New Technologies That Will Change Everything

How Tech Has Changed Our Lives

Tradition vs. Technology

Ways the Web Has Changed the World




Using the fictional fear and the technology or advancement upon which it is based, your group will choose the best type of artifact to create.  Using the choices listed within the "Task" tab, or an original idea pre-approved by Mrs. Herche, you will create an outline of the artifact, which will be submitted at the end of class today.


The outline should include:

Helpful Links:

How to Make an Outline

10 Laws of Good Science Fiction



The Next Two Weeks ...

Using the materials created during days one through three, you will have the next two weeks to create the artifact that your group described.  Please be sure to evaluate your work based upon the rubric posted in the "evaluation" section of this WebQuest.   

If your group has chosen a performance piece, please create a script which will be submitted to Mrs. Herche on the due date.  On the due date, your group will also select the future date to perform the artifact for the class.  All other artifacts will be submitted on the due date and posted within the classroom for peer review.