Using NewsHour Extra Feature Stories
Overview: NewsHour Extra features stories can help students identify and interpret key issues in current events. This activity anticipates one class period, but the follow-up essay might be assigned as homework, or in another period.
Warm Up: Use initiating questions to introduce the topic and find out how much your students know.
Main Activity: Have students read NewsHour Extra's feature story and answer the questions on the reading comprehension handout.
Discussion: Use discussion questions to encourage students to think about how the issues outlined in the story affect their lives and express and debate different opinions.
Follow-up: Students can write an 500-word editorial on the topic expressing their views and send it to NewsHour Extra [email@example.com] for possible publication.
Evaluation: Students are graded on their answers to reading comprehension questions and/or their editorial.
Story: Two Years
After the Attacks, 9/10/03
1. What does the word marriage mean?
Reading Comprehension Questions: (click here for printout)
2. Who is opposed to the law and why?
3. What federal Act currently defines marriage?
4. What state offers gay couples an alternative to marriage?
5. What clause of the Constitution may offer gay couples a legal loophole to fight the current laws against same-sex marriage?
6. How does President Bush feel about same-sex marriage?
Discussion Activity (more research might be needed):
2. If the state of Massachusetts votes in favor of gay marriage, explain how a lawyer representing a gay couple in another state might argue that the "Defense of Marriage Act" is unconstitutional based on the "Faith and Credit Clause" of the Constitution.
3. Research the origins of the idea of "separation of church and state." How does this concept relate to the legal debate over gay marriage?
Write a 300-500 word essay on either of these topics providing clear examples. Send your completed editorial to NewsHour Extra [firstname.lastname@example.org]. Exceptional essays might be published on our Web site.