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: First Stem
Cells Extracted from Cloned Human Embryo, 2/17/04
1. What is a clone?
Reading Comprehension Questions: (click here for printout)
2. Why are embryonic stem cells so interesting to scientists? How can this research be applied to medical treatments?
3. Why is embryonic stem cell research controversial?
4. Why does President Bush want to limit embryonic stem cell research?
5. How is reproductive cloning different from therapeutic cloning?
6. Why hasn't the United States banned human reproductive cloning?
Discussion Activity (more research might be needed):
1. Pretend that you
are a member of Congress. The issue of cloning has come across your desk
and you need to come up with a policy of how you would vote on the issue.
What is your policy? Would you allow some kinds of cloning but not others?
Would you allow any and all kinds of cloning? Write and explain your policy.
2. How is cloning portrayed in movies (The Matrix, Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, Austin Powers' mini-me, etc.)? What are the connections between the entertainment industry's idea of cloning and real life?
3. Extension activity:
Have you ever wanted to discover a cure for a disease? Who works on medical
research (doctors, scientists, technicians)? What diseases would you work
to cure? What kind of training would you need? Contact a medical school
or research lab in your state and talk to researchers about their work--
what is exciting about it, what is frustrating, etc.