Using NewsHour Extra Feature Stories
Overview: NewsHour Extra feature 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 a 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: World Recognizes
Refugee Crisis in Sudan, 7/5/04
1. Where is Sudan? What do you know about the country?
2. What is genocide?
Reading Comprehension Questions: (click here for printout)
2. Define ethnic cleansing and genocide.
3. Who has been accused of supporting the Janjaweed? How has this group responded to the charges?
4. What have aid groups said about the humanitarian situation in Darfur? How have they responded to the crisis?
5. What U.S. official recently traveled to Sudan? What did he do?
6. Why have U.S. officials been reluctant to call this situation genocide?
Discussion Activity (more research might be needed):
1. Research the official definition of genocide. Do you think that the situation in Sudan should be called genocide? Why or why not? How would you advise the U.S. government to act in this situation?
2. According to U.N. law, member countries, including the United States, are required to intervene when genocide occurs. Why might member nations be reluctant to intervene in Sudan? Should U.S. and other governments get involved in all humanitarian crises around the world? If no, how does a country decide when to be involved? What criteria should a nation use?
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.