October 28th, 1999
Henry Luce: Turn Me Luce
Procedures for Teachers

Prep

Media Components


Computer Resources:

  • Modem: 56.6 Kbps or faster.
  • Browser: Netscape Navigator 4.0 or above or Internet Explorer 4.0 or above.
  • Personal computer (Pentium II 350 MHz or Celeron 600 MHz) running WindowsÆ 95 or higher and at least 32 MB of RAM and/or Macintosh computer: System 8.1 or higher and at least 32 MB of RAM.

Bookmarked sites:

Bookmark the following sites:

American Masters Web site
http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/database/luce_h.html
This site contains background information on Henry Luce.

Time On Line
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/archives/advanced
This Web site contains an archive of Time magazine covers.

Life Web site
http://www.life.com/Life/
This site contains an archive of Life magazine covers.

Time Web site
http://www.time.com/time/photoessays/
This site contains examples of Time photo-essays.

Materials:

Teachers will need the following supplies:
Television and VCR
Copy of American Master’s program “A Vision of Empire: Henry Luce and Time-Life’s America”
Construction paper
Markers or colored pencils

Steps:

Introductory Activity:


In this activity, students will explore Time and Life magazine’s archives to build background information on Henry Luce’s Time and Life magazines.

1. Involve students in a brief discussion about Time, Fortune, and Sports Illustrated magazines. Topics for this discussion might include asking students if anyone in their family reads these magazines, general opinions on the magazines, or any particular articles that they might recall, etc.

2. Read to the class the description of the Henry Luce program from the American Master’s Web site. http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/database/luce_h.html

3. Share the following Henry Luce quotation with the class: “The most important subject is people. Today and always.”

4. Tell students that they are going to search Time or Life magazine archives to find covers that illustrate the meaning of Luce’s quote.

5. Divide the class into small groups. Assign half of the groups Time magazine and the other half Life magazine. Instruct groups to select ten images from varied time periods that they think express the concept that people are, and always will be, the most important subject.

Time On Line
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/archives/advanced
This Web site contains an archive of Time magazine covers.

Life Web site
http://www.life.com/Life/
This site contains an archive of Life magazine covers.

6. Provide time for groups to share their selections with the class.

Learning Activities:
Activity One


In this activity, students will discuss how Henry Luce changed the way Americans viewed their world, and create a magazine, video or photo-essay that reflects Luce’s journalistic style.

1. After watching the program, involve students in a discussion about the ways in which Luce changed the way Americans viewed their world. The following is a list of suggested topics for this discussion:

  • How did Time magazine give Americans better access to information?
  • Do you think the concept of telling news through the people of the news is an effective news reporting method? Explain.
  • Do you think the concept of telling stories through pictures and captions is an effective news reporting method? Explain.
  • Did Luce’s personal opinions influence the articles that were printed in Time magazine?
  • Can you give examples of how Luce used his personal beliefs, judgment, sentiment and persuasion to influence the American public? Do you think this an acceptable role for a magazine to assume? Can you think of examples of how you are influenced by today’s media?

2. Remind students of the section in the program when Luce said, ” To see life, to see the world, to eye witness great events, to watch the faces of the poor and the gestures of the proud. To see strange things, machines, armies, multitudes, shadows in the jungles and on the moon.” Explain to students that they are going to keep Luce’s words in mind as they create a current-day news story.

3. Tell students that they are going to choose one of the options below as the basis for a news story.

Option One: Create a “Time Magazine”
In this option, students will create a “Time” magazine. The issue must include a national and world affairs article and a cover story. Depending on how many students are in the group, the magazine should also include articles on all or some of these topics: innovators, science, arts, lifestyle, books, videos, music, cinema, health, money, people, and/or an essay. Explain to students that they should collect facts and information for the articles from newspapers, the Internet, television, radio etc. Tell students that they will use this information as the basis for the articles, but will put their own particular “spin or voice” on the material when they write their article. Emphasize that this is not a cut and paste activity.

Option Two: Create a “March of Time Video”
In this option, students will create a “March of Time Video.” Students choosing this option may find it helpful to review the section in the program where Luce’s March of Time newsreels are discussed. Explain to students that for this activity they will create a video based on the re-enactment of a news event from the week. Discuss how the video should be scripted and acted out, and that it is a re-creation of an event and not a newscaster sitting behind a desk reading the news.

Option Three: Create a Photo-Essay.
In this option, students will create a photo-essay. Students choosing this option should visit this site to view selected Time magazine’s photo-essays. http://www.time.com/time/photoessays/ For this activity, students may find photographs on the Internet and write the text to tell the story or create a photo-essay based on photographs they take of a local person, organization, or event.
Teacher Note: Students who choose this option must have access to a camera and film developing services.

4. After students have completed their assignments, provide time for them to share their work with the entire class.

Activity Two


In this activity, students will create a dinner party for people who appeared on a Time magazine cover.

1. Tell students that they are going to create a Time Cover Dinner Party

2. Ask students to select one person who has appeared on the cover of Time magazine. Make sure that students all choose a different person for this activity.

Time On Line
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/archives/advanced
This Web site contains an archive of Time magazine covers.

Life Web site
http://www.life.com/Life/
This site contains an archive of Life magazine covers.

3. Explain to students that these people may be historic people or people who are alive today.

4. Tell students to write a summary that includes the following:

  • Who the person is/was
  • What he or she accomplished
  • Why you included this person in the dinner party

5. Ask students to create a place mat for their guest. The mat should communicate the unique qualities of the individual and, what role he or she played in the world, as well as an image of the person.

6. After students have completed their summaries and placemats, arrange the desks in a dinner table configuration and set the placemats on the desks. Have students sit at the placemat they created. Tell students to assume the role of the person they chose and take turns introducing themselves to the other guests. Provide time for guests to ask and answer questions of each other.

Teacher Note: You may choose to have students dress up to look like the guest they are role-playing. If you have access to a video camera, you may videotape the dinner and have someone conduct interviews with the guests. Share the video with another class or take turns sending the video home with students.

Critical Thinking Questions/Assessment:

1. Have each student choose a project from Activity One to evaluate. If Option One is chosen, students will only need to select one article.

2. Have each group answer the following questions about the project.

  • What facts were included in the project?
  • What opinions were included in the project?
  • How did the project affect your thoughts?
  • How did the project affect your feelings?
  • What did you learn from the project?

Extension Activities:

Have students select a news event to share with a fourth or fifth grade student. Tell students to create a collage that contains images and text to explain the event so that the younger child will be able to grasp the material. Explain to students that this event may be taken from any of the categories mentioned in Option One of Activity One.

Cross-Curricular Extensions:

Technology – Create a school Web site that utilizes Henry Luce’s made-for-the-consumer style of news reporting to keep the student body updated on current events and people in the news.

Economics – Create a class Fortune magazine using the same format as Option One in Activity One of this lesson.

Physical Education – Create a class Sports Illustrated magazine using the same format as Option One in Activity One of this lesson.

Inside This Lesson

Salinger

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