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the o.j. verdict


Discussion Questions

Featured Lesson Plan
  • Re-Creating The Era Of The Trial
  • Student Handout: The Main Characters and Issues of the Case
  • Student Handout: Viewing Guide: Focus on Issues and People
  • Student Handout: "Dinner Guest: Me" by Langston Hughes

  • Additional Lesson Ideas
  • Examining Race through Poetry
  • Creative Responses to Invisible Man
  • Parallels and Differences: Exploring the Rodney King Trial

  • Additional Resources

    Printable .pdf of Entire Guide
    (Adobe Acrobat required)

    » Discussion Questions

    1. What do you know about O.J. Simpson and his murder trial?
    2. Look at the covers of two national magazines on which the same police "mug shot," taken after Simpson was arrested for the murder of his ex-wife and a friend, appears.

      1. Compare these two magazine covers. Look carefully and note both similarities and differences. Explain how you "see" the pictures differently?

      2. Think of adjectives to characterize the Simpson on the Time cover. Think of adjectives to characterize the Simpson on the Newsweek cover.

      3. What editorial decisions do you think might account for the different presentation of the same "mug shot"?
    3. What most surprised you about the film?
    4. The article in the link that follows discusses one of the media issues that Hurricane Katrina raised. URL: [http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/features/3359081]

      1. Scroll down to the photos in the article. Pay attention to the captions accompanying each photograph, noting especially the circled words.

      2. What are the connotations of "looting" and "finding"?
        Note: Connotation means "the set of associations implied by a word in addition to its literal meaning." [http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=connotation]

      3. What might you hypothesize about the reasons for the different captions?

      4. The source of photograph #1 is the AP (The Associated Press), an American-based organization, which claims to be "the oldest and largest news organization in the world." [http://www.ap.org/pages/about/history/history.html]

      5. The source of photograph #2 is AFP. With headquarters in Paris, AFP claims to be "the world's oldest established news agency, founded in 1835 by Charles-Louis Havas, the father of global journalism." [http://www.afp.com/english/afp/?pid=history]

      6. What might you hypothesize about the different effects, both in the United States and throughout the world, of these two images and captions placed together? You can read one sample article at: [http://newsobserver.com/24hour/world/story/2704792p-11257710c.html]
    5. What can you conclude from these two exercises in "reading" photographs? What factors determine how and what we see?

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