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Teacher Lesson Return to "Rights Questioned in School Scandal"
Rights Questioned in School Scandal
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Media/News Literacy Lesson: Is Freedom of the Press a License to be Offensive?

What the teacher needs to know to use this lesson: The Regents English exam has a listening section. A proctor reads the students an Overview (see below). The proctor then reads a passage to the students, twice, during which time the students can take notes. The students then answer some multiple choice questions. (This lesson omits the report writing section of the Regents exam. It only contains the listening part.)

Before the lesson: Make handouts with the multiple choice questions at the bottom of this page. You may also want to make handouts with the short Overview below. During the real test the students have a printed version of the Overview in front of them as the proctor reads the story. If you can’t make copies of the overview consider writing it on the board or just reading it to them.

Step 1: Read the Overview:

Overview: You will listen to an article written by a teenager about how her school paper published a satirical article about a serious topic and how students reacted to the article. You will then answer some multiple choice questions. You will hear the article twice. You may take notes.

Step 2: Tell your students, “Now I will read the passage aloud to you for the first time. Read the entire story slowly and clearly.

After reading the story once, say:

“You make take a few minutes to look over your notes. (Pause) Now I will read the story again.”

Step 3: After reading the article for the second time give them the questions below. (The anwers are: 1) c 2) d 3) c 4) d 5) c 6) a 7) a)

Multiple Choice Handout on "Rights Questioned in School Scandal"

Directions: Use your notes to answer the questions about the story read to you.

1) What does the author think about how journalists should act?

a) You can publish the truth no matter how harmful or insulting it might be.
b) Journalists shouldn’t put down people in their articles.
c) Journalists should be reliable.
d) Journalists shouldn’t write negative things about gay teens.

2) What is the relationship between the survey the author took of her classmates and the false story in the school paper?

a) The story helped her get more accurate responses.
b) More people than she expected responded to her survey.
c) Fewer people responded to the survey.
d) More people than she expected expressed disapproval of freedom of the press.

3) Who was upset by the story in the school newspaper?

a) The editor of the newspaper
b) Only the gay students at the school
c) Many students and teachers
d) Only the gay teachers at the school

4) Why was the author at first upset by the story?

a) It undermined the First Amendment.
b) It ruined her survey.
c) It was written under a false name.
d) It insulted gay people.

5) What was the reaction of the paper’s editor to the controversy about the article?

a) She apologized for printing the story.
b) She thought people had no reason to be so upset.
c) She said the First Amendment protected the writer.
d) She was angry that people didn’t realize the article was a satire.

6) What could have been a good title for the story printed in the paper?

a) Gays and Our School
b) The History of Gay People
c) Gays Have Rights Too
d) My Survey of Gay Students

7) What statement best summarizes the author’s reaction to the incident?

a) The editor of the paper should have made it clear that the story was a put-on.
b) The editor of the paper should be fired.
c) The student who wrote the story in the school newspaper should have used his real name.
d) The student who wrote the false story should be suspended.
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