If you are looking for nonfiction texts and activities for your middle school students, this resource will fit the bill. The resource supplies background information on the radio play War of the Worlds, which caused havoc when it was broadcast October 30, 1938. This is a perfect item to use around Halloween (although Halloween is not mentioned, as October 30 was known as “Mischief Night” in 1938). It is also a great way to bring up the subject of “fake news” and how the event parallels some of the online hoaxes that have been launched many decades later.
The resource includes four illustrated pages of text, as well as four pages of vocabulary work and questions (assessing comprehension as well as expressing opinions while citing evidence) are included, one work page for each page of text. For the vocabulary activity, students define four words that are found on the preceding page and then apply that word to what they have learned from reading the passages.
The topics covered on the text pages: “Life in the United States in 1938”, “The Radio Broadcoast- Its Production”, “The Medium of Radio”, “Preparing for the Broadcast on Mischief Night”, “The War of the Worlds: The Original”, “Creative Geniuses - Orson Welles, H.G. Wells, John Houseman”, “The Radio Drama in Real Time”, and “The Fallout”.
A full answer key is provided. Please note that the examples given on the answer key for vocabulary work are just that - student answers are likely to be phrased differently. The same applies to the answer keys for the comprehension questions, as in many cases, opinions are being asked of the students.