“Who doesn’t like a conspiracy theory? With the killing of President John Kennedy, there is no shortage of them. Almost all of them have ardent supporters and insistent detractors—including the official findings put forth by the Warren Commission. Each year brings more and more books and theories about the only presidential assassination that is not an open and shut case.
Designed to be a four corners debate, this lesson could also be a whole class discussion that can be one or two days in duration. I have included some photos and brief synopses about the Warren Commission findings along with two older conspiracy theories and one which is more recent (and more controversial). Obviously, there are many more, but this can spur your young historians into researching the event and coming up with their own conclusions.
I recommend showing the Zapruder film as a preview or providing that information ahead of time for students to view it on their own if your school does not want it shown in the classroom. For purity purposes, you should not comment on the film or what your own beliefs on the subject are. As one who remembers my school principal entering my first grade classroom to inform us of the news on that fateful day, I have my own evolving thoughts on the matter. They may or may not be included in the preceding pages."