The Post, directed by Steven Spielberg, is an encouragement to as well as a salute to powerful journalism in the face of what appears to be a Goliath opposition. In this day and age - I don't have to provide examples or descriptors - The Post is a timely vehicle for edutainment (entertainment that is also educational). The PG-13 film is a great tool for a research project for high schoolers. There are a myriad of topics presented in the film that could be researched for a deeper understanding. I imagine a week would be good to do a group research project paper via Google docs. The project would include some other technology component to present the research data and information in addition to the paper.
Some Possible Topics:
1.Casualties of the Vietnam War - Students would gather information on deaths and injuries from the war: physical, psychological and social a longitudinal study. This would be a comparative with other wars the United States had been involved in prior to this war, including the Korean War.
2. The Vietnam War and The Draft - This research project would look at the draft, again with a longitudinal study, but also an analysis of social class. The research paper project would explore what constitutes the different social classes in regards to income and property etc. and provide definitions for the class structure: wealthy, rich, upper, middle, lower, underclass. It would then look at the statistics of young people drafted from the different social classes. The study would take into account exemptions from the war that a person could claim and the number of people who were punished (imprisoned) or who left the country.
For the rest of the topics I will simply provide a one sentence explanation. If anyone is interested in more details, please contact me through the website Contact page and I will be more than happy to share the rest of the ideas with you.
3. Conscientious Objectors to the War with a focus on Cassius Clay aka Mohamed Ali.
4. Nightly TV Reports of the War: time allotted, anchors, visuals. This would be compared with our more recent conflicts and how the news informed citizens on casualties and progress or setbacks.
5. Newspaper Reports on the War. Headlines and presentation of information - samples from previous wars and more recent wars.
6. Reported reasons for the War - justifications and the public's perception of those justifications. This would look at initial involvement to the end of the war.
7. War Atrocities: - Many of us know about Abu Ghraib - students would research the human rights violations that occurred during this war, prior wars and current conflicts. Outcomes of investigations would be included.
8. Presidents and Justifications for the war and the possible real reasons for the war.
9. The effect of the war on families back home.
10. Journalism and Financial Support as a business.
***Students would also be allowed to explore a topic that may not be presented and they would be allowed to choose a topic that they have the most interest in exploring.
What a rich move. Almost all of these topics are touched upon and excerpts from the film could be referred to...
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