1. How did television change our collective lifestyle?
2. Predict what our lives might be like if television had never been invented.
3. What television programs have made an impact on your life – good or bad?
4. Write an account of an event in history that came alive because of television.
1. The events of September 11, 2001, have changed all of America. Discuss in class whether this would have been as alarming if it had only been on radio – or if we had only seen it in a newsreel/tape an hour or days later – rather than as it was happening.
2. Take a survey of the amount of time students in the class spend watching TV every day, week, month. (Students might keep a weekly log of TV shows watched.) You might want to take a separate survey of the parents of the students in the class and compare the two. Calculate how much time most of the class spends sleeping and compare this with the fact that “children today have spent more time watching television than in any other activity except sleeping.” Which was more: sleeping or watching TV? Studying or watching TV? You might want to go further and ask if excessive TV watching might be the cause of lower grades, smaller attention spans, boredom in school, obesity, or less exercise or time spent reading.
3. Take a field trip to visit your local GPB television studio. Click here to access the request form.
4. Produce your own hour-long variety show. This should be a production which would consist of:
*a news program (up-to-date news – local, national, and school), including weather
*an interview with a famous personality (local or national – dramatized by one of the students)
*cooking segment (with real food)
*commentary/editorial (possibly using the results of the survey in #1)
*something funny: banter between the anchors, a joke segment, or interviewing people-on-the-street (people-in-the-hall)
Do your own editing to make sure it does not run over an hour. Enlist the aid of the technology department and their equipment to make this possible. (Parts of this tape might be added to your local school’s own morning news program, if you have one. If not, this might be the beginning of one at your school.)
civil rights: individual rights, particularly those personal liberties guaranteed to all citizens in the Constitution
broadcast: to transmit information or entertainment by radio or television over a wide area
James Brown: a singer from Augusta, Georgia, who was called the “Godfather of Soul"; his soul/pop songs and fancy footwork/dancing transcended racial barriers as he became nationally famous