Students enjoy real events, with real characters, in real situations; just as American television today is ruled by reality TV: American Idol, The Real World, Project Runway, America's Next Top Model, and Survivor to name a few. What set the precedent for today's "reality" showcase was New Journalism.
This unit explores the work of 1960s authors who combined the techniques of journalism with the narrative voice of novels. Primarily through the use of
In Cold Blood
by Truman Capote and
The Things They Carried
by Tim O'Brien, students will explore subjectivity, bias, the impact of New Journalism on history, and New Journalism's impact on literature. This unit proposes nine lessons that will ultimately have students questioning their perceptions and what they believe to be the "truth."
(Developed for English II and American Literature, grade 10; recommended for English, American Literature, 20th Century American History, grades 10-12)