Web Quests are due on FRIDAY, January 20.
Eighth Grade
Teacher Page
Step 1

Organise yourselves into groups of 2 students. In a couple of cases you will be working on your own, as you are the only 8th grader in your class, or you prefer working by yourself. Mr. A will help you out in those cases. With your group, create a Working Document (use your wikipage) that will record your responses to the following:

1. Create a list of all the types of media you and your partner can think of. If you are on your own, you may need to check out other 8th graders work as the week progresses.

2. Identify the purposes of all media messages – for example to entertain, to inform etc.

3. How is the media influenced by social, political and economic factors? What other influences do you think media is affected or influenced by?

4. What do you think are the effects on those groups of people who are not represented by these media stories and those who portray them?
Step 2

Look at the presentation in Resource 2, "Webquest Iraq War Images". Then watch “Censored Images of War: The War in Iraq 2”. With your group or with Mr. A's help, discuss and provide a written response in your Working Document to the following questions:

1. How are both sides of the war (i.e. Iraqis and the Americans) portrayed in these images and video?

2. Your group will now undertake research on the Internet to gain a brief overview of the Iraqi culture. Consider information such as major cities, religion, government, social structures.

3. Using the Presentation (Resource 2), compare the images portraying the same event. Point out the similarities and differences between them.

4. What choices were made in depicting this event in a certain way (i.e. through photographs, video, or written articles)?

5. How did this information affect your understanding of the event?

6. What choices were made by the media in how they captured this event? What elements did they choose to omit or select to show? What do you think the intentions were by portraying the event this way?

7. Why do you think the newspaper images were doctored?

8. What purpose did it serve?

9. Who gains from altering these images?

10. Do you think an altered image can change history, and if so, how?
Step 3

Each group or individual will be assigned a pair of newspaper images covering the war in Iraq. These can be found in Resource 1 "Newspaper Covers of War in Iraq". Your group is to analyse these newspaper covers and respond to the following questions. An example has been provided for you to work through as a whole class activity with your teacher. Record your answers to your work in your Working Document.

1. Consider how the Newspaper Editors have chosen to portray the war in Iraq. Consider elements such as

a) Image size

b) Use of colour and font size

c) Dedication of space to a particular article – consider the size of the article. Does this give it more prominence?

2. Who is the audience of the newspaper?

3. Consider the ‘other’ side of the story. Who is not being represented in these newspapers? What ramifications does this have for ‘their’ side of the story?

Step 4 - East Kids Skip this one

Although the war in Iraq is over, combat still exists. Even though military intelligence has suggested that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction, nor any credible links to Al Qaeda, many students still believe that Iraqis were the perpetrators of the September 11 attacks.

Each student in your group is to read one of the following articles: If you are doing this webquest as an individual, you must choose two of them.

A Street Cop's Perspective
An American Sikh's Perspective
Each student is to contribute to a discussion with the group:

1) What was the outcome for particular groups of people, such as the Iraqi and Muslim population?

2) Do you think the media coverage contributed to their treatment?”

3) Australia prides itself on being a multicultural community but is it truly ‘multicultural’ when there is evidence of increasing racial vilification against particular groups, such as Muslims?

4) How has understanding how the media has portrayed the war in Iraq affected your view of the Iraqi or Muslim population?

5) The title of this webquest is One Event: Many Perspectives. Has the critical analysis of the media portrayal of the war in Iraq altered your perspective, or made you see that there are other sides to the story?

6) What impact do you think the media has had on the historical accuracy of this event? Do you consider that the media has helped change or ‘shape’ history in any way?

Record the findings of the discussion on your wikipage.

Step 5

Analytical Writing Task

The last task for this Webquest is an individual analytical writing task. Each student is to write their own essay answering the following question:

"Truth is always the first casualty of history (or war)"

Assess how the media assists in shaping and influencing the way events are portrayed and recorded. Consider how a government or country's actions can be supported and 'legitimised' through the media. What impact do these perspectives have on historical accounts and sources for a particular event? Use the knowledge and sources you have analysed in the Webquest to support your answer. Post your essay on your webquest wiki page, and please provide images that you feel represent your experience with this webquest (Introduction, 1 body paragraphs - 11 sentences, conclusion).

Finally......Submit your Working Document and Analytical Writing Task to your teacher by end of class Thursday, January 19th.