Rationale: An editorial is a writing style used to express an opinion or reaction to timely news, an event or an issue of concern. Most editorials are used to explain a situation, to get the reader involved, and to arouse interest about an important issue. By referring to the catastrophic events and emotional fallout caused by the intergalactic war in Star Wars: Clone Wars Volume 5: The Best Blades, students will write an in-depth editorial about the situation and the events surrounding it.
Grade Levels: High School
Objective: After reading this volume of Star Wars: Clone Wars, the student will be able to develop an editorial that consists of five paragraphs: a thesis statement that introduces the issue, an explanation of the issue, reasons for a personal point of view and a restatement of the thesis with a forecast of the future.
Time Allotted: Depending on class length. One 90 minute class or two 45 minute classes.
In a culture that is constantly bombarded with pop culture references, it is no surprise that media and entertainment have made their way into the classroom. Simultaneously, living in a time of war and uncertainty had made the current events in the news as relevant to our lives as ever. The best way to get students discussing current events - without totally ignoring the influence of popular culture - is to infuse their knowledge of both the real and fantasy worlds. The established popularity of George Lucas' Star Wars films and comics has produced a frenzy in teens, and despite their escapist roots, the storylines and characters are increasingly in-depth and symbolic in meaning. Using a graphic novel such as Star Wars: Clone Wars, and analyzing the story in greater detail through the creation of an editorial, not only allows the student to become more engaged with the story, but with society overall. This allows the teacher to use current and historical events as a bridge between the fictional writing in the comic and real-life events that have been covered throughout time.
1. Before reading, spend time discussing with students their definitions of: war, an editorial, characterization and personal opinion.
2. After defining these topics, pass out the graphic novel and discuss their opinions of the storyline just by looking at the cover. Talk about main characters, the storyline and their predictions for the plot.
3. As they are reading the fifth volume of a series, give the students time to read silently at their table, referring to their initial opinions and comparing them to what they read in the story. You may also want to give some background for those students who may be unfamiliar with the Star Wars universe.
4. After the silent reading, go back and discuss with the students their understanding of the reading and their comparisons to their initial opinions. Have students compare this information with their knowledge of the Star Wars films and how the events of the "Clone War" may or may not parallel actual wars in the past and the present. Then ask how this particular Cline Wars plotline could be a good basis for their own editorial.
5. As the students discuss why this comic is important for an editorial, write the five key components of your editorial assignment on the board. Discuss each paragraph topic, and give examples. You may use past real-life catastrophic events such as September 11, the Holocaust, Vietnam, etc., to illustrate how the editorial is written. You may even use actual war editorials from current newspapers.
6. Before composing the entire editorial, students must come up with a strong thesis to steer the editorial in the right direction. Give the students time to come up with a thesis, answering questions when necessary. Finally, have students share their sentences aloud, giving positive feedback to each other.
7. The remainder of the class period will be spent completing the editorial. Students will complete the rest of the assignment for homework, bringing in their rough draft for peer revision the next class period. After peer revision, the final copy will be due.