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CNN Classroom Edition: Impact Your World - Rescuing Youssif

  • Story Highlights
  • Students will identify the challenges that Youssif and his family have faced
  • Students will examine the impact of news coverage of Youssif's story on his situation
  • Students will examine the power of the news media as a force for change
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(CNN Student News) -- Record the CNN Special Investigations Unit Classroom Edition: Impact Your World: Rescuing Youssif when it airs commercial-free on February 18, 2008, from approximately 4:00 -- 5:00 a.m. ET on CNN. (A short feature begins at 4:00 a.m. and precedes the program.)

Teachers: Please preview this program, as it contains graphic content that may not be appropriate for all students.

Program Overview

Five-year-old Youssif was badly burned during a violent attack outside his central Baghdad home. Dr. Sanjay Gupta documents Youssif's recovery and reveals how a global audience embraced the story and offered money and support to speed his treatment.

Grade Level: 12 - College

Subject Areas: Current Events, Health, Social Studies, Media Literacy

Objectives: The CNN Special Investigations Unit Classroom Edition: Impact Your World: Rescuing Youssif and its corresponding discussion questions and activity challenge students to:

  1. Identify the challenges that Youssif and his family have faced;
  2. Examine the impact of news coverage of Youssif's story on his current situation;
  3. Examine the power of the news media as a force for change.

Discussion Questions

1. How does the program describe life in Baghdad since the onset of the Iraq war?

2. Who is Youssif? What happened to him that caused his face to be disfigured?

3. According to the program: What were some of the dangers that Youssif's family faced in Baghdad? What measures did they take to keep themselves safe?

4. What steps did Youssif's family take to get him help? What were the circumstances surrounding Youssif's journey from Iraq to the U.S.?

5. According to his family: How did Youssif's personality change after he was attacked? How has Youssif's personality changed since arriving in the U.S.?

6. What role did the news media play in getting aid to Youssif, as described in the program? What has been the global reaction to Youssif's story? Why do you think that his story has generated such a response?

7. According to the report, how have living conditions for Youssif's family changed since arriving in America? What new experiences have they encountered?

8. What services has the Children's Burn Foundation provided for Youssif?

9. Who is Peter Grossman? According to Grossman, what are the goals of Youssif's surgeries? What are some potential complications?

10. What is your reaction to Youssif's story? If you met Youssif's family, what might you say to them?

11. What do you think will happen next to Youssif and his family?

Suggested Activity

Ask your students: What role do you think that the news media has played in Youssif's journey from Iraq to the U.S.? Following the discussion, point out to students that Youssif's story is one example of the news media's power to inspire a call to action among viewers. Next, have students brainstorm a list of other examples of when the news media's coverage of an issue inspired people to take positive action. Direct each student to research one item from the list. Pose the following questions to guide students' research:

  1. What were the details of the news story?
  2. How did the news media cover the issue?
  3. What is your reaction to the coverage?
  4. What action did people take in response to the news media's coverage?
  5. In your view, what aspects of the coverage were the most compelling and why?

After students present their findings, generate a class discussion about the impact that the news media can have on its audience. Ask: If you could use the news media to tell a story that would inspire people to take action, what story would you tell?

Curriculum Connections

Social Studies

Standard III. People, Places, and Environment: Social studies programs should include experiences that provide for the study of people, places, and environments.

Standard VIII. Science, Technology, and Society: Social studies programs should include experiences that provide for the study of relationships among science, technology, and society.

Standard IX. Global Connections: Social studies programs should include experiences that provide for the study of global connections and interdependence

The Curriculum Standards for Social Studies (http://www.socialstudies.org/standards/strands/) are published by the National Council for Social Studies (http://ncss.org/).

Keywords

Iraq, Burn Foundation, Impact Your World, war, healing

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