BREAKING NEWS: Conversion, Hysteria, and the Media
Conversion by Katherine Howe and Unit Overview
The Hysteria and Media unit will focus on the theme of hysteria and the concept of the media. Students will be reading the young adult literature novel, Conversion by Katherine Howe. This book will be used as an anchor text for the entirety of the unit, but supplemental texts in the form of newscasts, newspaper articles, blog entries, and social media posts will also be incorporated into the unit as well. During the unit, students will be analyzing hysteria in both Conversion and the different types of media that discuss a specific event where hysteria occurred that the novel is actually based upon. They will be participating in reading and writing activities, reading discussions, and a Socratic seminar. Students will also be creating their own newscasts, newspaper or magazine articles, and some form of social media entries. By the end of the unit students will have created a large media project and completed an analysis essay that discusses hysteria and the media's influences and contributions to hysteria within Conversion. It is important for students to understand how mass hysteria occurs and how the media contributes to specific situations, so this unit aims to better their understanding.