President Obama shared an important speech Tuesday night at WestPoint calling for changes in US policy and troop strength levels in Afghanistan. Use the following Wordle “word cloud” with your students and ask them what they can “see” were major themes in the President’s address. Larger versions are available from Wordle.net and Flickr.
Next, follow up by having students find excerpts in the full text of the speech which either support or contradict their visual hypotheses.
To get a better perspective on how headlines about these issues have evolved over time, enter a search for “afghanistan obama” into the Google Labs’ “Google News Timeline” tool and analyze how headlines have been changing. Here’s a link to a saved query I created. Try changing the view from day to month.
What words are NOT in this word cloud which should be in predicting the next 12 – 24 months of news for US forces in Afghanistan?
Use the World News website to search for “obama afghanistan” and compare the perspectives of different news agencies around the world about the speech. How is the focus of Al Jazeera’s coverage (via YouTube) different from that of The New York Times?
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