Lesson Plan: Cover Stories

What So Proudly We Hailed (Grades 9-12)

1. Display or distribute copies of The New Yorker cover entitled, What So Proudly We Hailed. Do not reveal the title to students.

2. Ask students to look at the cover for one minute and write down all of the things they notice on a sheet of paper. If possible, encourage students to zoom in on the cover.

3. After one minute, lead a guided inquiry by asking the following questions: (note: each question has the same follow-up question designed to get students to support their responses with evidence.)  
-  Who do you see on the cover? How would you describe him based on how he is drawn? What makes you say that?
-  What is happening on the cover? What makes you say that?
-  Where do you think this cover takes place? What makes you say that?
-  When was this cover published?
-  Why do you think the taxi cab is covered in American flags and stickers?
-  What makes you say that?

4. Share the background information about the cover with students.

The shock and grief of 9/11 became part of the fabric of American life. Even as many Americans hoped to return to "normal," they confronted the dilemma of balancing concerns about safety and security with possible limitations on cherished freedoms. Americans of Middle Eastern and South Asian descent coped with the added worry of being perceived as terrorists based solely upon their appearance.

5. What does this cover tell you about the concerns of Americans of Middle Eastern and South Asian descent immediately after 9/11? What makes you say that?

6. Do you think this cover could appear on The New Yorker in 2017? Why or why not?

7. Reveal the title of the cover, What So Proudly We Hailed, by Carter Goodrich. Why do you think he chose that title? Divide students in small groups and pose the question:
-  What title would you give this cover today?

Image courtesy of The New Yorker © Condé Nast


Additional resources on civil liberties, national security, and cultural identity:
Lesson Plan: Exploring Afghani Culture Through Literature
Primary Source: President George W. Bush’s Address to Congress and the Nation on Terrorism
Primary Source: Debate in the House of Represetatives on the USA PATRIOT ACT of 2001
Primary Source: Debate in the Senate on the USA PATRIOT ACT of 2001