3 Great Resources for War of the Worlds

We can’t wait for your students to read our thrilling play War of the Worlds in the March issue of Scope. It's based on the classic alien-invasion novel by H.G. Wells.

Your students may not be familiar with the story of the famous 1938 radio broadcast of “War of the Worlds” by Orson Welles. Some listeners at the time thought that real aliens were actually invading Earth. To help your students connect the play to this important moment in American history, we've put together this fantastic list of resources and discussion questions.


Orson Welles (left back) directing a rehearsal of his radio adaptation of 'The War of the Worlds,' on October 1938. (Getty)


Have students read and listen to at least one of these resources before the class discussion:


Discuss the "War of the Worlds" broadcast 

1. As a class, listen to the 1938 radio broadcast of “War of the Worlds.” Have students take notes while they listen, especially on any parts of the broadcast that sound real or convincing.

2. Divide students into groups and have them discuss the broadcast. What were their favorite parts? Which parts of the broadcast, if any, did they find most believable?

3. Bring the students back together and hold a class discussion. Ask students why they think people in the 1930s may have thought the broadcast was real, and whether or not they think that something like this could happen again today. Have students consider how people used to get their news in the 1930s—from newspapers and the radio—and how people get news today.


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