88 pages 2 hours read

Truman Capote

In Cold Blood

Nonfiction | Book | Adult | Published in 1965

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Use these activities to engage all types of learners, while requiring that they refer to and incorporate details from the text over the course of the activity. 

ACTIVITY 1: “Breaking News”

The majority of in Cold Blood takes place between November 1959 (when the Clutters were killed) and March 1960 (when Perry and Dick stood trial). This was an eventful era, and Americans would have read about the murders and the trial in between reading about events like the Greensboro sit-ins and increasing US involvement in Vietnam. For this activity, imagine that social media existed in the mid-20th century and construct an abridged news feed covering this timeframe.

Part A: Research major events that took place between November 15, 1959 and March 29, 1960. Choose 7-10 (not counting news of the murders and trial) to include in your news feed.

  • The events you choose do not necessarily need to take place in the US or even involve it directly; do, however, consider whether they would have been likely to make news in America.
  • As you research, jot down both when the event occurred and a short (1-2 sentence) statement describing it or summarizing its significance.

Part B: Compile the events you’ve chosen, as well as news of the Clutter murders and the trial’s outcome, into a mock news feed—i.