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Educational Resources

Visit the NBC American Dreams Site


Who's Who

American Dreams
& the 60s

A Soldier's Letters

Create a 60s Mural

Create an American Dreams Talk Show

Compare Your
Advice to Meg's


Compare your Advice to Meg's

Overview: In this activity, students have an opportunity to reflect on varied issues as they write their own responses to letters that appear on the "Ask Meg" section of the American Dreams website.

Grade Level: Middle School & High School

  1. Visit the "Ask Meg" section on the American Dreams website where Meg answers questions from fans on a variety of topics. Choose one of the following letters and ask your students to write an answer to it. You may also browse through the link and choose another letter.

    Letter One
    Meg, I admire you about how you are handling things with J.J. leaving for war and all. My brother is also leaving for war soon, and I don't know how to handle it. Everytime I think about it, it makes me cry! I hope J.J. is safe and I hope that my brother will be too. Could you please tell me what I can do so it doesn't upset me too much? - Meg

    Dear Meg - I don't think it's possible not to worry and not to be upset. I still can't believe J.J. is gone and to a place I barely know anything about - Vietnam. He's probably there by now but he had to stop in Okinawa first and he called us before getting on another plane. I know he's in something called "The Untouchables" which is supposed to be the best. As far as "handling things," I'm trying my best. I write him lots and lots of letters, almost one a day. That makes me miss him less and I hope reminds him of home. I tell him little things - about something annoying Patty said, or what Roxanne and I did at school, who was on Bandstand - just things I think will make him smile. Of course, I say prayers every night that he'll come home safely. You and I have more in common besides both being named "Meg" -- we both have brothers who are heroes and are making this country proud.

    Letter Two
    Meg, I am starting a new school and am going to be in 10th grade. Everyone else is going to know one another from freshman year. What do I do? Will I make friends or will everyone ignore because i'm new? "Dakid"

    You will definitely make new friends. Usually people find the new kids in school "intriguing". There's this girl who came to East Catholic - she moved here from California and everyone thought she was so cool, just because she was from California. Gina Rizelli even asked her if she met any famous movie stars. But then Roxanne mentioned that we were regulars on Bandstand and suddenly the girl thought we were pretty cool. We all have homeroom together and we sometimes eat lunch with her. She has tons of friends and a lot of the boys like her because their sick of all the girls they've known since they were in first grade. So my advice is don't worry. Sometimes it takes time but you will definitely make new friends! Just be yourself.

  2. Divide the class into small groups and provide each group with a copy of the letter you have chosen. As you group the students, make some groups all girls, some all boys, and some mixed. Ask each group to respond in writing with advice to the letter writer.

  3. Ask each group to share its advice with the entire class.

  4. After the groups are finished presenting their advice, lead a class discussion comparing the differences between the way the groups answered the letter.

  5. After the students have finished the discussion, read Meg's answer. Compare and contrast your students' responses with Meg's response.

National Education Standards
Language Arts
Grades 6-8 Reading

Standard 1
Uses the general skills and strategies of the writing process Level III

11. Writes compositions that address problems/solutions (e.g., identifies and defines a problem in a way appropriate to the intended audience, describes at least one solution, presents logical and well-supported reasons) Grades 6-8 Reading

Standard 5
Uses the general skills and strategies of the reading process.

Level III
Reflects on what has been learned after reading and formulates ideas, opinions, and personal responses to texts.

Standard 7 Uses reading skills and strategies to understand and interpret a variety of informational texts Level III
4. Uses new information to adjust and extend personal knowledge base.

Grades 9-12 Writing

Standard 1
Uses the general skills and strategies of the writing process

Level IV
5. Uses strategies to address writing to different audiences (e.g., includes explanations and definitions according to the audience's background, age, or knowledge of the topic, adjusts formality of style, considers interests of potential readers)
6. Uses strategies to adapt writing for different purposes (e.g., to explain, inform, analyze, entertain, reflect, persuade)

Standard 2
Uses the stylistic and rhetorical aspects of writing

Level IV

6. Organizes ideas to achieve cohesion in writing

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