One Story Lesson Plan: What Happened Next?

January 20, 2015 at 5:07 pm


What Happened Next?


This is a short research lesson to use after reading one or all of the articles in the series “Other Than Honorable” from the Colorado Springs Gazette.


  • Students will use Internet search skills to find follow-up stories to the series.
  • Students will take notes on the follow-up stories they find.
  • Students will choose a source with knowledge about the situation outlined in the series (a senator, congressman or military officer) and write questions to elicit more information than they found.

Common Core State Standards

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.1 Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.3 Analyze how and why individuals, events, or ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.10 Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.7 Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.


1 50-minute class period

Materials / resources

“Other than Honorable” story package online

Internet access

Lesson step-by-step

This lesson begins after you have completed at least one other lesson that requires reading and reacting to one or more of the articles in the series “Other Than Honorable.”

  1. Tap prior knowledge — 5 minutes

To begin, ask students what they think should have happened next, after this series was published. You can confirm that this series won a Pulitzer Prize, but focus on the action that students think needs to be taken by the military and Congress.

Explain that today they will research what did happen after the series was published and write interview questions for any additional follow-up stories they think are still needed.

  1. Research — 15-20 minutes

Students will use computers, tablets or phones to search the Internet for any stories related to military discipline. They should find these two stories from the Colorado Gazette:

If they do not find these stories easily, provide the links and ask for suggestions for search terms to find any other information. Be aware that not much information exists. It appears that the House Bill died in the Senate and nothing of note has been done to change the situation.  Students should also reach this conclusion.

  1. Write

After students have found the few follow-up stories available, ask them who they would interview if they were a reporter assigned to find out more. Answers may include senators or members of Congress, military officers or mental health professionals. Students should choose one source specifically by name, using sources named in the series and in the follow-up articles, and write three open-ended questions designed to find out what the situation is currently.


Students should turn in their questions and the name/title of their chosen source for a daily grade. Full credit should be given for three open-ended questions posed to an appropriate source who would reasonably have an answer for the questions asked.


For students who have difficulty with the Internet search, provide the web links or appropriate search terms (Military Behavioral Health and Disciplinary Issues). Students who may have difficulty forming appropriate questions could work in pairs to assist each other.