Scarlet Letter Text Connection: Scandal Activity

This Storyboard That activity is part of the lesson plans for The Scarlet Letter


Scandal in The Scarlet Letter - Richard Nixon

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Activity Overview


In Hester Prynne’s time, her mistake was the talk of the town for many years to come. Coupled with the scarlet letter she must wear on all of her clothing, people do not quickly forget what she did, and what she is known for. Many celebrities, politicians, and other historical characters are known for their scandals as well, and many will always be remembered for their scandal(s). Have students pick a celebrity or politician that is known for a scandal. In a storyboard, have them give background for the person, the scandal, and have them choose a letter that best represents what that person will always be known for.


An Example Scandal Board

Celebrity/Historical Figure: President Richard Nixon
Cell 1Richard Nixon was elected as the 37th President of the United States from 1969-1974. He was an outspoken anti-communist, which helped boost his popularity at the time. He unsuccessfully ran against John F. Kennedy in 1960, but eventually won the Presidency in 1968.
Cell 2Initially, Nixon was known for ending both the Vietnam War in 1973, and military conscription. This made him incredibly popular with the people who were “warred out”.
Cell 3Nixon won reelection by a landslide in 1972, due in large part to the first successful American moon landing in 1969 and the ending of the draft. It seemed he was unstoppable.
Cell 4In June 1972, a break-in at the Democratic National Committee Watergate Building in Washington, D.C. led back to members of Nixon’s reelection campaign committee. They were trying to obtain secret information on the DNC. Reporters, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, broke the story to the press after obtaining information from an FBI informant known as “Deep Throat”.
Cell 5While it is still unknown if Nixon had foreknowledge of the break-in, the scandal overshadowed most of his work in office. He fired aides, released tapes that seemed doctored, and eventually admitted he had misled the country about the White House’s involvement in the scandal. He delivered his resignation speech to a national audience live on TV.
Cell 6While Richard Nixon did a lot of important things for the country, his role in the cover-up of the Watergate Scandal ultimately overshadowed the legacy he had tried to establish. I am giving him the letter “R” for “Resignation” because he will always be known as the only U.S. President to resign from office.


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