News, Politics, Technology

Prime Minister Didn’t Choke On Hash Browns – Or Anything

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Conservative website showing the hoax articlePrime Minister Stephen Harper was the victim of a practical joke, or “hoax,” on Tuesday.

Someone broke into the website of the Conservative party. (Harper is the leader of the Conservatives.) They posted a made-up article about him.

The article said Harper had been rushed to hospital after he had choked on some hash browns at breakfast. It said that his wife, Laureen, called 911 because the Prime Minister couldn’t breathe and that he was taken by helicopter to a hospital in Toronto. The article said the Prime Minister would recover, but he would likely miss some meetings in the next few days.

The story was completely false, said Harper’s spokespeople. Tuesday morning, the Prime Minister took his daughter to school.

Someone had gotten into the website and posted the article. The “hackers,” which is the nickname for people who change software and websites without authorization, also posted a Twitter link on the Conservative website. The link takes the viewer to tweets that talk about the incident: “Any bets on how long until anyone notices my ‘special article’?” said one tweet.

The Conservative party quickly took down the article and fixed the website, but not before some news agencies had already reported the story as true.

No one is sure why the hacker posted the article, but it may be connected to another recent anti-Harper incident. Last Friday, a Senate page interrupted an important speech in the Senate chambers by walking to the middle of the floor and holding up a sign that said, “Stop Harper.”

She was removed from the chamber and fired from her job as page.

The Conservative Party has a major meeting planned for later this week in Ottawa. Some websites are calling for people to protest the Conservatives at that meeting or hack their websites.

CURRICULUM CONNECTIONS

Writing/Discussion Prompt
The article states, “No one is sure why the hacker posted the article.”
Why do you think the hacker(s) posted the article?
What effect do you think it had on people who read it and heard about it?

Reading Prompt
Did you ever read or hear a story that you believed, and then you found out it wasn’t true?  What was the story?  How did you feel when you found out it was a “hoax”?
Make a text-to-self connection between the article and your own experience.  How are they alike, and how are they different?

Primary
Extend understanding of texts by connecting the ideas in them to their own knowledge and experience, to other familiar texts, and to the world around them (OME, Reading: 1.6).

Junior
Extend understanding of texts by connecting the ideas in them to their own knowledge, experience and insights, to other familiar texts, and to the world around them (OME, Reading: 1.6).

Intermediate
Extend understanding of texts, including increasingly complex or difficult texts, by connecting the ideas in them to their own knowledge, experience and insights, to other familiar texts, and to the world around them (OME, Reading: 1.6).

Grammar Feature: Quotation Marks
Quotation marks are used to show what someone wrote or said.  In the article, quotation marks are used as follows:
1. “Any bets on how long until anyone notices my ‘special article’?” said one tweet.
2. Last Friday, a Senate page interrupted an important speech in the Senate chambers by walking to the middle of the floor and holding up a sign that said, “Stop Harper.”

Insert quotation marks into the proper places in the sentences below.
1. It is warm outside, said Ana as she fanned herself.
2. Why, asked Carlos, do we have homework tonight?
3. On the chalkboard, the teacher wrote, Quiet during the test, please.
4. Edward, Levi and Shayan rode their bikes down the street yelling Weeeee!
5. The swimming pool is closed for the season was written on the sign.