Civics
Lessons
Related to
Iraq War


People holding hands

Civic Participation & Citizenship Collection

NELRC

 

We have chosen the resources assembled here in order to provide information, images and ideas to adult educators whose students wish to learn more about the Iraq war and to practice the skills needed to prevent future wars - constructive dialogue, media literacy, and global awareness. In collecting these resources we are aware of the potential dangers of imposing a set of political viewpoints. Our main goal, however, is to provide vehicles through which adult learners may critically analyze current events and give voice to their own views, in a way that is respectful of a range of opinions.

These resources may not be useful in every classroom and choices about what to discuss and in what ways need to be considered very carefully. Some learners may have no interest in discussing current events and may find it upsetting and counterproductive to do so - issues of war and conflict hit too close to home. (We have listed some trauma-related websites below that can help guide you in thinking about the potential effects of discussing these issues with learners.) Others may wish to understand the words and images they see in the media. We hope that in balancing risk and safety, the notions of multiple perspectives and open dialogue will guide your choices about which materials to use, adapt or develop yourselves.

The Change Agent: Language and Power
http://www.nelrc.org/changeagent/pdf/issue16.pdf
This issue of the Change Agent explores some of the ways that language expresses and wields power-power with and power over. See page 24 for an article on deconstructing euphamisms and page 25 for a piece on wartime propaganda.

Understanding the U.S.-Iraq Crisis: A Primer
http://www.ips-dc.org/iraq/primer.htm
This 24-page resource, by the Institute for Policy Studies, answers 43 basic questions about the current war, the history of U.S.-Iraq relations, and alternatives to the current policy.

The Rethinking Schools Special Report on War
http://rethinkingschools.org/war/index.shtml
This site includes background readings, lesson plans, role-play exercises and other resources teachers can use in their classrooms. This collection will be updated regularly, as events unfold and as we become aware of new resources teachers will find useful.

Promoting Constructive Dialogue
http://www.esrnational.org/sp/we/world.htm
Throughout its history Educators for Social Responsibility has focused on developing ways to discuss global issues constructively with students. This page lists several activities for talking about the war in Iraq, including one on "Proverbs About Conflict From Around the World" and another where students discuss various positions on the war by looking at quotes.

Crisis with Iraq - Lesson Plan
http://www.choices.edu/iraqlesson.cfm
The Choices Program is a national education program that seeks to engage students at the secondary level in consideration of international issues and contribute to a renewal of civic engagement in the United States. This site helps teachers engage their students in considering the war in Iraq and the policy options the United States might consider.

New York Times - Current Event Lesson Plans
http://www.nytimes.com/learning/teachers/lessons/currentevents.html
These lessons about current events, based on material found in the New York Times, are designed for secondary education classrooms. They nevertheless offer adult educators useful background information and teaching ideas.

PBS News Hour - Lessons
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/extra/teachers/iraq/
Based on stories reported on the PBS News Hour, this site includes several good lessons about the war and how the media is covering it. As with the NY Times, these lessons are designed for secondary education.

War and the Media
http://www.crf-usa.org/Iraqwar_html/iraqwar_factfinders.html
This activity provides an opportunity for students to discuss the role media plays during times of crisis and the need for them to evaluate information they receive.

Responses to War
http://crf-usa.org/Iraqwar_html/iraqwar_feelthink.html
In this activity, students have the opportunity to express their feelings about the war in Iraq and discuss their thoughts and perceptions of its events. The activity asks students to consider questions such as, "What are the most important questions Americans should be asking?"

Global Ed - Crisis in Iraq Resource Guide
http://globaled.org/final175.pdf
This resource guide is intended to supplement 60 second "sound bites" and provide essential information about the current crisis with Iraq. The readings, maps, and activities present multiple perspectives and have been designed to serve as springboards for discussion in the classroom. See page 7 for an activity on "What is Propaganda?"

PBS.org-Resources on War
http://www.vpt.org/townschool/aboutiraq.html
On this site, Vermont Public Television has compiled all of the classroom resources available on PBS.org that address the war in Iraq.

The National Priorities Project: Cost of War
http://www.nationalpriorities.org/Issues/Military/Iraq/CostOfIraqWar.html

Using a figure of $100 billion for an estimate of how much U.S. taxpayers would have to pay for a war with Iraq, NPP has calculated the cost taxpayers of each state and some selected cities will end up paying.


Trauma and Learning

Trauma and the Adult English Language Learner (2000, ERIC Digest)
http://www.cal.org/CAELA/digests/trauma2.htm

Trauma and Adult Learning (2002, ERIC Digest)
http://ericacve.org/docgen.asp?tbl=digests&ID=124

Mental Health and the Adult Refugee: The Role of the ESL Teacher (1999, ERIC Digest)
http://www.cal.org/CAELA/digests/mental.htm

Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture. (2000). Torture and second language acquisition.
http://www.icomm.ca/ccvt/intro.html

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