Lesson Plan

Aftermath of the War on Terror


This 11-minute video and lesson plan enable students to examine the experiences of Muslims and Arab Americans following the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Students will investigate one example of a flawed prosecution of Arab immigrants living in Detroit as a case study in the climate of fear following the attacks. Students will then choose from among other primary source materials to describe particular experiences and generalize about the broader experiences of Muslims and Arab Americans.


Students will:

  • Examine multiple perspectives related to the treatment of Muslims and Arab Americans in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
  • Analyze multiple primary source materials (including speeches, graphs and narratives) to evaluate the perspectives of Muslims and Arab Americans who were targeted for mistreatment.
  • Formulate a recommendation for how to avoid mistreatment of ethnic, racial and religious minority groups following tragedies.
  • Civics & Government
  • Social Studies
  • U.S. History
  • George W. Bush
  • Terrorism
  • September 11th
  • 9/11
  • Criminal Justice
  • Cultural and Social Change
  • 21st Century
For Teachers

Essential Questions

  • What were some of the experiences of Muslims and Arab Americans following the 9/11 terrorist attacks?
  • What mistakes did individuals or the government make that led to mistreatment of Muslims and Arab Americans?
  • What lessons should we learn from this time period about how to prevent mistreatment of ethnic, racial and religious minority groups and individuals?

Additional Resources

Transcript for "Wrongly Accused of Terrorism: The Sleeper Cell That Wasn't"Retro Report 
The Demise and Afterlife of the ‘Detroit Sleeper Cell’ CaseThe New York Times 
Fred T. Korematsu InstituteFred T. Korematsu Institute 
Japanese-American Internment During World War IINational Archives 
Japanese American Incarceration resourcesNational WWII Museum 
Manzanar War Relocation Center PageNational Park Service 
Pearl Harbor National Memorial PageNational Park Service 

Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, attending to such features as the date and origin of the information.

Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of how key events or ideas develop over the course of the text.

Compare the point of view of two or more authors for how they treat the same or similar topics, including which details they include and emphasize in their respective accounts.

Compare and contrast treatments of the same topic in several primary and secondary sources.

Explain points of agreement and disagreement experts have about interpretations and applications of disciplinary concepts and ideas associated with a compelling question.

Explain how supporting questions contribute to an inquiry and how, through engaging source work, new compelling and supporting questions emerge.

Evaluate public policies in terms of intended and unintended outcomes, and related consequences.

Evaluate how historical events and developments were shaped by unique circumstances of time and place as well as broader historical contexts.

Analyze how historical contexts shaped and continue to shape people’s perspectives.

Analyze how current interpretations of the past are limited by the extent to which available historical sources represent perspec-tives of people at the time.

Use questions generated about multiple historical sources to pursue further inquiry and investigate additional sources.

Integrate evidence from multiple relevant historical sources and interpretations into a reasoned argument about the past.

Skill 4.B: Explain how a specific historical development is. Situated within a broader historical context.

Theme 6: America in The World (WOR)

Questions? Tips? Concerns? Reach out to our Director of Education, David Olson: dolson@retroreport.com