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Lesson Plan

How the Military Response to 9/11 Led to Two Decades of War in Afghanistan

About this Video
This 12-minute video and lesson plan examine how within weeks of the Sept. 11 terror attacks, the U.S. invaded Afghanistan to attack Taliban strongholds. By the end of the year, the mission’s main goal was accomplished. But shifting objectives led to the expansion of a war that became the longest in U.S. history, and is ending in chaos. This lesson asks students to engage in a “Structured Academic Controversy.” The goal of the activity is for students to analyze sources, classify arguments, and engage in discussion.

Students will:

  • Prioritize and describe key events in the War in Afghanistan.
  • Analyze multiple media sources, including film and news articles, in order to distinguish between public policy arguments.
  • Synthesize arguments from a particular point of view and work collaboratively to reconcile differing points of view and advocate for a resolution to the Structured Academic Controversy.
  • Social Studies
  • Civics & Government
  • World History
  • U.S. History
For Teachers
Essential Questions
  • Should the United States have withdrawn from Afghanistan?
  • What key events took place during the twenty year period that U.S. forces were in Afghanistan?
  • What are the arguments for and against removing U.S. forces?
Additional Resources
Transcript for "How the Military Response to 9/11 Led to Two Decades of War in Afghanistan" Retro Report
As Afghanistan Collapses, a Lament for ‘Repeating the Same Mistakes’ Retro Report
For Afghan Women, Elusive Gains in Rights Are at Risk Retro Report
Structured Academic Controversy (SAC) Teaching History
Structured Academic Controversy: What Should We Do?: Northwest Association for Biomedical Research
Structured Academic Controversy Pedagogy in Action
Move Over Debate, It’s Time to Deliberate Teaching Channel
The Benefits of Implementing a Structured Academic Controversy in the Classroom edCircuit
Education Strategies for Structured Discussion Northwest Association for Biomedical Research

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.

Analyze how a text uses structure to emphasize key points or advance an explanation or analysis.

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 citizens’ and institutions’ effectiveness in addressing social and political problems at the local, state, tribal, national, and/or international level.

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

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

Analyze multiple and complex causes and effect of events in the past.

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

Analyze change and continuity in historical eras.

Use questions generated about individuals and groups to assess how the significance of their actions changes over time and is shaped by the historical context.

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

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