PLAN: IRAQ -- YEAR ONE
Lara Maupin, former social studies teacher and student government adviser at Thomas
Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Virginia
government, world cultures, current events, economics
time of completion: This lesson is intended to take two class periods.
will identify goals of the reconstruction efforts in Iraq and analyze the progress
that has been made in meeting those goals.
will understand characteristics of a modern democratic state.
lesson, your students will examine the status of reconstruction efforts in Iraq
one year after the U.S.-led conflict there began. Students will consider whether
or not in the past year coalition efforts have been successful and what they think
should happen in the next year. This lesson is especially relevant in a government
class but may be used in any social studies class in which current events are
to National Standards
Introduction/Background: Goals of the war in Iraq
your students that the conflict in Iraq began one year ago (March 2003). Note
the original goals of the U.S.-led war:
remove Saddam Hussein from power and account for him (either dead or in custody)
find and destroy the weapons of mass destruction Iraq was thought to possess
how well these goals were met and the current status of Saddam Hussein and WMD.
- Saddam Hussein
was quickly removed from power. After eluding capture for nearly 9 months, he
was caught in December, 2003 and is now in custody. It is likely he will stand
trial for war crimes in Iraq.
WMD were ever found, prompting an investigation into the failures of American
and British intelligence.
can your students conclude? Does it matter that only one of the two major goals
was met? What has President Bush said in response to criticism regarding the fact
that no WMD were ever found?
Tell your students that they will now
turn to the rebuilding efforts of the past year in order to analyze the status
and success of these efforts.
Analysis: Iraq one year later: Ask your students to read the following
article on Iraq one year later. Discuss.
Article -- The Iraq War One Year Later
(Printer friendly PDF)
Group Activity: Constructing Iraq: Break students into four groups. Assign
each group one of the following topics.
Security - secure borders, stop foreign terrorists & Iraqi insurgents, protect
life & liberty of citizens
- create democratic institutions, establish the rule of law, choose new leadership
democratically, protect human & civil rights for all citizens
- establish stable market-based economic system, increase employment levels, provide
for use of oil & other resources
- restore basic services, ensure that citizens have necessities, rebuild infrastructure
each group they will now become experts in the status of their given topic as
it relates to post-war Iraq. Their goal is to find out where things stand in order
to present their findings to their classmates. What needs to be accomplished and
why? What has been done in the past year? What has yet to be done? Each group
will complete their portion of the HANDOUT and then prepare a 5-minute oral presentation
that includes a visual aid such as a poster or overhead. As each group presents,
all other students will fill in their handouts so that after all four groups have
presented, the chart is complete.
may wish to begin their research with the following official Web sites:
can also find news on the latest developments at:
Homework: Success of Year One?
Ask your students to bring their completed
handouts home and use them to analyze the success of year one. Have them write
about their conclusions. The following questions may be used as writing prompts.
- How successful
have the U.S. and the Coalition Provisional Authority been in meeting their goals
for the reconstruction of Iraq?
challenges have hindered reconstruction efforts?
there any accomplishments that especially impress you?
you have any criticism of the Bush administration's handling of post-war Iraq?
you were an Iraqi citizen, what do you think you would put as top priorities?
role should the U.S. play in Iraq the coming year and beyond?
you collect your students completed handouts and homework, ask them to share their
reflections on the past year. What do they think should be the priorities of year
Have your students review the latest coverage of post-war
Have students turn their written conclusions on the success of year
one into a letter to their Representative or Senator or a Letter to the Editor
of their school or local newspaper.
Reconstruction of Iraq
McRel Compendium of K-12 Standards Addressed:
Standard 4: Understands the concept of a constitution, the various purposes
that constitutions serve, and the conditions that contribute to the establishment
and maintenance of constitutional government
9 - 12 Benchmarks:
2. Understands how constitutions set forth the structure
of government, give the government power, and establish the relationship between
the people and their government
3. Understands how constitutions may limit
government's power in order to protect individual rights and promote the common
6. Understands how constitutions may be used to preserve core values
and principles of a political system or society (e.g., prohibition of religious
tests for public office, protection of private property by the United States Constitution)
Standard 22: Understands how the world is organized politically into nation-states,
how nation-states interact with one another, and issues surrounding U.S. foreign
9 - 12 Benchmarks:
3. Understands the major foreign policy positions that
have characterized the United States' relations with the world (e.g., isolated
nation, imperial power, and world leader)
5. Understands the process by which
United States foreign policy is made, including the roles of federal agencies,
domestic interest groups, the media, and the public; and knows the ways in which
Americans can influence foreign policy
6. Understands how and why domestic
politics may impose constraints or obligations on the ways in which the United
States acts in the world (e.g., long-standing commitments to certain nations,
lobbying efforts of domestic groups, economic needs)
7. Understands the idea
of the national interest and how it is used as a criterion for shaping American
8. Understands the influence of American constitutional values
and principles on American foreign policy (e.g., a commitment to the self-determination
of nations), and understands the tensions that might arise among American values,
principles, and interests as the nation deals with the practical requirements
of international politics (e.g., a commitment to human rights and the requirements
of national security)
9. Understands the current role of the United States
in peacemaking and peacekeeping
Standard 2: Understands characteristics of different economic systems, economic
institutions, and economic incentives
9 - 12 Benchmarks:
4. Knows that property rights, contract enforcement,
standards for weights and measures, and liability rules affect incentives for
people to produce and exchange goods and services
5. Understands that in
every economic system consumers, producers, workers, savers, and investors respond
to incentives in order to allocate their scarce resources to obtain the highest
possible return, subject to the institutional constraints of their society
History Standard 44: Understands the search for community, stability, and
peace in an interdependent world
9 -12 Benchmarks:
4. Understands the oil crisis and its aftermath in the
1970s (e.g., how the oil crisis revealed the extent and complexity of global economic
interdependence; events that have affected world oil prices since 1950; relationships
between U.S. domestic energy policy and foreign policy in oil producing regions
5. Understands the role of political ideology, religion, and
ethnicity in shaping modern governments (e.g., the strengths of democratic institutions
and civic culture in different countries and challenges to civil society in democratic
states; how successful democratic reform movements have been in challenging authoritarian
governments in Africa, Asia, and Latin America; the implications of ethnic, religious,
and border conflicts on state-building in the newly independent republics of Africa;
significant differences among nationalist movements in Eastern Europe that have
developed in the 20th century, how resulting conflicts have been resolved, and
the outcomes of these conflicts)
6. Understands the role of ethnicity, cultural
identity, and religious beliefs in shaping economic and political conflicts across
the globe (e.g., why terrorist movements have proliferated and the extent of their
impact on politics and society in various countries; the tensions and contradictions
between globalizing trends of the world economy and assertions of traditional
cultural identity and distinctiveness, including the challenges to the role of
religion in contemporary society; the meaning of jihad and other Islamic beliefs
that are relevant to military activity, how these compare to the Geneva Accords,
and how such laws and principles apply to terrorist acts)
gender roles across the globe (e.g., conflicts in the perception of gender roles
in various religions, especially the role of women; how the legal status of women
varies around the world in Muslim societies, and how the status of women from
different classes has changed in the past century)
National Council for the
Social Studies Thematic Strands:
Time, Continuity, and Change
Groups, and Institutions
Power, Authority, and Governance
Civic Ideals and Practices
find out more about opportunities to contribute to this site, contact Leah Clapman