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Roots of Terrorism
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Analyzing Information


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    Student Assignment Sheets

    Glossary and Identifications

    The time required to complete this lesson is:
    50 - 60 minutes to view the documentary.
    50 - 60 minute for discussion questions and instructions on the papers. Students can complete their papers at home.

    Lesson Objectives:

    In this lesson students will:

    • Examine the accuracy of the information that the public receives on terrorist activities.
    • Explore the significance of dress for men and women in Muslim countries.

    Materials needed:

    Paper and pencils

    Procedure

    Students will discuss the various themes that appear in the documentary and dispatches using the following questions:

    1. The documentary explores conflicting reports over the number and presence of Al Qaeda in various countries.

    • Why is it difficult to get exact figures?
    • Who benefits when numbers are exaggerated higher or lower?
    • What would an official gain or lose by confirming or denying Al Qaeda's presence in his country?

    2. What influences how the American press presents its information on the war on terrorism?

    • Are there reasons to question the accuracy of news reports?
    • How are decisions made about what information to present?

    3. What did you learn from the documentary about Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden?

    • Why do you think young jihadis want to join Al Qaeda?
    • What might account for any differences in the way bin Laden and Al Qaeda are viewed by people in the West and in the documentary?

    4. The documentary shows the style of clothing worn by men and women in Muslim countries.

    • What did you notice about the style of clothing in Muslim countries?
    • What does clothing say about the values of a particular group?
    • What does your clothing say about you?
    • What examples can we find in the United States that illustrate the significance of dress?

    Method of Evaluation:

    1. Participation in the class discussion.
    2. Student written responses to the following statement:

    Information about Al Qaeda will never be completely accurate.

    Students should use information from the class discussion and the documentary to assess the accuracy of the statement. They should write an essay that makes no less than five major points that are supported with specific examples. They should also include an introduction and conclusion.

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