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the invasion of iraq



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Pre-Viewing Lesson Plan
  • Iraq Timeline: 2002-Present
  • Student Handout: Crossword Review: Iraq Timeline
  • Crossword Solution

  • Viewing Lesson Plan
  • Student Viewing Activity: The Invasion of Iraq
  • Student Handout: The Invasion of Iraq: Student Viewing Guide: Part 1
  • Student Handout: The Invasion of Iraq: Student Viewing Guide: Part 2

  • Post-Viewing Lesson Plans
  • A "Catastrophic Success"
  • Examining World Opinion
  • Letters From the Troops

  • Internet and Other Resources

    Printable .pdf of Entire Guide
    (Adobe Acrobat required)

    » About the film:

    FRONTLINE marks the first anniversary of the Iraqi war with a two-hour documentary investigation that recounts the key strategies, battles, and turning points of the war from both sides of the battlefield. Through firsthand accounts from many of the war's key participants -- from strategists in Washington to the soldiers who actually fought the battles -- "The Invasion of Iraq" promises to be a definitive television history of America's most recent war.

    » A Note to Teachers:

    For classes in Journalism, Social Studies, Language Arts and Current Events; Grade level 9th - 12th

    On Jan. 29, 2002, in his State of the Union address, President George W. Bush declared that the countries of Iraq, Iran and North Korea constituted "an axis of evil" that threatened world peace. One year later, in his Jan. 28, 2003 address, the president announced that the U.S. would "lead a coalition to disarm" Saddam Hussein even without a United Nations mandate should the Iraqi leader refuse to give up his weapons. The interval between these two speeches was filled with debate both within and outside of the U.S. government over the number of troops needed to invade Iraq, the expense of the war and the process of rebuilding of Iraq after the fall of Baghdad. The documentary, "The Invasion of Iraq" examines the time period from the buildup to war to the fall of Baghdad and the post-war continuation of violence through the eyes of the war's strategists and combatants. The program and accompanying teacher's guide allow students to:

    • Learn about the circumstances leading up to the invasion; the war's major battles; and the post-war situation on the ground
    • Study world opinion on the invasion of Iraq
    • Consider the attitudes of soldiers and their families about the war
    • Examine the individuals and political entities involved in the decision to go to war

    » Lesson Plans

    Pre-Viewing Lesson Plan:
    Iraq Timeline: 2002-Present: A Crossword Review
    Students will examine major events in the buildup to the invasion of Iraq and complete a crossword to review what they've learned.


    Viewing Lesson Plan:
    Student Viewing Guide
    Students will be divided into four groups and take notes while viewing the film. Each group will answer questions about the film after viewing.


    Post-Viewing Lesson Plan:
    A "catastrophic success"
    Students will analyze this description of the Iraqi invasion, made by military historian Frederick Kagan.

    World Opinion on the Invasion of Iraq
    Students will explore how newspapers in several countries reported a major event in post-war Iraq.

    Letters from Iraq
    Students will look at the war through the eyes of U.S. soldiers.

    » Purchasing the Video

    "The Invasion of Iraq" can be purchased from ShopPBS for Teachers.

    » Credits

    This teacher guide was developed by Simone Bloom Nathan of Media Education Consultants. It was written by Pat Grimmer, chair of the Social Studies Department at Carbondale Community High School in Carbondale Illinois. Ellen Greenblatt of University High School San Francisco was an adviser.

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