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Roots of Terrorism
teachers guide

Classroom Activities

Activity 9: How are you being represented?

  • Strategies for Discussion
  • Program Descriptions
  • Credits and Acknowledgments

  • Background
  • Key Events
  • Select Individuals by Program
  • Key Organizations
  • Maps of the Region
  • Country Briefings
  • "Basic Facts About Islam"

  • Classroom Activities
  • Activity 1: Roots of Hatred
  • Activity 2: Defining Terrorism
  • Activity 3: Defining an Ally
  • Activity 4: Views of bin Laden
  • Activity 5: U.N. Simulations
  • Activity 6: Making Connections
  • Activity 7: Media and Perception
  • Activity 8: Debates, Discussion Questions, and Writing Prompts
  • Activity 9: How Are You Being Represented?

  • Resources
    Where to go on the Web for more information

    This activity can be used with any of the FRONTLINE programs related to terrorism.

    This activity will provide students an opportunity to:

    • Engage with their elected representatives and track how those representatives voted on terrorism-related issues.

    • Actively express themselves as citizens.

    • Increase their understanding of U.S. foreign policy.

    • Increase their understanding of how the U.S. government functions.

    • Practice interviewing and writing skills.


    Invite your senator or congressional representative to view one of the FRONTLINE programs with you. In light of what students learn from the film, ask the representative to explain U.S. foreign policy. If your political representatives can't join you, follow up classroom viewing by asking students to develop a list of questions for their representatives. Send the questions to the appropriate offices along with a copy of the tape and request for response. You may also consider arranging a live chat via phone or the Internet.

    After viewing, have students investigate how their congressional representatives voted on related foreign policy legislation. Assign students to write letters expressing their own opinions on those votes.

    Related Web Materials

    U.S. Senate
    The official website of the U.S. Senate provides contact information for all senators.

    U.S. House of Representatives
    The official website of the U.S. House of Representatives provides lists of congressional websites, offices, and phone numbers.

    Related Curriculum Standards

    1. Understands ideas about civic life, politics, and government

    16. Understands the major responsibilities of the national government for domestic and foreign policy, and understands how government is financed through taxation

    19. Understands what is meant by "the public agenda," how it is set, and how it is influenced by public opinion and the media

    20. Understands the roles of political parties, campaigns, elections, and associations and groups in American politics

    21. Understands the formation and implementation of public policy

    22. Understands how the world is organized politically into nation-states, how nation-states interact with one another, and issues surrounding U.S. foreign policy

    28. Understands how participation in civic and political life can help citizens attain individual and public goals

    29. Understands the importance of political leadership, public service, and a knowledgeable citizenry in American constitutional democracy

    Language arts
    1. Uses the general skills and strategies of the writing process

    2. Uses the stylistic and rhetorical aspects of writing

    3. Uses grammatical and mechanical conventions in written compositions

    4. Gathers and uses information for research purposes

    8. Uses listening and speaking strategies for different purposes

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