As I will have the same students next year for American History I am thinking that 9/11and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq would make a great PBL theme for the whole year. It could be connected to almost everything in our history.
- The terrorist acts on civilians could be compared to other attacks on civilians such as the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Wounded Knee Massacre or the My Lai Massacre.
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- The propaganda of WMD to justify a preemptive strike against Iraq could be compared to other propaganda in history. The use of patriotism for war to distract people from domestic and economic problems is another theme in US history.
- The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan could be compared with the many other conflicts in our history. The parallels with Vietnam are numerous.
- The history of Afghanistan can only be understood in the context of the Cold War and the Soviet Union.
- Our setting up governments in Iraq and Afghanistan could be compared to puppet governments in Africa, Asia, and South and Central America under the guise of "keeping out the Reds" while we protected our rights to pilfer countries of their natural resources.
- The torture and abuse at Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib could lead to a discussion on civil rights and who has rights under our Constitution. Not to mention the high percentage of minorities who serve in our armed forces and fight the politicians' wars.
- The question of the motives of the terrorists leads to complicated discussions of imperialism, puppet dictators paid for oil, and centuries of hate between Jews, Muslims, and Christians dating back to the Crusades.