Supplemental Materials includes online resources to accompany the printed unit, links to additional online resources from the Choices Program, links to resources on other sites, and a list of recommended print resources.
This online ballot is designed for use after working with the Choices Program's curriculum unit, The U.S. Role in a Changing World or other related topics from our Current Issues series.
Conflict in Iraq: Searching for Solutions
Second edition. March 2008.
Iraq is the most pressing foreign policy problem facing the United States today. What the United States does in Iraq will affect Iraq, the Middle East, and the United States for years to come. Understanding Iraq and what is happening there today is critical.Teaching about Iraq will require special sensitivity from teachers. It is likely there are students with family members or friends serving in the military. In addition, sharp political points of view about Iraq could short-circuit thoughtful consideration of the issues. Sorting through all of these issues is a classroom challenge for teachers. Yet teachers who do address these challenges do their students a great service. Conflict in Iraq: Searching for Solutions helps teachers provide their students the opportunity to consider the history of Iraq, the present conflict, and to participate in informed discussion about the U.S. role in Iraq today.
The readings in Conflict in Iraq: Searching for Solutions provide students with information to understand the competing ideas at play in the United States and the dynamics in Iraq.
- Part I examines the history of Iraq through the end of first Persian Gulf War. Students also explore the different forces and events that have shaped Iraqi society.
- Part II explores the events immediately before and after the U.S.-led invasion of 2003, with special attention to the remaining challenges faced by Iraqis and the United States.
The Choices Role Play
At the center of this unit is a simulation in which students, acting as members of Congress, debate and deliberate three distinct policy options for the U.S. role in Iraq.
- Day One: Students look at the geography of Iraq.
- Day Two: Students explore Iraqi weblogs and consider questions of reliability and bias in sources. An alternative lesson on rhetoric and persuasion analyzes the speeches of the Bush Administration.
- Days Three and Four: Students participate in a simulation in which they assume the role of advocates for three different policy options or of undecided members of the Senate, discussing what to do about Iraq.
- Day Five: Students create their own policy option for the United States in Iraq.
- An optional web-oriented lesson explores the role of media in forming public opinion.