Period 2,3 – Criminal Behavior Lesson Plans (1/4/2016)

Criminal Behavior HeaderTopic:

Key Elements for Defining the term “Terrorism”



Unit S.M.A.R.T. Goal:

By the end of this three week unit students will be able to clearly and concisely state in writing the impact terrorism has had on global connections and national culture with specific citations.

*Unit S.M.A.R.T. Goal written with this downloadable guide -> SmartGoals Template for Educators

Today’s Objective(s):

Students will decide what elements make a certain act one of terrorism.

*Lesson objective written with this downloadable guide -> Writing Learning Objectives Guide




Warm Up:

  1. Why do you think that there is no internationally accepted definition of the word “Terrorism”?
  2. List as many acts of terrorism as you are familiar with. (Example: 9/11)

Task #1:

Directions: Read each of the articles and list the key issues with defining the word “terrorism” that they bring up as well as where the authors disagree with each other.

Article 1 -> “In Mideast, One Weapon of Choice Is a Loaded Word”

Article 2-> “Terror and Tyranny: What Powerful States Call Terrorism May Be an Inevitable Response to Injustice”

Article 3-> “What Is Terrorism?”

Task #2:

Each group is now going to send one representative to the white board, grab a marker, and make a check list of the disputes in defining the word “terrorism”.

Period 2:


Period 3:

Task #3:

Individually, look at the checklists on the whiteboard and make your own checklist derived from the list created during the class checklists. Your checklist should include questions you think need to be answered to decide whether an act is terrorism or not. You will use this checklist to evaluate various scenarios.

Task #4:

Read the following scenarios quietly to yourself as I read them aloud.  You should fill in the checklist you created, and then attempt to answer the questions you have posed in each case to decide whether the incident would count as terrorism.

Downloadable PDF -> Checklist Scenarios

Task #5:

Class Discussion: Students will discuss answers to each of the situations above after I reveal the historic examples behind each one. I will be curious as to how many in the class thought each example was an act of terrorism and specifically what were the determining factors in your decision.

Ticket Out the Door:

Downloadable PDF -> Ticket Out the Door

Downloadable PPT -> Ticket Out the Door

Homework: ( we did not reach this point today. If you would like to get this done tonight you can save yourself from having to do it tomorrow)

Answer the following two discussion questions:

  1. Discuss the political impact of the term terrorism. Why is it an effective political tool (or weapon, as Cameron Barr describes it) to accuse your opponent of being a terrorist?
  2. Being able to convincingly claim that your opponent is a terrorist grants enormous moral legitimacy to a party in a conflict. Is it important — or possible — to have a single consistent definition of terrorism? Why? How could such a definition be crafted?

Special Recognition: 

I wanted to recognize a student from 3rd period named Ibrar for finding and utilizing a video link from one of the articles above.

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