Learn about the geography and status of military operations in Iraq
April 11, 2003
Web posted at: 12:09 AM EDT (0409 GMT)
Overview: The U.S. Central Command said on Thursday that Baghdad was "still an ugly place." One day after coalition forces dragged a statue of Saddam Hussein to the ground, firefights broke out in other sections of the city, leaving dozens of U.S. troops wounded. U.S. officials cautioned that coalition military personnel were holding positions in a very dangerous country.
After students read "Iraq unstable as coalition forces extend their reach" present the following questions:
1. In what Iraqi city was another statue of Saddam Hussein torn down? How are officials describing the situation in Iraq? What events suggest that Baghdad is still a dangerous place? What videotaped messages did President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair broadcast to the people of Iraq? Why do you think these leaders released these videotapes? Discuss.
2. Use this opportunity to have students learn more about the geography of Iraq and the status of military operations in different regions of the country. Group students and assign each group a key city in Iraq such as Baghdad, Tikrit, Basra, Kirkuk, Najaf, or Mosul. Instruct groups to conduct research to learn about their assigned cities. Have students focus on the cities' ethnic, political and economic composition, and how the war is impacting civilians, soldiers, local government and daily life. Instruct groups to begin their research by accessing the CNN.com map of Iraq that depicts the ethnic/religious populations of different regions (http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2003/iraq/maps/index.population.html).
After groups complete their research, have group members assume the roles of reporters in their assigned cities. Instruct each group to present its findings in the form of a news report with mock interviews. If possible, have groups videotape their reports. As the war continues to unfold, have each group prepare weekly briefings on the military, political and humanitarian events taking place in their assigned city. Compile the students' reports to create a video archive of the war in Iraq.