Terrorist Leader Osama Bin Laden Dead (Intermediate News Lesson)

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Terrorism News Lesson Plan : Warm-up Questions

Are these examples of terrorism? Circle Yes or No. Try to explain your answers.
 
1
Greenpeace stopping a Japanese whaling boat.
Yes/No
2
The bombing of a medical clinic where abortions take place.
Yes/No
3
The hacking of a U.S. government website.
Yes/No
 
1)    How would you define terrorism?
2)    What were you doing when the 9/11 terrorist attacks happened?
 

Terrorist Leader Osama Bin Laden Dead (May 2nd, 2011)

U.S. President Barack Obama's announcement on Sunday, May 1st, that Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden has been killed triggered celebrations across America. For the U.S. army and its supporters, this was the day they were fighting for.
 
Bin Laden was found and killed in a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. U.S. intelligence found the compound by tracking one of his personal couriers. The name of the courier was received years earlier through “questionable” methods used on terrorist suspects in CIA prisons.
 
After a short fight, U.S. military forces captured bin Laden’s body. The US media reports that the body was later buried at sea to according to Islamic practice of a burial within 24 hours and to prevent a burial site from becoming a shrine.
 
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton commented that the recent protests in the Arab world against authoritarian governments are another sign of the defeat of al-Qaeda and its ideology. US allies are calling the news an achievement. Other leaders, such as Prime Minister Ismail Haniya of Gaza, have called bin Laden a “Muslim and Arabic warrior” who fought two superpowers in the name of jihad.
 
US embassies are on now on the lookout for counterattacks attacks by al-Qaeda.
 
Bin Laden claimed responsibility for the 9/11 terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people. He was at large for nearly 10 years, despite a 25 million dollar reward for information leading to his capture. [240 words]
 
[Original: http://www.voanews.com/english/news/US-Celebrates-Osama-Bin-Ladens-Death-121087014.html, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-13256676, http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/americas/us-was-led-to-bin-ladens-compound-by-unwitting-courier/article2007202/]

Terrorism ESL News Lesson Plan : Comprehension Questions

1)    True or False: Several protests have occurred across America.
2)    How was bin Laden’s location found?
3)    What did the author mean by writing that the methods of questioning suspects by the CIA were “questionable”?
4)    Where is bin Laden’s body presently? Why is it there?
5)    According to Hillary Clinton, what is another sign of the end of Al Qaeda?
6)    True of False: There have already been counterattacks made by Al Qaeda.
Answers
1 – False. People are celebrating.
2 – His location was found by tracking his personal courier.
3 – The author meant that many people did not support the methods because they were cruel and against human rights.
4 – It has been spread into the sea. According to the US media, they did this to follow an Islamic burial practice and to prevent a shrine being built for bin Laden.
5 – The recent protests in Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, and Libya are another sign of the end of Al Qaeda.
6 – False.

Terrorism ESL News Lesson Plan : Vocabulary Matching

Match the words with their meaning as used in the news lesson.
trigger (verb)
compound
intelligence
courier
prevent
shrine
authoritarian
ally
jihad
on the lookout
counterattack
at large
Answers
  • trigger – start, set off, lead to
  • compound – an area surrounded by walls
  • intelligence – secret information
  • courier – messenger
  • prevent – stop
  • shrine – holy place of worship
  • authoritarian – strict and unfair government
  • ally – supporter, friend
  • jihad – Muslim holy war
  • on the lookout – watchful, attentive
  • counterattack – retaliation, revenge
  • at large – free, not captured

Terrorism ESL News Lesson Plan : Connect the below idea(s) to make a sentence.

government / uprising
announcement / trigger / protest
U.S. intelligence / courier
prevent / fire
Buddha / shrine
authoritarian / protest
U.S. / ally
bin Laden / jihad
al Qaeda / counterattack
criminal / at large
Answers
Possible Answers:
  • The announcement of the new law triggered protests across the country.
  • U.S. intelligence about bin Laden's courier helped the U.S. find bin Laden himself.
  • Firefighters visit schools to teach kids how to prevent fires.
  • There are many shrines to Buddha in Japan.
  • People gathered on the streets to protest against their authoritarian government.
  • Britain is an ally of the U.S.
  • Osama bin Laden fought in the name of jihad.
  • The U.S. government fears counterattacks by Al Qaeda and its supporters.
  • The criminal, who had escaped from jail last week, is still at large.

Terrorism ESL News Lesson Plan: Debate 1

Student A:
You don’t believe that bin Laden was killed. Why as the body buried at sea? Why can’t we see photos of the body? Suggest to your partner that the story is just a lie.
 

(extra: many people believe the 9/11 terrorist attacks were done by the U.S. government, and not Al Qaeda. Bring this into the conversation if you want.)

Student B:
You are happy that bin Laden has been killed. You are hopeful that the war against terrorism will end soon. Tell to your partner that you are glad the world will soon be peaceful.

Terrorism ESL News Lesson Plan: Debate 2

Student A:
You don’t support the use of torture on prisoners, even if it helps get important information. You believe such methods were used in prisons such as Guatanamo Bay. Tell your partner the U.S. government needs to respect basic human rights, even when dealing with terrorist suspects.
Student B:
You support the use of torture, even horrible torture, to get information from terrorist suspects. Think of reasons to support your argument. Your partner will begin the conversation.

Terrorism ESL News Lesson Plan : Discussion Questions

(Write your answers in the Comments section below if you wish).

  1. Can you imagine celebrating the death of someone?
  2. Do you think there is terrorist activity happening in your area?
  3. How do you think the discovery of the compound will affect US-Pakistan relations?
  4. Would you go to war to fight terrorism?
  5. Who are the most wanted criminals in your country?
  6. Was the US-lead invasion of Iraq in 2003 an act of terrorism?
  7. A month after 9/11, the Bush government signed a law named the US Patriot Act. This law allowed the government to closely monitor telephone calls, emails, and other personal data. Would you support such a law in an emergency?

News lesson plan copyright Matthew Barton of Englishcurrent.com

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7 comments on “Terrorist Leader Osama Bin Laden Dead (Intermediate News Lesson)

  1. Pingback: Obama got Osama? « Diary of a Teacher

  2. massoud (Posted on 7-3-2011 at 02:54) Reply

    this is a very nice and interesting english learning site.

    one comment and suggestion i have if it be possible, if you provide listening too it would be very interesting.

    thanks

    1. admin (Posted on 7-3-2011 at 10:02) Reply

      Thanks for the comment, Massoud. Having listening would be great, yes. But at the moment, I am struggling to find enough time to add new lessons to the site. Hopefully it will be a possibility in the future. Thanks.

      1. jordan (Posted on 5-14-2012 at 12:16) Reply

        hey there- I love this site…there have been many creative and interesting ways to teach the material…this site is perfect for when a school just gives you a “conversatıon class” with no book, curr., etc…thanks so much for all the work you put ınto ıt:)

  3. perumal (Posted on 10-17-2011 at 13:53) Reply

    very good news and terror no and v ery beatifull news

  4. admin (Posted on 5-14-2012 at 19:06) Reply

    Thank you for all your positive comments. They are motivating!

  5. Gustavo López (Posted on 11-7-2014 at 11:17) Reply

    I love this page, I find this lesson plan very interesting, therefore I am going to apply it in my english class in thenth grade.

    Hope there’ re more lesson plans like this one.

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