I have expanded and updated it to keep in step with recent events since the tragedies of September 11. The point of the lesson is to provide students with some background on the civil war in Afghanistan as well as a foundation for further study of the dynamics of civil wars occurring throughout the world today. By focusing on the specific case of Afghanistan, students can become familiar with the complexities of civil war in general, learning how civil strife can be affected by many factors. Students can use research skills to analyze factors that contribute to ongoing conflicts in Afghanistan, the Middle East, and elsewhere in the world.
The lesson, for secondary students, takes at least two class periods, but teachers should adjust the length of the lesson to the ability of their students. If the lesson is extended with discussions of current events or outside research, it could easily take a week. Class materials are the handouts in this article. Students can do further research with the use of the Internet, books and magazines at a library, and (for current events) daily newspapers.
At the conclusion of this lesson, students will have met these learning outcomes: