Terrorism Throughout History

How Has Terrorism Manifested Itself in History?

Jill McCracken, Holmdel High School, Holmdel, NJ
Grade level: 9
Number of class periods: 1

By examining other attacks in history that are called acts of terrorism students are better able to think about and analyze the attacks of 9/11 when we discuss that later in the semester. In a unit exploring the causes of World War I, students will look at the Black Hand and discuss whether it was a terrorist group, and will analyze the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and Archduchess Sophie as a cause of war.

Common Core Standards

Comprehensive Common Core Alignments at end of lesson plan.

  • Reading Standards for Informational Text 8
  • Writing Standards 1, 4, 9
  • Speaking and Listening Standards 1. 4
  1. Define key terms:
    • Hapsburg Empire: An important royal dynasty of Europe and best known as supplying all of the formally elected Holy Roman Emperors between 1452 and 1740, as well as rulers of Spain and Austria.
    • Austro-Hungarian Empire: The dual monarchy was the successor to the Austrian Empire existing for 51 years in central Europe from 1867 to 1918, dissolved at the end of World War I.
    • Black Hand:A secret society founded in Serbia in May 1911 as part of a nationalistic movement to unite all the territories containing Serbian populations; the society has connections to the June 28, 1914 assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand & Archduchess Sophie of Austria-Hungary, which ignited WWI.
    • Nationalism: Aspirations for national independence in a region or ethnicity under foreign domination; patriotism, sometimes to an excessive degree
  2. Using the map of Europe in 1914, students should identify the following countries or geographic regions for homework:
    • United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Serbia, Russia, Ottoman Empire
  3. Prepare students by briefly explaining the context of nationalistic tensions between Austria-Hungary and Russia in southeastern Europe in 1914.
  4. Assign/complete the reading on the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand & Archduchess Sophie.
  5. Complete and discuss the discussion questions.
  6. (Optional) Video: Clip of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and Archduchess Sophie arriving at City Hall, Sarajevo, Bosnia on June 28, 1914.
Assessment / Reflection

Formative Assessments:
Student completed map activity, student responses to discussion questions (written or verbal)

Summative Assessment:
Journal Prompt: Given the severe consequences of their actions, was the Black Hand justified in assassinating the Archduke and Archduchess? How else might the Black Hand have addressed its nationalistic aspirations?

Common Core Alignments

These were written for the 9th-10th grade level. However, this lesson can easily be adjusted for use in an upper-level class and corresponds to the following Common Core Standards. Student assessments and expectation may vary depending upon grade level and ability.

Reading Standards for Informational Text

Standard 8: Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is valid and the evidence is relevant and sufficient; identify false statements and fallacious reasoning.

  • Students will be evaluating the arguments and evidence used in the reading on the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, not with a mind to identifying false statements and fallacious reasoning but rather with the purpose of formulating their own argument about whether the Black Hand was justified and whether or not terrorism is ever an acceptable means to an end.

Writing Standards

Text Types and Purposes
Standard 1: Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.

  • Students will be writing an argument about whether or not the Black Hand should be considered a terrorist group, and whether they were justified in their actions.

Production and Distribution of Writing
Standard 4: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

  • Students will be completing a summative writing assignment in their journals and they should be mindful that they will be assessed on whether the development, organization and style of their arguments are appropriate to the task, purpose, and audience.

Research to Build and Present Knowledge
Standard 9: Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

  • Students will be drawing information from the information texts to support their analysis and the formation of their own ideas and arguments.

Speaking and Listening Standards

Comprehension and Collaboration
Standard 1: Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9–10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

  • Students will be engaging in collaborative discussions of the discussion questions listed at the bottom of the worksheet. These discussions may be with the whole class or they may take the form of a partner activity, small groups, or think-pair-share. Whatever form the discussion takes, students should be mindful of their peers’ responses and listen to the argument their peers make in order to think more critically about the issue of terrorism.

Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas
Standard 4: Present information, findings, and supporting evidence clearly, concisely, and logically such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and task.

  • Students will be presenting or sharing their ideas and their arguments during the class discussion. If the teacher chooses to do a larger presentation, students should be careful to present their reasoning clearly so that their peers may follow.

Language Standards

Conventions of Standard English
Standard 1: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
Standard 2: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

  • In their writings and in their discussions, students will be held to the conventions of standard English.