Military Response

This lesson goes along with the Military Response Gallery.

Lesson Type(s) Grade(s) Description

Social-Emotional, Social Studies

2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th

Learn about the military response to 9/11 and the difficulty of regime change.

Activity Prep Materials Heart Badges


Paper, Pencils



EXPLAIN: One month after the 9/11 attacks, the United States invaded Afghanistan, the home country of al Qaeda and the masterminds of the attack. The United States had won control of the country by December, but stayed for much longer because Afghanistan has been under regular attack.


  • Have you ever been made when someone interfered with what you were doing, even if they meant well or had good advice?
  • How could they have approached you differently to get a different reaction?

REVIEW: Military Response Gallery on 9/11 Lesson site:

EXPLAIN: The United States wanted to stop Al Qaeda and to make the country of Afghanistan a safer place for its citizens and the world, but they didn’t know everything about Afghanistan.



  • Have you ever assumed something about someone based on just a little bit of information about them; like how they look or what TV show they like or what grade they got?
  • How did your assumption change the way you interacted with that person?

EXPLAIN: It’s important to really understand another person before you offer to change something for them.

GROUP: Students into 4 groups.

INSTRUCT: Within your group, create the perfect classroom – but you have to use our current classroom. Consider:

  • How would furniture be arranged?
  • How would teaching work?
  • What types of activities should we do?
  • Anything else.

EXPLAIN: Now that you’ve all created your perfect classroom, I’ve decided to go with Group 4’s idea.


  • How does that make the rest of you feel?
  • If you consider it unfair, what is a way that would make it fair?

EXPLAIN: Even though Group 4 wanted to create a perfect classroom for everybody, you all had ideas that were different from theirs. And so you might have felt bad if their design was chosen. This is how some of the Afghan people might have felt after their country was invaded.


DISCUSS: How can you make sure to listen to the people a change would impact before you make changes?