Web Activity Lesson Plans
"Who is Osama bin Laden?"
Students have heard mention of Osama bin Laden countless times, and
this activity will help them to learn who he actually is. In this activity
they will review an extensive Web site from the PBS program Frontline
describing his life and the actions of his terrorist network, al-Qaeda.
Students will read details on bin Laden under several headings from
the Web site. Each heading contains articles and interviews on its topic.
Students will then answer four questions drawn from information on the
Web site. Following the questions is an activity that will allow students
to collect much of the information on bin Laden and al-Qaeda into a
Student Web Activity Answers
- Students will identify key events in the life of Osama bin Laden
and the development of his terrorist network, al-Qaeda.
- Students will be able to trace the chain of terrorist events that
started in the early 1990s.
Go to Student Web Activity
- On August 7, 1998, the American embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and
Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, were bombed by al-Qaeda terrorists. These
two cities are in East Africa.
- al-Qaeda is accused of bombing the USS Cole while it was
in Yemen. The USS Cole is a U.S. Navy warship that was refueling
in a port when a small boat loaded with explosives pulled up alongside
it. Suicide bombers on the small boat detonated the bomb, killing themselves
and 17 Americans.
- Answers should include Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, and Sudan. bin
Laden was often forced to move from one country to another when he
was no longer welcome. Afghanistan became his most permanent home in
the 1990s when the Taliban government gave him refuge. It was this
policy of the Taliban that brought Afghanistan under U.S. attack in
- The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was in charge of those
investigations. Since the terrorist attacks were against Americans,
they became a domestic affair.
- Timelines should contain information from the Web site. Suggest
to students that they include world events to provide a context for
the terrorist events, such as the end of the Cold War.