Osama Bin Laden - Tools for effective classroom discussion

The death of Osama Bin Laden this week will raise many issues and discussion topics in the classroom such as terrorism, 9/11 and the broader topics of religion, ethics, media and crime and punishment.

These resources can be a useful starting point when answering questions or engaging in discussions about the events this week.

KS3 History, Geography, RE

Terrorist or Freedom Fighter?

  • A lesson plan to introduce the topic of terrorism and promote discussion about past events.

911, Bin Laden and Afghanistan

  • These resources challenge and develop students knowledge of Afghanistan, Bin Laden and his involvement in 9/11

The death of Osama Bin Laden

  • Resources and ideas from the New York Times Learning Network

Related resources

KS4/Post 16 Citizenship, History

Debating Matters Topic Guide - Terrorism and Civil Liberties

  • Useful ideas and topics suggestions for a class or school debate around terrorism

Debating Matters Topic Guide - Extremism

  • What is extremism and why does it exist? Pupils can research and debate this topic using these resources and information links as a starting point.

9/11 and the war on terror

  • Notes, sources and images relating to 9/11. Created for the OCR Pilot but fits in with other specifications that cover international terrorism.

KS4/Post 16 English

AQA Poetry: Conflict

  • Conflict poetry for the AQA GCSE cluster covering the theme of the events in 9/11

Operation Enduring Freedom: The War on Terrorism - Political Speeches

  • Copies of speeches made by: Bush, Blair and Bin Laden following the attacks on the World Trade Centre, and the declaration of ‘Operation Enduring Freedom’ - October 7, 2001.

Women in Afghanistan comprehension

  • Writing exercise for covering the topic of Afghanistan.

Speeches: techniques and devices

  • Spoken language materials to discuss techniques used by leaders and others involved in public speaking.

MP3 reading of ‘The Right Word’ by Imtiaz Dharker

  • MP3 audio reading of ‘The Right Word’ by Imtiaz Dharker. Context of poem could be useful in discussion around themes of conflict.

Secondary Religion, Media and Sociology


  • An overview of the key issues on religion.

Revision material for religion

  • Discuss the main concepts of Christianity and Islam

Islam & Jihad

  • Resources which may help develop pupil understanding

The role of the media and crime

  • People have both a fear and fascination about crime which is partly shaped by the media. These resources can help a discussion around this topic.

What is the News?

  • A Word document giving background information on the news intended to make the student think.

Forums & discussion points

Osama Bin Laden is dead

  • Forum discussion topic - how are teachers reacting to the news?

Teaching Bin Laden’s death/Terrorism?

  • How would you approach this topic with your class?

Why do Arabs hate Americans, Miss?

  • This TES article was written shortly after the events of 9/11 and is a strong representation of the dilemmas faced by teachers in the UK - an interesting topic for discussion this week

News reports

CBBC: Osama Bin Laden

  • News report and article from CBBC Newsround on the death of Osama Bin Laden. Useful for dealing with the topic with primary pupils.

FirstNews: Bin Laden killed

  • An article from children’s newspaper First News reporting on the death of Osama Bin Laden.

FirstNews: Osama Bin Laden fact sheet

  • Background information about Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda for Primary pupils.

Response of teachers in USA to Bin Laden’s death

  • How are teachers approaching this topic with their pupils?

Other topic areas

KS4 Biology

DNA - what is it?

  • Resources covering the basic structure of DNA, its history, DNA fingerprinting and future dilemmas of a DNA database.

DNA fingerprinting

  • Powerpoint covering DNA fingerprinting, how it works and pros and cons of the National DNA Database.


  • Resources covering the basic structure of DNA, its history, DNA fingerprinting and future dilemmas of a DNA database.

Extracting DNA

  • Contains step-by-step instructions on how to extract DNA. Also included is information on what is happening at each step which is useful for higher ability classes.

TES classroom teaching resources