Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

The Best Sites For Learning About The Afghanistan War

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NOTE: I’ve been steadily adding to this list since 2009. Here are the three latest additions:

War in Afghanistan – 10 years on is an interactive from The Guardian.

A Decade Of War is an interactive from The Associated Press.

Ten years since Afghanistan war began is from the CBBC Newsround.

With President Obama’s recent announcements about sending more troops to Afghanistan, I thought it would be a good time to create another “The Best…” list.

I’m not very pleased with how this list is organized — I could not quite figure out a logical order.  However, as I add to and edit this post I hope to fix that problem.  I was also disappointed that there doesn’t appear to be much out there that has been developed specifically for English Language Learners on this topic.   I was just not really able to find anything out there that provides a more “nuanced” analysis of the war that would also be accessible to ELL’s.  I guess I’m going to have to come-up with something when we study it next month in U.S. History.

Here are my picks for The Best Sites For Learning About The Afghanistan War (and, of course, are accessible to English Language Learners):

It has a British focus, but the CBBC Newsround, as usual, has a very accessible and short overview of the war.

USA Today offers a very accessible, though short, overview of Afghanistan.

National Geographic has a good multimedia introduction to the country itself.

MSNBC has an interactive timeline of the history of the country.

Afghanistan: Where The Troops Are is an interactive map from The Guardian newspaper.

The Wall Street Journal has a video on President Obama’s recent decision to increase troop strength in Afghanistan.

Recent Scenes From Afghanistan is a series of images from The Boston Globe’s Big Picture.

U.S. Troops Brave Afghanistan’s Deadly Korengal Valley is a slideshow from TIME Magazine.

Documenting The Return of US War Dead is a series of images from The Boston Globe’s The Big Picture documenting the return of the bodies of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. It was the first such event allowed to be covered by the media in eighteen years.

Media Show War Dead After Eighteen Year Ban
is from Breaking News English and provides audio support for the text.

Here is an article and video about fifteen U.S. troops becoming American citizens just before they were sent to Afghanistan.

Here is a slideshow from The New York Times about Afghani women who had acid thrown in their face because they went to school. The men are “thought to be from the Taliban.”

U.S. Marines In Afghanistan is a series of images from The Sacramento Bee.

Seven Years In Afghanistan is a series of photos from The Denver Post spanning that period of time.

Training Afghanistan’s Police Force is an audio slideshow from TIME Magazine.

In Afghanistan… is a series of photographs from The Big Picture.

Here’s a slideshow from TIME Magazine about British troops in Afghanistan.

Here are a number of multimedia resources on Australian troops in Afghanistan.

The Wounded of Afghanistan is a slideshow from The New York Times highlighting civilians who have been injured in the fighting.

The newest addition to this list is a series of images from the Denver Post titled Searching for Taliban – Troops in Afghanistan.

On The Ground In Afghanistan is a Wall Street Journal slideshow.

Afghanistan: Major US assault on Taliban is an intergraphic from Agence France Presse.

CNN has an interactive timeline of American military involvement in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan – new US offensive is an interactive graphic from the Guardian newspaper.

Marines Pour into Afghanistan
is a series of photos from The Denver Post.

In Afghanistan Part One and In Afghanistan Part Two are two series of images from The Big Picture.

With the Afghanistan Presidential elections happening, the Wall Street Journal has published an excellent interactive timeline reviewing important events in that country since the 9/11 attacks.

Afghanistan, September, 2009 is a series of photos from the Boston Globe’s Big Picture blog.

Afghanistan, January, 2010 is a series of photos from The Boston Globe’s Big Picture.

Five Rungs Of The Traditional Afghan Tribal System is a pretty impressive infographic published by The New York Times.

I don’t think it’s particularly accessible to English Language Learners in its present form, but it could be simplified easily by a teacher. More importantly, I think it could be an excellent model to show students and then ask them to draw their own versions representing their native culture. For example, Hmong students could make one showing the different clans; Mexican students could show local support “groups” here in this country composed of immigrants from different Mexican states and villages, and how they connect back to the native country, etc.

“Iraq & Afghanistan War Casualties” is a pretty amazing interactive graphic from CNN showing all U.S. casualties from both wars.

The Boston Globe’s Big Picture, which I think provides the best images of current events going on in the world, has a monthly series on what’s going on in Afghanistan. You can access all of them — past and future — at this link.

Today, The New York Times began a special one year project following a a U.S. Army battalion that is being deployed to Afghanistan. A Year A War is a multimedia interactive feature.

The New York Times Learning Network just published The Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq: Teaching Resources and Essential Questions.

The Washington Post has published a good slideshow titled Photo timeline: The war in Afghanistan.

Also, the first chapter of the exceptional book Three Cups Of Tea by Greg Mortenson (about starting schools in Afghanistan)  is now online in a multimedia version – with audio support for the text.

I’ll quote from the announcement:

This online version is a multimedia e-book with the display oftext phrasally cued and synchronized to the narrator’svoice.

The user can control the reading experience in two ways. First, the overall reading rate can be slowed by increasing the length of pauses (control over the left-hand pages), particularly useful for English language learners.

Second, the user can advance the text highlight, relative to the narrator’s voice.  This is important, particularly for the user to read aloud in chorus with the narrator. The book has been developed in conjunction with the annualactivities of Long Beach Reads One Book.

You might also find The Best Sites To Help Teach About 9/11 and  The Best Web Resources On The Iraq War useful

A Taste of Home in Foil Packets and Powder is an interactive from The New York Times which shows what troops from fourteen different countries eat while stationed in Afghanistan. It’s pretty interesting.

The Sacramento Bee has published a series of photos headlined Afghanistan-nine years of war.

The Associated Press has an updated interactive on the Afghanistan War.

As always, feedback is welcome.

If you found this post useful, you might want to look at previous “The Best…” lists and also consider subscribing to this blog for free.

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Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.

One Comment

  1. Larry,
    I am a former teacher and the curriculum writer for Greg Mortenson’s Three Cups of Tea and Stones into Schools. I wanted to let you know that I am listing your blog & links as a resource for teachers within the curriculum. Thank you for putting such a wonderful list together.
    Sincerely,
    Gina Miccio

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