Students will blog to investigate arguments surrounding the legality of the U.S. drone program.

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1 Blogging Legality INSTRUCTIONAL OBJECTIVES Students will be able to: understand the legal controversy surrounding the use of drone strikes outside traditional battlefields articulate and evaluate various positions on the issue design a blog to gather students thoughts on the issue OVERVIEW Students will blog to investigate arguments surrounding the legality of the U.S. drone program. MATERIALS NEEDED Drones and Targeted Killings notes from the readings Author Perspectives worksheet computers with Internet access PREPARATION As homework: Have students actively read the general introduction and Part 3: Are They Legal? of Drones and Targeted Killings, familiarizing themselves with the topic and the various positions on the issue. Remind them to read the part introduction, which presents an overview of the articles. Ask students to bring their notes to class. You will need the use of the computer lab for this activity. Alternatively, ensure that each student has access to a computer in other settings. DRONES AND TARGETED KILLINGS Blogging Legality 1

2 Create a blog (see Creating a Blog instructions below) and post the following question: Is the U.S. drone program legal under domestic and international law? PROCEDURE Before beginning the lesson, resolve any questions about the readings. 1. Use the general introduction to explain the controversy surrounding the legality of the U.S. drone program. Emphasize that the controversy has not actually been about drones or targeted killings, but rather about the use of lethal force outside a traditional battlefield. The class will use the readings from Part 3 and a blog to investigate arguments on the issue. 2. Divide the class into groups of five and ask the groups to complete the Author Perspectives worksheet. Although they will be working as a group, each student should complete his or her copy of the sheet for use later. 3. After the groups have completed the worksheet, introduce the class blog (method depending on technology available, e.g., large screen, smart board, individual computer screens). Tell students that they are to write a response to the question you have posted and support their response with evidence from the readings or their personal experience. Each student must make at least one comment. Give them a time frame in which to write their comment. 4. After everyone has entered their comments on the blog page, synthesize the responses and choose a limited number to facilitate a discussion on the question you posted. SUMMARY Ask the students if their viewpoint on the question has changed as a result of blogging and the class discussion. Explain why or why not. HOMEWORK Post a second question on the blog: In terms of the U.S. drone program, what is the relationship between what is legal and what is just, right, and necessary? DRONES AND TARGETED KILLINGS Blogging Legality 2

3 Have students write a one-page response to the question. Suggest that they write their responses in a word processing program (e.g., MS Word) and then post it to the comments field of the blog. Be sure to have them add their name and class, if necessary. DRONES AND TARGETED KILLINGS Blogging Legality 3

4 Creating a Blog You can use to create the class blog. While not the only site dedicated to web blogs, it is probably the best known. The site allows an author to set up a blog in a few minutes and provides templates that give a professional look without requiring extensive technical knowledge. When making and using a blog for this lesson, consider the following: 1. All students must have access to a computer. This can be in class, a public space, or at home. The homework also requires the use of a computer. 2. Each student needs an account. Students can use their own personal account, or you can set up one for each student just for this exercise. 3. Restrict the blog to the students in the class. This prohibits entries from the general web and allows students more privacy. These restrictions can be established when setting up the blog. 4. Only the teacher should be allowed to make blog entries. (Students make comments that are clearly identified and posted below the blog entry.) Allowing students to write an entry permits them to add statements unrelated to the topic. 5. Remind students that what they write on the web is public; no anonymous postings are permitted. All class members and the teacher will see the postings. Caution them to use language and express ideas in a manner fit for a classroom discussion. 6. Parents can view the blog by signing on using their child s account. Encourage parents to do so since they will be curious about the method, techniques, and content of the blog. DRONES AND TARGETED KILLINGS Blogging Legality 4

5 Author Perspectives Instructions: Working with your group, analyze readings from Part 3 in Drones and Targeted Killings. Summarize each writer s thesis and arguments offered in support of it. Author: Thesis: Argument or Evidence in Support of Thesis: DRONES AND TARGETED KILLINGS Blogging Legality 5

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