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Military Drones: Terror Weapon or Military Tool?

a military drone in the air over a desert
Lesson Plan Author(s): 
Josh Buergel
Military Drones
Teaching Area: 
Modern World History
MWH. 17: World War II devasted most of Europe and Asia, led to the occupation of Eastern Europe and Japan, and began the atomic age
Grade Level: 
Teaching Level: 
Secondary Childhood
Origins Item(s): 

The lesson plan focuses and grapples the long, changing, and complex history of military drones.  The Origin article that was chosen provides a detailed history of how drones changed from being flimsy wood and canvas devises that were more common in science fiction novels than the military to the terror weapons of World War II, and now their complex role in today’s society.  I made the decision to use this article because the level of detail given on the early uses of drones that are not known to many people.  The lesson itself begins with a quote analysis of a quote from former President Barrack Obama, which was featured in the Origin article.  Students first work in small groups to interpret the quote, then the class will have a discussion to compare interpretations of the quote.  From this point the stage is set that the focus is on military drones, and an interactive mini lecture is given to build students background information on the history of drones.  After this student begin to grapple with the driving question: are drones a military tool or terror weapon?  This is done through a stations activity in which students get to dive deeper into the early usage of drones in the beginning of the 20th century, the purpose of the German Vengeance 1 drone in World War II, and the pros and cons of modern military drones.  The lesson ends with students completing a historical analysis in which they will build an argument that drones are a terror weapon or a military tool.

Instructional Strategies:
• Quote analysis (Small group)
• Quote analysis comparison (Whole class)
• Mini Lecture
• Stations


Key Words: 
Drones, Terror, Military