Lesson Plans

News Bite Lesson: "Fight for Fallujah," a virtual-reality film

Ben C. Solomon filming in Iraq. Image courtesy of New York Times.

Ben C. Solomon filming in Iraq. Image courtesy of New York Times. Iraq, 2016.

Common Core Standards:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.8.2: Analyze the purpose of information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and evaluate the motives (e.g., social, commercial, political) behind its presentation.


You will be able to analyze how Ben C. Solomon uses virtual-reality to explore Fallujah, Iraq in order to evaluate the author's purpose for the piece.

Warm Up Activity:

What images come to mind when you hear the following words? (Make a list of 5-10 images)

  • Iraq

  • Military

  • ISIS

  • Journalist

Introducing the Lesson:

1. Watch the Meet the Journalist video with Ben C. Solomon as he introduces the film. Consider the following as you watch: What was Solomon's purpose for creating this film? Why did he use virtual-reality?

2. Watch the 11-minute film and answer the accompanying questions.


Look back at the images you brainstormed in the warm up. How do these images differ from what you saw in the film? What do you think is the impact of seeing the taking of Fallujah in virtual-reality? Do you think more reporting should be done using this medium?


Read the New York Times Magazine issue that accompanies this video. Find background information and more educational resources related to “Fractured Lands” here.

Educator Notes: 

In this lesson, students will watch the 11-minute virtual-reality film “Fight for Falluja” from the New York Times and answer questions designed to explore how journalists represent war.

The discussion topics and activities attached are suggestions for ways to quickly engage with the resources attached. Please feel free to edit this lesson by clicking “Use this lesson” and then "Modify This Lesson." You can then write new instructions and questions into the editable fields.

If you would like to review Falluja's strategic significance with your students before launching into the lesson, this explainer video by CNN provides a good overview.

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