Materials for Educators and the Community

Center for Middle Eastern Studies at University of Arizona

Creative lesson plans on various Middle Eastern and North African topics from University of Arizona. This resources offers over a 100 lesson plans ranging from Teenage Assassins and the Out break of World War 1 to Lessons on Berber history and culture.

Institute for Middle East Studies from George Washington University

Lesson plans on various Middle Eastern topics from George Washington University!

Middle East Teaching Tools from Portland State University 

Lesson plans on various Middle Eastern topics from Portland State University such as Geography of the Modern Middle East and North Africa and Arabs in Hollywood.

Teaching the Middle East from the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago 

University of Chicago created a structure for the content of nine topics divided into eighteen learning modules. The four topic areas that make up the “Foundations” section of the resource lay the groundwork for understanding the region. Additionally, they offer five topic areas housed in the “Historical Perspectives” section of the Web, where fourteen different modules are available that outline Middle Eastern history from ancient to modern times.

Curriculum published by the Center for Middle Eastern Studies University of Texas at Austin

The Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Texas at Austin has published several curriculums on the Middle East for K-12 instructors. Topics include: Cairo: Living Past, Living FutureEgypt: A Land of Firsts and A History of the Jews of Turkey.

Middle East Interactive Activities by TeachersFirst

TeachersFirst offers these interactive activities to help students grasp the basic political geography and religious make-up of the region. The activities include some basic facts to acquaint students with historical events, resentments, and alliances in the region.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art 

The MET offers several teacher manuals on the following subjects: Art of the Ancient Near East: A Resource for EducatorsIslamic Art and Geometric Design: Activities for LearningThe Art of Ancient Egypt: A Resource for Educators and Art of the Islamic World: A Resource for Educators

The Philadelphia Museum of Art 

Along with customized tours on cultural and political understanding via Islamic Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art offers a lesson plan on Common Core Math and Islamic Art

What We Value: The Assyrian Bird-Headed Deity 

The Denver Art Museum created this lesson plan for secondary education. In this lesson plan students will use the Assyrian Bird-Headed Deity limestone relief to talk about what ancient Assyrians valued and understood as cultural capital.

Assyrian Siege of Jerusalem 

The Stanford History Education Group created this lesson plan for secondary educators to instruct students on the Assyrian Empire.

Assyrian Art and Architecture

This lesson by explores the unique characteristics of a fierce and violent culture of the Assyrians by studying ancient artifacts.

Refugee Stories: Mapping a Crisis

These lesson plans will allow students to explore the current refugee crisis and analyze the varying responses from the international community. 

Democratic v Authoritarian Rule: Morocco Case Study

Created by K-12 teachers, this case study reflects the cultures and languages between the Jewish and Muslim populations in Morocco, incorporating individual and group activities. 

DBQ: Reimagining Moroccan Cultural Identity

In preparation for the A.P. World History exam, students can complete these Document-Based Questions to enhance their knowledge of the country. 

The Middle East Explained

The Middle East Explained project is a video series aimed to expose students to Middle East-related topics. Videos are 5-10 minutes long and include teacher and student guides for use in middle and high school classrooms. 

Women, Rights, and Leadership

Students will learn feminism and modesty in the Middle East and Muslim world. 

The Roots of Modern Islamism

Students will learn about Islam beyond media portrayal.

Refugees and Forced Migrants

Students will learn what it means to be a refugee, where they primarily come from within the Middle East, and where they are displaced. 

The Ottomans

Students will learn about the rise and fall of the Ottoman Empire and how it influenced the world.

Rethinking the Region: New Approaches to 9-12 U.S. Curriculum on the Middle East and North Africa

Included in this document are 15 lesson plans that cover topics such as Women and Gender, Plural Identities, Political and Social Movements, Empire and Nation, and Arts and Technology. 

The Year That Shook the World: The 1979 Iranian Revolution

"This lesson introduces students to the Iranian Revolution. Students will identify the causes of the revolution and decide which cause was most responsible for the revolution. Additionally, it begins exposing students to Iranian and U.S. perceptions of the revolution."

The Multi-Layered Lives of Muslim Women in the Middle East and North Africa

This webpage includes texts and films that introduce educators to the complexity and diversity of daily life for women living across the Middle East and North Africa. By closely examining the lives of individual women (through memoir, film, short stories, and more), they learned surprising details about childhood, marriage, sexuality, politics, and the diverse life experiences of Muslim women. 

First Feminists of Egypt: The Early Twentieth Century

"This lesson plan provides a documentary-based study of Egyptian Muslim feminists in the early 20th century. It enables students to assess the movement's goals within the context of Egyptian society and through the voices of its leaders."

Learning to Listen: Teaching the Middle East Migration Crisis through Refugee Narratives

"This lesson gives students the information and context to explore the human narratives of individual refugees from the Middle East, and to analyze those narratives to discover the causes of migration, the paths and obstacles migrants and refugees face as they travel, and the difficulties they face in finding new homes and adjusting to new circumstances."

The Crossing: The Refugee Crisis, Closing the Empathy Gap, and Humanitarianism

"This lesson plan allows students to evaluate the perceptions of stereotypes, refugees, our responsibilities towards the global crisis, and what it means to be a Humanitarian."

The Battle of Gallipoli: Comparing Primary Sources 

"In this lesson on the Battle of Gallipoli, students compare a variety of types of documents (including letters, diaries, dispatches, and commission reports) from British, Anzac, and Ottoman sources."

The Search for New Identities During the Demise of the Ottoman Empire

"This lesson plan draws on excerpts from the diary of Ihsan Salih Turjman (1893-1917) to illuminate the complex and shifting identities of Ottoman Arab citizens during World War I."

The Ottoman Empire in World War I: A Study in Maps 

"This lesson plan includes four activities (one for each class period): 1). Making inferences from maps about the rise and fall of the Ottoman Empire, 2). Examining arguments as to whether or not the Ottomans should have remained neutral in World War I, 3). Making a Strategic Plan to save the Empire, and 4). Assessing the effectiveness of the Ottomans in waging war."

The Indian Ocean in World History moves beyond the “civilizations” approach to world history to help students explore the oceanic region that arcs from East Africa to the Indian subcontinent to Australia as a vibrant region of exchange, technological advancement, and production of goods for thousands of years.

Our Shared Past in the Mediterranean is a six-part curriculum unit that stresses the transregional circulation of ideas, intercultural connections, and commercial ties across the Mediterranean—examining connections between societies in northern Africa, western Asia, and Europe from 5000 BCE to today.

Rethinking the Region: New Approaches to a 9–12 U.S. Curriculum on the Middle East is a curriculum that integrates new scholarship to explore ways in which peoples and societies interacted to more accurately reflect the region’s complex histories and identities.

An Introduction to Islam

This unit provides a basic introduction to the Islamic faith, including terminology, beliefs and practices, holidays, and key historical figures.

Islam and Politics

This curriculum unit was written to support high school teachers in meeting state teaching standards on Islam and politics, and related topics. It presents critical moments and influential religious leaders in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, when Muslim societies all over the world were undergoing rapid changes.

Geography of the Arabian Peninsula

This lesson introduces students to the physical geography of the Arabian Peninsula during the premodern era, its position relative to bodies of land and water, its climate, and its resources.

The Incense Routes: Frankincense and Myrrh: As Good As Gold

This lesson on the trade of aromatic resins focuses on the origin of frankincense and myrrh in the Arabian Peninsula and the ways that demand for these aromatics integrated the peninsula into the trade routes of Eurasia.

Tapestry of Travel

This module provides an introduction to the contributions of Arab and Muslim civilizations to geography and world exploration, and introduces students to early travelers including Ibn Battuta, Hasan al-Wazzan, Mansa Musa, and multiple others.

The Illustrator's Notebook

This guide provides 30 activities related to the book by Mohieddin Ellabbad, The Illustrator’s Notebook, and encourages young readers to learn about the Arab world and Islam through art and writing.

Islam and Politics: A Workshop and Curriculum Introduction for Educators

This workshop addressed some of the most pressing questions in teaching the topic of political and social engagement of Islam in post-colonial societies. Following this workshop, CCAS produced a curriculum unit to help educators meet state teaching standards on these topics.

Iran and the World: What You Need to Know

This workshop contextualized contemporary Iranian history and culture within a framework of regional and global dynamics, covering topics such as the role of the Islamic Revolution in shaping contemporary politics and culture; Iran’s relationship with neighbors in the Middle East and Central Asia; and U.S. policy toward Iran.

Teach-In On Global Migrations and Refugees: U.S. and Middle East

This workshop explored migration in the Middle East and North Africa from historical, regional, and contemporary perspectives, and also looked at migration from the region to the United States since the 19th century.

Summer Institute 2018: China, the Middle East and Africa

This week-long institute focused on Chinese relations with the Middle East and Africa, including both historical interactions and contemporary developments, as well as resources for incorporating these topics into classroom discussions.

Teach-In on Current Events in the Arab World: Return to Business as Usual after the Uprisings?

This teach-in brought together scholars and journalists to discuss events in Palestine, Yemen, Iraq, Morocco, and Saudi Arabia over the past decade and the demographic, economic, and social issues faced by citizens of these countries since the Arab Uprisings.

Summer Teacher Institute 2017: Food, Agriculture, Water, and Environment in the Middle East and North Africa

This week-long workshop focused on food growing, consumption and global trade; water and sustainable agriculture in the Middle East and North Africa; and the global influence of the diverse cuisines of the region gave participants a host of cross-curricular ideas for their classrooms.

Teach-In on Yemen

This event featured experts and journalists who spoke about the background of the civil strife in Yemen, external intervention in the conflict, the role of the Arab Spring, and the current humanitarian crisis. Listen to audio from this event here.

Medical Anthropology: Cross Cultural Perspectives in Healthcare and Social Work

This workshop for healthcare providers and social workers discussed medical anthropology, public health and medicine in the Middle East.

Symposium: An Energy Revolution? Political Ecologies of Shale Oil in the Middle East, US, and China

This day-long day conference explored the different economic, social, political, and ecological challenges related to energy production and the Middle East.

Teach-In on Iraq and Syria

This teach-in discussed historical and current events in Syria and Iraq, offering clarification on the economic and political causes of the conflicts in these countries, and debunking the notion that they can be reduced to sectarian strife.

Youth, Gender, and Social Change in the Middle East

Anthropologists discussed their research and discussions with people from all walks of life in the Middle East to provide deeper insights into regional events and trends.

Workshops on Children and Youth Literature

Each year, CCAS and Howard University together offer a workshop for teachers to explore selected award-winning fiction and non-fiction on Africa and the Middle East for students at the elementary, middle and high school levels. Past workshops included Global Fables, Folklore, and Fantasy in Children’s and Youth LiteratureGlobal Perspectives on Children and Youth Literature: Resilience in Muslim Communities, and Exploring Children’s Literature on Africa and the Middle East for the Elementary Classroom

Mapping the Syrian Conflict through Syrian Literature and Art

This event examined the roots of the Syrian conflict as seen through several Syrian short stories.

Novel Author and Translator Workshop: The Lady From Tel Aviv

Author Raba’i al-Madhoun spoke about his novel The Lady from Tel Aviv and Georgetown Professor Elliott Colla discussed his work as translator of the novel.

Trans-Regional and Global Themes in Teaching: African, Latin American, Asian and Middle Eastern Perspectives

This workshop brought together educators across Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service to address pedagogical and content approaches to the study of trans-regional and global issues.

The Enlightenment as Global Phenomenon

This week-long institute challenged the narrow portrayal often found in textbooks of the Enlightenment as a purely European phenomenon, highlighting the diversity of intellectual exchanges from Asia, Africa and the Americas that shaped European thought. Scholars presented on literature, world and European history, the history of science, and the contributions of multiple societies to Enlightenment thought.

Beyond Ibn Battuta: The Indian Ocean Across Time and Disciplines

Attending teachers heard from nine distinguished scholars on a wide range of environmental, historical, cultural and political topics on the Indian Ocean maritime region, and its impact on human history over many millennia. Resources for teachers include the website Indian Ocean in World History.

Integrating the Mediterranean into World History: Approaches and New Teaching Resources

Scholar speakers covered the Mediterranean geology and physical environment, as well as literary, artistic, technological, and scientific interactions in the region, migration, and the movement of religious ideas. Specialists in pedagogy introduced teachers to the resource Our Shared Past in the Mediterranean.

Persian Culture and History: An Interdisciplinary Workshop and Retreat for Educators

This workshop centered around aspects of Persian history and culture, such as the music, dance, art, poetry, and filmmaking.

New Perspectives and Teaching Resources on The Crusades

"This event was a workshop for teachers, co-sponsored by the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, the Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University and Unity Productions Foundation. The workshop featured the new documentary film The Sultan and the Saint which was aired on PBS stations on December 26, 2017. This workshop was an opportunity for educators to acquire the film for their classrooms, hear from filmmakers and scholars involved in its production, and explore the set of curriculum resources created for its companion website."

MEOC@MESA: Engage Your Five Senses! Cultural Exchanges from the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean

"This workshop explored ways of experiencing and teaching about cultural exchanges in the network of maritime and overland trade routes across the Indian Ocean through the use of the Five Senses." Use this link to access the handouts and presentations from this workshop!

From Sindbad to the Shabab Oman: A Seafaring Legacy

This workshop covered the history of trade in the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean, featuring discussions of travelers like Marco Polo, Ibn Battuta, and Ahmad Ibn Majid. Speakers explored Omani history, Omani mariners, and the Omani vessels they sailed.

Mapping Material Culture Through Indian Ocean Trade: Cotton in the Global Economy

"Teachers received a teaching unit specially commissioned for this workshop on the influence of Indian cotton on early European industrialization, as well as a book on globalization of fashion, and other materials. This approach focuses on the tangible and familiar, giving students the ability to interact with the subject material based on their own experiences and in order to revisit the industrial revolution as a moment of upheaval and disruption, but also a vital influence from an ancient industry that lent the modern world products so familiar, they seem indigenous to our own culture"

Oberoi Distinguished Roundtable: Mobility, Exchange, and Transformations in the Indian Ocean World

Scholars, whose works have circled around the Silk Roads, "pre-circulated papers and discussed their unique research goals and analytical approaches to the historical movement of people, commodities, ideas, and capital across the Indian Ocean, and explained how these exchanges may inform our contemporary understandings of world history and emerging globalization."

Unraveling Identity: Our Textiles, Our Stories: Exhibit Tour and Workshop

This workshop included an exhibit tour of The Textile Museum, a hands-on workshop, and lectures on Islamic textiles and the teaching resources available on textile arts. Use the link above to access the supplemental resources corresponding to this workshop. 

Pirates of Three Seas: History from Below in Atlantic, Mediterranean and Indian Maritime Spaces

Pirates, as ubiquitous as they are mysterious, were considered outlaws in every sea where merchant ships ferry goods across the waters. Piracy, pirates, and privateering are also relative terms that depend on the needs of various political powers, military strategies, and economic interests. The link above contains resources on pirates in the seas. 

Exploring World Religions: Focus On Islam. Educator Workshop featuring “The Art Of The Qur’an” Exhibition

This workshop explored world religions with a focus on Islam. Morning sessions focused on "learning about guidelines, classroom approaches, and resources for teaching about religions followed by the beliefs, practices, and values of Islam and background on the Qur’an as scripture." Afternoon sessions explored "diverse secular and sacred objects, including illuminated manuscripts of Islam’s holiest text, the Qur’an, from the Arab world, Turkey, Iran, and Afghanistan."

The Heritage and Contemporary Status of Christianity in the Middle East and North Africa

This workshop explored the realities of Christianity in the Middle East and North Africa by disproving stereotypes and analyzing the role of Christian groups in the region, as well as providing data on the presence of Arab Christian groups in the United States and around the world.

Teaching About and Experiencing World Religions: 2016 Summer Teacher Institute

This workshop covered major world religions that teachers discuss in the secondary social studies world history/geography curriculum. This program included scholars and religious leaders from major faith traditions, as well as historical, demographic and cultural information and resources. 

The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting lesson plans and education programming connected to The New York Times Magazine issue, "Fractured Lands: How the Arab world came apart"

The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting is excited to share two new lesson plans and education programming connected to The New York Times Magazine “Fractured Lands,” the groundbreaking August 14, 2016, edition of the magazine that is devoted entirely to the work of Pulitzer Center grantees Scott Anderson, Paolo Pellegrin, and Ben C. Solomon. In a gripping story that follows six individuals—of different ages, nationalities, socio-economic backgrounds and ethnicities—Anderson examines the unraveling of the modern Middle East from the invasion of Iraq in 2003 to the rise of ISIS and the global refugee crisis.

 Who are the Arabs? 
Steve Tamari, Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, Georgetown University, Washington D.C.
This concise teaching module details the history of the Arab peoples from ancient times until today. It includes topics such as origins, Islam, encounters with the West, Arab nationalism, the Arab world today, and Arabs in America. Included in it are stories and poems by Arab writers as well as profiles and sketches from a variety of Arab countries. A resource list and valuable classroom discussion questions and activities are included. 
Only available online.

Muslim Holidays: Teacher Guide and Student Resources
2nd Edition, Council on Islamic Education, 2004
This accessible volume provides handouts and lesson plans, along with a teacher guide, on Muslim holidays for all grade levels. This new edition also includes very helpful information on Muslim holidays and religious accommodations for Muslim students for teachers of all grades facing increasingly diverse classrooms. Lesson plans correlate with National and some State Social Studies History Standards.

Toward an Understanding of Media Policy and Media Systems in Iraq: A Forward and Two Reports
Monroe Price, Center of Global Communications Studies: Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania, 2007
This issue contains two reports: one focusing on policy recommendations for broadcasting in Iraq and the other focusing on the dynamic of Iraq’s media.

Empire, Republic, Democracy: A History of Turkey
The Choices Program 2014: The Watson Institute for International Studies- Brown University
Traces the final years of the Ottoman Empire and the history of the Turkish Republic. Looks at Ataturk's sweeping reforms. 

Responding to Terrorism: Challenges for Democracy
The Choices Program 2014: The Watson Institute for International Studies- Brown University
Responding to Terrorism: Challenges for Democracy
 addresses the issues arising from the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Students are drawn into consideration of the changing nature of terrorism, motivations of terrorists, and the implications for U.S. domestic and international policy. 

The U.S. Role in a Changing World
The Choices Program 2014: The Watson Institute for International Studies- Brown University
The U.S. Role in a Changing World helps students reflect on global changes, assess national priorities, and decide for themselves the future directions of U.S. foreign policy. The reading offers insight into the forces that are shaping international relations in the twenty-first century.

The United States in Afghanistan
The Choices Program 2014: The Watson Institute for International Studies- Brown University
The United States in Afghanistan brings students into the policy debate about the U.S. presence in Afghanistan. Students begin by exploring Afghanistan's culture and history, and then examine the events that led to the Soviet invasion, the arrival of Osama bin Laden, and the situation today.

A Global Controversy: The U.S. Invasion of Iraq
The Choices Program 2011: The Watson Institute for International Studies- Brown University
A Global Controversary: The U.S. Invasion of Iraq 
draws students into the public debate on the U.S. decision to invade Iraq in 2003. Readings and activities provide students with an overview of the history of Iraq, help students understand events surrounding the U.S.-led invasion, and explore the effects of the war on Iraqi society, the United States, and the international community.

Anyos Munchos i Buenos: “Good Years and Many More”:Turkey’s Sephardim: 1492-1992
Ayse Gursan-Salzmann and Laurence Salzmann, Han Books, 1991 
A photo book published in 1984 containing a photo project by Laurence Salzmann and Ayse Gursan-Salzmann showing their journey to discover Turkish Jews.

Travels in Search of Turkey’s Jews
Ayse Gursan-Salzmann and Laurence Salzmann 
A photo book published in 1984 containing a photo project by Laurence Salzmann and Ayse Gursan-Salzmann showing their journey to discover Turkish Jews.

Thrive: 5 Ways to (Re)invigorate your teaching
Meenoo Rami, Heinemann, 2014
This book provides advice on how to reinvigorate your teaching style. It includes profiles from local teachers explaining their methods of successful teaching.

International Journal of Middle East Studies
Cambridge University Press, Vol. 39 No. 1, 2007
This journal contains five articles and four-book review.

The Economic Dimension: Past, Present, and Future
Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics, and Culture, Vol. 14 No. 3, 2007
This is a joint Israeli-Palestinian quarterly journal that provides a deeper insight into the issues dividing the two people. This copy contains articles and book reviews.

The Journal of North African Studies
Routledge: Taylor & Francis Group, Vol 12 No. 4, Dec. 2007 
This journal publishes article regarding North Africa from ancient to modern times; all areas of history, social science and humanities are covered. This issue contains 10 articles and 4 book reviews.

Santa Claus in Baghdad and Other Stories About Teens in the Arab World
Elsa Marston, Indiana University Press, 2004
This book contains 8 short stories about teenagers living in Iraq, Tunisia, Egypt, the West Bank, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Palestinian refugee camps. It depicts teens' experiences growing up in the Middle East.

Arabic in 10 Minutes a Day
Kristine K. Kershu, Bilingual Books Inc., 2004 
This pamphlet contains basic Arabic words with pictures.

Dreams of Peace: A Dual Language Primer for Learning Hebrew & Arabic
Barry D. Mann, Outskirts Press, 2015
Dreams of Peace is a language program designed for English speakers. Students learn Hebrew and Arabic simultaneously, using a simple yet ingenious method - introducing one leter at a time to learn cognate words that sound alike in both languages. While students already familiar with Hebrew or Arabic will easily grasp the fundamentals of the other language, this method makes both languages accessible even for the beginner with no knowledge in either.

Philadelphia World Heritage Toolkit
World Heritage City Project
This document was created by teachers who desire to educate youth on Philadelphia's heritage, as well as underrepresented world regions. It is designed to help youth to envision Philadelphia as a city in an interconnected world at the same time as they learn about its individual hisstory. It is an exciting journey through the history, culture, and people that continually create and reinvent the city of Philadelphia. Content includes a wide variety of lesson plans covering topics like "Learning about Culture Through the Study of Artifacts", "Stereotypes of Africa", and "Philadelphia: Journey to Freedom", appropriate for all classroom levels.

Teaching the Middle East in 10 Quiz Questions

This may be a helpful quiz for educators interested in teaching about the contemporary Middle East. 

Strategies for Teaching about Terrorism

This document provides strategies and resources to guide a conversation about the reality of terrorism in the classroom. 

Promoting Success with Arab Immigrant Students Teacher Resources

This is a guide for how to best support Arab Immigrant Students as they adapt to Western society.

Book Recommendations for Teachers

This page contains a plethora of books depending on your interest, from the history of the Middle East to Islam. 

The Arabs: Activities for Elementary School Level

This book contains activities for students K-5, such as cooking and arts and crafts! 

On Teaching the Middle East

This document includes reflections from various teachers about the importance of teaching the Middle East in the classroom. 

What and Where is the Middle East?

This document provides an introduction to the Middle East and an explanation on why teach this region. 

Explore Global Issues in a Regional Context: The Middle East

This document includes facts students should know about the Middle East, global issues in the region, and other useful resources.

MENA Country Slide Presentations 

These presentations provide an overview of the history, geography, and culture of various countries throughout the Middle East/North Africa region, specifically Algeria, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Jordan, Turkey, and Qatar

Unity Productions Foundation provides documentaries with companion websites and teaching resources, such as The Sultan and the Saint, which is about the Crusades, and Cities of Light: the Rise and Fall of Islamic Spain, which features a website and curriculum materials created in collaboration with the CCAS Education Outreach program.

Children's Stories

The MEC has a selection of stories from the PJ Library which teach children about Jewish holidays and traditions. We currently have one copy of each of the stories listed below:

Jewish Holidays All Year Round

Author: Ilene Cooper, illustrations by Elivia Savadier

Jewish Holidays All Year Round provides a short description of each holiday with games and activities for children to complete. The perfect book for teachers looking to provide young students with information on Jewish holidays.

Purim Play

 Author: Roni Schotter

Purim Play is a short illustrated children's book about the Jewish holiday of Purim. 

When Jessie Came Across the Sea

Author: Amy Hest

When Jessie Came Across the Sea is a short illustrated children's book about a young Jewish girl who comes to American from Eastern Europe in search for a better life during the early 18th century.

Potatoes at Turtle Rock

Authors: Susan Schnur & Anna Schnur-Fishman

Potatoes at Turtle Rock is a short illustrated story about the different ways in which families celebrate Hanukkah. 

Kopecks for Blintzes

Author: Judy Goldman

Kopecks for Blintzes is a short illustrated story about the spring holiday of Shavuot. 

Chicken Soup, Chicken Soup

Author: Pamela Mayer

Chicken Soup, Chicken Soup is a short illustrated children's book about a young girl who comes from a family that is both Jewish and Chinese. She learns to appreciate her dual heritage.

The Art Lesson: A Shavuot Story

Author: Allison & Wayne Marks, illustrations by Annie Wilkinson

The Art Lesson is a short illustrated story about a young girl and her grandmother's tradition durin Shavuot.

The Language of Angels: A Story About the Reinvention of Hebrew

Author: Richard Michelson, Illustrations by Karla Gudeon

A short illustrated story about Eliezar Ben-Yehuda and his son, who was raised as a native speaker of Hebrew at a time when it was only used as a language of prayer, in his quest to establish it as the language of all the Jewish people. 

The Passover Cowboy

Author: Barbara Diamond Goldin, Illustrations by Gina Capaldi

This illustrated short story tells the real life tale of a Russian Jewish family that moved to Argentina in the late 1880s to escape anti-semitism and harsh conditions in their native land. Children will also learn about the story of Passover and its significance to Jewish culture.

1001 Inventions

Provides an introduction to historic Muslim inventions used in the modern world.

Access Islam

WNET, PBS's NYC affiliate, has launched a very good website for educators, featuring lesson plans and video clips from the PBS program "Religion and Ethics Newsweekly" for grades 4-8.

Afropop: Hip Deep 

A site for research tools and in-depth analysis about the music of Africa and the African diaspora. Check out the extensive multimedia features designed to engage: interviews, clips, articles, and more!

The Choices Program - Various Topics

Various lesson plans relating to Arab-Israeli conflict, the role of oil in geopolitics, the politicization of Islam, the significance of the Iranian Revolution, and other historical issues that have shaped U.S. ties to the Middle East.

Council on Islamic Education

Concise information on Islam, glossaries, teacher guides, suggestions for classroom activities, and important dates on the Islamic lunar calendar. Offers on-line lesson plans and an on-line Teacher's Forum.

Al Hakawati

Website designed in both English and Arabic that introduces the rich heritage of Arab lands and culture.

Islam Project

Lesson plans on Muslim immigration to America, religious and ethnic diversity, and stereotypes. The accompanying video, "American Muslim Teens Talk," can be borrowed from the Middle East Center. 

Media Construction of the Middle East

Project Look Sharp, a media literacy project based at Ithaca College, has released an interactive digital media literacy curriculum on controversial issues in the Middle East. A CD/DVD version can also be requested at no charge. In addition to learning core content, students learn to analyze and decode media messages in a variety of forms including web pages, film clips, TV news, magazines, newspapers, and school textbooks. 

Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet

You can borrow from the Middle East Center the DVD, "Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet," to accompany the extensive lesson plans and resources on this link on the life and legacy of the Prophet Muhammad.

PBS- Various links on the Middle East

Lesson plans and teaching tools include: PBS Frontline: MuslimsPBS Global ConnectionsPBS Islam: Empire of FaithPBS News hour Extra and PBS Wide Angle. - Middle East Map Game

Simple mapping game on the Middle East.

Think Mideast

This website is an educational outreach initiative for high school teachers to access resources they need to teach complex topics in the Middle East. 

Turkish Cultural Foundation

Excellent website for all things Turkish - from virtual tours of museums to recipes to lifestyles. Includes a great music portal where you can download clips. 

Veiled Voices

A documentary that explores the efforts of three religious leaders in Lebanon, Egypt, and Syria to have their voices heard as equals in the religious community. This websites includes a lesson plan for using the documentary as a teaching tool. The film is available at the Middle East Center Media Library. 

Useful Arabic Words and Phrases

A special thanks to Amelia and her mother, as well as the Salt Lake City Children's Network

Arabic Children Books in English

This link will provide you access to two children’s books: “Sawa Sawa” and “Black Ear, Blonde Ear.” Both are translated in English and Arabic. 

World History Matters hosts a variety of world history websites, which were created by the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University. One of these sites, Children & Youth in History, is a world history resource that allows users to learn about youth in the past.

World History for Us All, housed at the National Center for History in the Schools at UCLA, is an innovative model curriculum for teaching world history in middle and high schools using the global eras approach.

Smarthistory offers a collection of videos and essays that foster understanding of art and cultural history from ancient times to the present. It includes materials on Judaism and Art, Christianity and Art, and Arts of the Islamic World.

Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, housed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, offers a comprehensive resource on art history, pairing essays and works of art with chronologies.

The Middle East Outreach Council (MEOC) is a national nonprofit dedicated to disseminating apolitical and nonpartisan information, resources, and activities furthering understanding about the Middle East.

Middle East Book Award recognizes literature for children and young adults that helps readers develop a richer understanding of the Middle East. This MEOC award is part of the World Area Book Awards, which also includes the Américas Award, Africana Book Award, South Asia Book Award, and the Freeman Book Award. The Global Read Webinar Series offers webinar discussions with authors and tips about incorporating multicultural literature into the classroom.

Muslim Journeys Bookshelf provides a curated collection of books and films recommended by distinguished scholars of history, anthropology, and other subjects as part of the Bridging Cultures project, a collaboration between the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association.

Disclaimer: These websites were chosen because of the information, interactive lesson plans, audiovisual educational resources, and other useful links they provide on the peoples, cultures, politics, economies, and general history of the Middle East. Some contain political opinions and analyses and represent diverse viewpoints. We do not endorse any one perspective, but aim to provide educators with some constructive tools to enhance their teaching of the Middle East, as well as increase interest, awareness, and knowledge of the region in the wider community.