The Consortium has curated the following list of online resources, lesson plans, and interactive websites useful for studying the Middle East and North Africa. Materials listed here originate from a variety of universities and organizations.
- TeachMideast: An educational initiative of the Middle East Policy Council has a great website for educators with curriculum resources, a glossary of terms, country profiles, information on current events and more.
- Teaching the Middle East: A Resource for Educators from the University of Chicago site with essays, links, and lesson plans on the geography, history, and culture of the Middle East. Image bank contains photos of artifacts and maps.
- Common Misconceptions about Islam and the Middle East: This colorful PDF addresses FAQ’s and common misunderstandings about the Middle East.
- Carolina K-12 Database of K-12 Resources: Lessons and Activities for K-12 teachers. Searchable by class and lesson topic (search with Middle East).
- Middle East Studies Center Resource Hub by the Middle East Studies Center at Portland University, with materials for educators organized by country and theme, and categorized into Background Information, Media & News, and Teaching Materials.
- Lesson Plans on Turkey from the Turkish Cultural Foundation.
- Lesson Plans from the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Arizona
- Useful Links from CMES, University of Arizona: This is a wonderful listing of internet resources that can be applied to teaching about the Middle East.
- Useful Links from the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown University
- Curriculum Units from the University of Texas, Austin
- Office of Resources for International and Area Studies, UC Berkeley: Selection of global lessons and resources for the classroom
- Lesson Plans from Harvard University: Some are on teaching geography and government. Others are on teaching religion, history, and culture.
- The Modern Middle East Seminar: UNC World View website that showcases presentation materials on a variety of topics created by scholars, developed for the Modern Middle East Seminar, March 2015.
- Podcast series for teachers on the Middle East from Primary Source: “What Teachers Need to Know: Middle East.”
- Global Connections: The Middle East: Geography, history, and culture of the region through interactive timelines, themes, and questions.
- Middle East Book Award: National book award given to picture books, youth literature, and non-fiction for content on the Middle East.
- American Women Writers of Muslim Heritage: Excerpts from writers whose origins include Sudan, Pakistan, Palestine, Afghanistan, Syria, Morocco, Turkey, Somalia, and the U.S.
- Words Without Borders Campus: Resources and translated texts to help you bring global voices into your classroom.
- Resources on Poetry of the Middle East from Ohio University.
- International Children’s Digital Library: A digital library of outstanding children’s books from around the world; search by country or language.
- Art of the Islamic World, Metropolitan Museum of Art: Excellent resources on Islamic art.
- Mosaic Tilemaker: An app that introduces students to fundamental concepts of Islamic art and architecture through the creation of mosaic tile art.
- AramcoWorld Magazine: Articles and activities on Middle Eastern history, culture, and arts.
- We Love Arabic: A blog devoted to the study of the Arabic language.
- Teacher Resources for Promoting Success with Arab Immigrant Students: Distributed by Edmonton public schools in Canada
- Turath: A Virtual Exhibit on Early Arab American Culture: A path-breaking virtual exhibit that maps the rich mosaic of early Arab American culture through music, literature, poetry, art, performance, and journalism.
- Arab American Stories from Detroit Public Television – each half-hour features three short, character-driven documentaries that profile Arab Americans making an impact in their community, their profession, their family, or the world at large.
- Arab American Demographics from the Arab American Institute.
- Curriculum from Middle Eastern American Resources Online
- Teaching the Middle East in 10 Quiz Questions by Professor Charles Kurzman, UNC. Take the quiz yourself, or use this printable version with your students.
- Where is the Middle East? 8-minute video with maps to show areas that have been part of the “Middle East” over time and the origins of the term.
- Our Shared Past in the Mediterranean: World history resources for teaching about the role of the Mediterranean as a commercial and cultural ecosystem in past eras, as well as lesson materials on the present and prospects for the future.
- Rethinking the Region: New Approaches to 9-12 U.S. Curriculum on the Middle East & North Africa: 5 lessons for World History high school teachers: Women & Gender, Plural Identities, Empire & Nation, Political & Social Movements, and Arts & Technology.
Ancient Middle East
- Virtual archaeology dig in Iraq
- Interactive website on Mesopotamia from the British Museum
- Byzantium 1200 project aimed at creating computer reconstructions of Byzantine Monuments located in Istanbul, Turkey.
- Babylon 3D, a digital reconstruction of by the Royal Ontario Museum.
- The River Valley Civilization Guide
Golden Age of Islam & Exchange
- 1001 Inventions: International science and cultural heritage organization that raises awareness of the golden age of Arabic science. Great articles and short film, 1001 Inventions and the Library of Secrets, on Muslim scientists.
- Cities of Light: The Rise and Fall of Islamic Spain: Developments in science, culture, arts, and literature from Islamic Spain & Muslim world that paved the way for European discoveries and the Renaissance.
- Along the Silk Road: A Journey of Global Exchange Lesson for Elementary School or Middle/High School.
- Network of Silk Road Cities Interactive map
- Ottoman History Podcast: One of the largest digital resources for academic discussion concerning the Ottoman Empire and the modern Middle East.
- The Afternoon Map: An Ottoman/Turkish/Middle Eastern/Balkan cartography blog with maps collected from archives and libraries around the world.
World War I
- WWI & the Transformation of the Middle East LiveBinder with lesson plans, vocabulary, articles, suggested books, relevant maps and more.
Israel and Palestine
- PRIME: Textbook created by Palestinian and Israeli educators. Includes both Palestinian and Israeli historical narratives on the creation of Israel.
- Is Peace Possible?: Four short videos on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict from The Atlantic and the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace.
- BCC Timeline of the Conflict: This timeline covers ancient times up until the present day (as far as 2005). It includes key dates of recent Middle East history, and looks back at the origins and development of the conflict.
- Just Vision: Resources highlighting the power and potential of Palestinians and Israelis working together through nonviolent means.
- The Avalon Project: A project of Yale Law School, this website documents primary sources chronologically related to Israel and Palestine.
The Arab Spring
- Lesson Plan: Exploring the Arab Spring through Hip Hop: Lessons and activities that can be modified to last from one day to four class periods
- Egyptian Revolution: Fifty-minute NCVPS Culture Café by Andrew Simon, Duke graduate who witnessed the revolution.
- The Art of Revolution: Egypt, Tunisia, and Syria Webinar with Dr. Ellen McLarney, Duke
- Lesson Plan: Mapping the Arab Spring: An interactive Google Map of events that took place during the Arab Spring, intended to be used in high school classrooms as either a class or individual activity.
- Arab Refugee Lives: Oral History Lesson Plans: Through these two lessons, students will gain a greater understanding of the various challenges that refugees from Syria and Iraq face. Sanaa Domat’s Story (Syria), Sufyan A’s Story (Iraq). Oral histories were collected by students at Duke University, and are part of the Refugee Lives Oral History Project.
- Activities for Teaching about the Arab Refugee Crisis
- Divided By The Sea Short Videos: UNC’s Vimy Global Team traveled to southern Italy to document the complex struggles of incoming migrants and the local population so often overlooked by mainstream media. Interactive maps, stories of individuals, great photos, and short videos to use in your classroom.
- Refugee Stories: Mapping a Crisis: A free lesson by The Choices Program, Brown University.
- Story of a Syrian Family in Comic form: ABC teamed up with Marvel to create a free digital comic to tell this story. Click for the News Article, Comic, and Discussion Guide.
- Project on Middle East Political Science: Podcast Series with highly focused conversations on a Middle East topic, and studies and Briefs on specific Middle East topics.
- Soccer as a way to Explore Middle East Politics: This blog explores the role of soccer at times of transition in society. You can use the labels bar on the right to filter by country and topic.
- The Politics of Water: Water and Conflict in the Middle East: Engaging multimedia site on various water issues affecting the MENA region.
- Human Consequences of Dams in the Middle East: A collection of undergraduate research exploring the complexities of water in the Middle East, particularly associated with dams.
- Resources for Islam: Teaching the Basics from Teach Mideast
- Pluralism Project by Harvard University: Easy to read articles on Islam
- Virtual Tours of Mosques
- Access Islam: Designed to support the study of Islam in grades 4-8, this site has downloadable lesson plans, short videos, and a glossary of related terms.
- ING – Educating for Cultural Literacy and Mutual Respect: This page has over 100 answers to FAQ’s about Islam and Muslims. It also provides free curriculum about Islam and multi-faith traditions.
- Glossary of Terms Related to Islam & Muslim Communities: This PDF put together by the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard, presents comprehensive definitions of 28 terms.
- Five Faiths Project: Online information, slides, CDs and posters from the Ackland Art Museum to introduce students to the study of religions and to the core tenets and practices of Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Buddhism. Grades 7-12.
- ReOrienting the Veil: UNC website exploring the history and significance of Muslim veiling.
- First Amendment Center: A nonpartisan national initiative focused on educating the American public about the religious-liberty principles of the First Amendment. Check out their Resources Page for FAQ’s about teaching religion in schools.
The Five Pillars
- Description of the Five Pillars from the Met Museum of Art with links to relevant artwork
- Lesson plan with handouts and activities on The Five Pillars from PBS
- Film: Inside Mecca, National Geographic
Islam Practiced around the world
- Global Islam and the Arts Lessons focusing on the practice of Sufism around the world. Lessons span grades K-12 and are aligned to NC Standards.
- Lesson Plans: Islam in Southeast Asia: Developed by the Asia Society, this website features free lessons on Islam in Southeast Asia.
- PBS Frontline Muslims: Showcases stories of diverse Muslims around the world. Each portrait includes a video excerpt with additional information about the individual’s life and country. The site includes a Teacher’s Guide.
- Curriculum Module: Omar ibn Said and Enslaved Muslims in the United States | PowerPoint: Omar ibn Said Unit Introduction | Podcast:
This two-day unit introduces students to the history of enslaved Muslims in the United States by focusing on the biography of Omar ibn Said.
- Curriculum Module: Early American Immigration Unit South Asia and the Middle East | PowerPoint: Introduction to Sikhism and Islam in the United States This two-day unit focuses on early South Asian and Middle Eastern immigration to America prior to 1965.
- Curriculum Module: The Iran Hostage Crisis and its Impact on Iranian Americans | PowerPoint: Introduction to the History of Iranian Americans This first day of this unit provides a history of Iranian-American relations and introduces students to the Iran Hostage Crisis. The second day explores the ramifications that the conflict had on Iranian Americans, as well as on American perceptions of Iran and entities that they associated with Iran.
- American Islamicate: Instagram page dedicated to sharing moments from the history of Muslims in the United States.
- “A Land Called Paradise”: 4-minute film celebrating diversity of American Muslims
- #AskAMuslimGirl: Muslim Girl teamed up with Teen Vogue on this video series sharing the voices of millennial Muslim women.
- 25 influential American Muslims from CNN: highlights the diversity of the American Muslim community and experience – each person has a small video and paragraph description.
- Eid Al-Adha: PBS Video: 1:23 minute video recommended for grades K-4, National Standards for History listed.
- 21 Children’s Books about Ramadan and Eid
- PBS Column: How teachers can support students during Ramadan
- We are Teachers: 9 Ways to Support Students During Ramadan
- Resources for teaching about Ramadan and Eid from Teaching Tolerance
- Alawism, Harvard Divinity School Religion and Public Life: Outline of the history of Alawism, a religious sect that originated from Shia Islam and mainly living in Syria.
- Alevism, Harvard Divinity School Religion and Public Life: Outline of the history of the Alevi community, a branch of Shi’a Islam that is practiced in Turkey. Also see differences between Alawis and Alevis.
- The Amazigh (Berber) Cultural Renaissance: An article about the Amazigh people, indigenous to North Africa, from The Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
- Armenian Dance Traditions: Videos and explanation from the Smithsonian.
- Teaching the Holocaust and Armenian Genocide: An extensive unit from Facing History and Ourselves.
- 8 things you didn’t know about Assyrian Christians: An overview from PBS NewsHour.
- Baha’i: An extensive guide on the Baha’i faith and followers from the Pluralism Project, Harvard University.
- Copts of Egypt: Profile from minorityrights.org.
- 5 facts about Israeli Druze, a unique religious and ethnic group: Information from the Pew Research Center.
- Lesson Plan: Jewish Traditions: This 3-module lesson plan from NewseumED demonstrates how the Introduce-Investigate-Intersect-Introspect model can be utilized to explore religious identity formation within Jewish traditions.
- Judaic Art Objects: The North Carolina Museum of Art is one of only two general art museums in the country with a permanent gallery devoted to Jewish ceremonial art. The Museum’s Judaic art collection celebrates the spiritual life and ceremonies of the Jewish people through ritual objects of artistic excellence.
- The Time of the Kurds: A visual, multimedia overview of Kurdish history produced by the Council on Foreign Relations.
- Who are the Kurds?: A brief video from the Choices Program, Brown University
- Who are the Kurds – and what is the international community’s responsibility towards them?: A lesson from Facing History and Ourselves.
- Who, What, Why: Who are the Yazidis?: An overview of the Yazidis from the BBC.
- Information on the genocide of Yazidis by ISIS: From Yale University’s Genocide Studies Program.
- “This Week in the Middle East” – a review of weekly events in the region from Teach Mideast.
- The Choices Program of Brown University: “Teaching with the News initiative” provides online curriculum materials and lessons to connect the content of your classroom to the headlines in the news.
- Al Jazeera English
- BBC World News – Middle East
- Jadaliyya: Independent ezine with reports, articles, interviews on current issues
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