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Syrian Colloquial Arabic Course: A well-written free online course with downloadable written and listening exercises. Please visit:

government, social studies, international studies, geography

Estimated Time
Three class days (Activities can be done independently or adopted to fit time constraints of the classroom)

Grade Level
Grades 9 – 12

Students will:
1. Gain an understanding of the role of Syria in 20th Century Middle Eastern politics.
2. Understand how the events after WWI created modern boundaries of the Middle Eastern countries and led to continued bitterness among many Arab countries.
3. Review brief histories of Syria’s relations with its neighbors and the United States.
4. Evaluate Syria’s success as a major political player in the Middle East.
5. Analyze how its relationship with terrorists groups has helped or hurt Syria’s interests in the Middle East.
6. Hypothesize why Syria and the U.S. should find common ground in their relationship as it pertains to the future of the Middle East.

Lesson Plan

In the summer of 2007, through a U.S. Department of Education Fulbright-Hays Grant written by CICCEL, 12 community college and high school faculty from across the central United States spent five weeks traveling and studying in Syria and Turkey. The theme of the study experience was Religious Pluralism as Manifest by Two Secular Muslim Countries: Syria and Turkey.

One of the requirements of the program was that each participant prepare and post for general use, a curriculum module that incorporated some of the ideas, images, and experiences of the month spent in the Near East. Those units, with the names of the contributing authors can be found here:

Annissa Hambouz, The New York Times Learning Network
Javaid Khan, The Bank Street College of Education in New York City

Grades: 6-8, 9-12
Subjects: Geography, Global History, Language Arts, Social Studies
Interdisciplinary Connections

Overview of Lesson Plan:In this lesson, students learn about the role of females in Syria’s Islamic revival. They then take part in a fishbowl discussion on religious and national identities, women’s rights, and the notion of tradition versus religion.

Lesson Plan


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