Middle East Studies

Description and Grouping:
Students will explore the region of the Middle East through the study of:
  • people and culture,
  • economy, and
  • geography.

Teachers may decide to group students for these activities to explore different countries of the Middle East, or teachers may wish for students to work individually. Teachers may also choose to pick just 4-6 counties to explore. Whatever the teacher chooses, students should be exploring different countries, and by the end of the unit they will be able to share and teach each other about the similarities and differences between the countries of the Middle East and their own home countries.

Students will be able to compare and contrast different countries of the Middle East in the areas of:
  • people and culture,
  • economy, and
  • geography.

Students will research using the Internet to help them answer questions.
Students will creatively display their knowledge through the use of web 2.0 tools.

Research questions:
  1. What jobs, recreation, religions, clothing, and celebrations do people have in the country you are researching? (people and culture)
  2. How does the country you are researching make money? (economy)
  3. What major geographical features are present in the country you are researching? (geography)
While students are in the research stage, they should keep in mind they will need 1 video and 3 images to support one or more of the questions above.

Students can use the following links to help answer the research questions to prepare them for the 2 activities that follow.

Google Earth
World Fact Book
Info please
Sheppards Software- Middle East
Gulf 2000
Mr. Dowling’s
Costumes of the Levant
Fact Monster
University of Pennsylvania Middle East Center

Research should not be limited to this list. Students’ research should focus on the Middle East country being studied. The research questions should be answered using at least 2 resources for each question. Students should also be searching for 1 video and 3 images for the Glogster activity mentioned later.

Students will use 3 Internet tools to help them with their study of the Middle East:
  • Zoho Notebook
  • Glogster
  • ToonDoo

Zoho Notebook
Students will use Zoho Notebook to keep track of their notes, video links, and images, and also cite their references properly.

This tutorial video will help teachers to know how Zoho Notebook works for student research notes. A lot of this video is too advanced for elementary level, so teachers will have to view and glean the information they need.

This example of beginning research for Brazil shows what Zoho Notebook can look like. In Zoho Notebook, students can keep track of images, text, video as well as keep track of citing their references.

Glogster is a fun way for students to show off their knowledge by creating a Glog, or online poster.
Below is a tutorial on how to use Glogster.

For the Glogster activity students will display what they’ve learned using the following guidelines:

Students will create a Glog to present their answers for the 3 research questions. The Glog should have the following criteria:

  • All 3 research questions should be answered within the Glog. If students are working in groups, it may be helpful for each students to create their own Glog answering just one of the research questions on each Glog.
  • Students will use labels to help identify material.
  • Students will need to include 1 video.
  • Students will need to include at least 3 images.

This example was made to show some of the elements in Glogster.

Students will present their Glogs as a teaching tool for the rest of the class. These displays will aid in the next activity, depending on the choices students make in the ToonDoo activity.

Students will create their own cartoon in ToonDoo displaying their knowledge of any of the following:

  • Compare and contrast 2 cultures that were studied
  • Highlight the economy of one or more countries
  • Discuss relevant celebrations
  • Compare and contrast different religions in the countries studied
  • Compare and contrast your home country with a country studied.
  • Compare and contrast employment opportunities in the countries studied.
  • Compare and contrast your home country with the country you studied.

Here is an example: