Thirteen Ed Online
Lesson Plans
Exploring Islamic Lands
Overview Procedures for Teachers Organizers for Students

In this lesson students explore what it's like to be a teenager living today in an Islamic country in the Middle East. They will begin by gaining background information about the religion and the region from which it sprang by using the PBS series ISLAM: EMPIRE OF FAITH and other resources. Once students gain a historical understanding, they choose a particular modern day Middle Eastern country to explore in depth using resources such as the Library of Congress Web site and epals. In the end, they will create a personal narrative of what it's like to live in that country.

Grade Level:
9 - 12

Time Allotment:
Up to 11 class periods

Subject Matter:
History, geography

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:
  • Identify some key components of Islam.
  • Understand the role that Islam plays in many Middle Eastern countries.
  • Understand the cultural and historical background of Islam.
  • Understand the political, geographic, economic, and cultural factors in various Middle Eastern countries.


National History and Geography Standards

MCREL Standard 10 from Level 4 SubjectID=8&StandardID=10
Knows the role culture plays in incidents of cooperation and conflict in the present-day world (e.g., conflicts in sub-Saharan Africa in the 1960s, Central Europe in the 1980s and 1990s, states within the former Soviet Union in the 1990s; cooperation such as the religious and linguistic ties between Spain and parts of Latin America; ethnic ties among the Kurds living in Iran, Iraq, and Turkey)

  • MCREL Standard 10 from Level 4 Subject=8&Standard=10&Level=4&Benchmark=5
    Understands how communication and transportation technologies contribute to cultural convergence or divergence (e.g., convergence created by electronic media, computers, and jet aircraft; divergence created by technologies used to reinforce nationalistic or ethnic elitism or cultural separateness and independence)

  • MCREL Standard 4 from Level 4 Subject=8&Standard=4&Level=4&Benchmark=1
    Knows how social, cultural, and economic processes shape the features of places (e.g., resource use, belief systems, modes of transportation and communication; major technological changes such as the agricultural and industrial revolutions; population growth and urbanization)

  • ISTE National Education Technology Standard 4 - Technology communications tools
    Students use telecommunications to collaborate, publish, and interact with peers, experts, and other audiences.

    This lesson was prepared by: Richard and Sharon Freedman