Middle East
Teacher's Guide

December 18, 1999 Update
Remember, the "Kids' Versions" are aimed at K-6.

Check out this date's update
The team generated the following reports: Try the following activities:

Abeja - You Can't Have Your Cake and Eat It Too: Monument to a Lost War

Abeja and her parents visit Cairo's October War Panorama. Includes information on Egypt and battles with Israel, Syria, Lebanon and other Arab nations.

What conflicts has the US been in with its nearby neighbors? Can your students name a few? What were the causes of these conflicts? Were they the result of religious ideology or cultural clashes? Was land at stake? Who benefited and why?

Abeja - Where the Heck are we, really?

The Team gets confused by the many name changes for Israel/Palestine. They are ready to discover the rich history of such a divided region.

This dispatch talks about the new timeline feature that the Odyssey will be providing. To help kids get a better understanding of what that means, why not create a timeline regarding this dispatch with your class. There's much to keep track of here and it would help all students to have a visual tracking of the wars, events and country names.

Christine - "Flee to Egypt, and Stay There Until I Tell You:" Monica's Mom Weighs In
Kid's version available

Monica's parents find her in Egypt, and together they explore Cairo while drawing similarities between modern-day Egyptians and the flight of Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus.

From all we've learned about Egypt - what would your students do if they had one week in and around Cairo. Ask them to write about the places /sights they would like to visit, and why.

Jasmine - A Life of Love

Jasmine's highly personal account of her time in Jerusalem as a devout Christian, and some thoughts about what Jesus' message of love can teach all of us, no matter our religion. References to Mount of the Olives, Golgotha, Jerusalem, Garden of Gethsemane, Via Dolorosa, Stations of the Cross and Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Have a class discussion around the questions Jasmine poses at the end of her dispatch - What do you hold true? What do you value in this world? What mark do you want to leave?

Jasmine - Promises of the Promised Land
Kid's version available

The Team takes us to Hebron to visit the Ibrhimi Mosque and adjoining Synagogue. They find that life in Hebron is a lot like life in Egypt. There is a strong Islamic presence, which sharply contrasts with the better-known city of Tel Aviv.

See if your students can locate on a map all the areas Jasmine refers to - from Mr. Sinai, to the Sanai desert, to Tel Aviv to Hebron. Why do they think Hebron is more Egyptian/Arab in nature, and why Tel Aviv seems so modern?

Kavitha - The Miracle of the Oil

Two Jewish kids from New York visit family in Israel and learn the history of Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of lights - commemorating "the miracle of the oil" and a Jewish victory over the Greeks in 300 B.C.

Have some fun and have the class all make Latkes together while discussing this dispatch and other food customs for Hannukah. What did your students know about Hannukah before this dispatch? How would they explain Christmas to someone who was unfamiliar with it.

Nancy - Two Women, One Man - Feudin', a-Fussin' and a-Fightin'

It's the story of Abraham and his difficult time having children. His children, once born, grow to be the founders of two nations: Islam and Judaism.

The Koran and the Bible offer two versions of a similar story. Have your students research and write about the differences. What other stories/myths/legends are similar in different cultures? (i.e. flood myths, origin myths etc.)

Team - A Global Holiday

Team report on holidays around the globe. Includes information on Hanukkah, Ramadan, Christmas, and Kwanzaa.

Maybe do what the team is doing and celebrate all of these holidays in the course of one day in your classroom. Divide the day into 4 parts, each focusing on one religion. At the end, everything (food, music, decorations etc.) can be combined for a great holiday party!

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