Detail map of ancient Mesopotamia

Teaching the Middle East

Scholars from the University of Chicago developed, and master teachers tested, this resource to provide an overview of Middle Eastern cultures and their contributions to the world.

  • Fables and Trickster Tales Around the World

    Created October 1, 2010
    Fables and Trickster Tales Around the World

    The following lesson introduces children to folk tales through a literary approach that emphasizes genre categories and definitions. In this unit, students will become familiar with fables and trickster tales from different cultural traditions and will see how stories change when transferred orally between generations and cultures.

  • Anne Frank: Writer

    Created September 23, 2010
    Anne Frank

    This lesson concentrates on Anne Frank as a writer. After a look at Anne Frank the adolescent, and a consideration of how the experiences of growing up shaped her composition of the Diary, students explore some of the writing techniques Anne invented for herself and practice those techniques with material drawn from their own lives.

  • Anne Frank: World War II in Europe

    Created September 23, 2010
  • Can You Haiku?

    Created September 17, 2010
    Can You Haiku?

    Students learn the rules and conventions of haiku, study examples by Japanese masters, and create haiku of their own.

  • Folktales and Ecology: Animals and Humans in Cooperation and Conflict

    Created September 17, 2010
    Folktales and Ecology

    The study of humans and animals in cooperation and conflict within folktales from different cultures lends itself to a simple lesson on ecology and endangered species to help students can make connections between the relationships between human beings and animals in folklore and the relationship between people and the environment in our world.

  • Helpful Animals and Compassionate Humans in Folklore

    Created September 17, 2010
    Helpful Animals and Compassionate Humans in Folklore

    Through examining several examples of tales from around the world that focus on the relationship between people and animals, students will learn about humans living in cooperation with the land and sea and with the beasts that inhabit them. This lesson plan addresses various helpful animal tale types, such as animal nurses who rear great heroes after they have been abandoned as infants, and beasts that lend supernatural aid to humans.

  • Fairy Tales Around the World

    Created September 17, 2010
    Fairy Tales Around the World

    In this lesson plan, students read and learn to understand fairy tales in order to recognize their universal literary structures and themes. They compare similar fairy tales from different cultural and geographic regions of the world to see over-arching plots featuring conflicts between good and evil and imagery and motifs that are repeated across many cultures and time periods.

  • Charles Baudelaire: Poète Maudit (The Cursed Poet)

    Created September 10, 2010
    Charles Baudelaire: Poète Maudit (The Cursed Poet)

    French Language and World Literature classes will study the works of 19th-century poet Charles Baudelaire and will learn about the connections between the Romantic Movement and themes of 21st-century popular culture.