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Humanitarian News and Analysis - UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

Grades
8 to 12
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From the United Nations, this site brings news and analysis on current humanitarian efforts in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. As you help students evaluate and sift through the ...more
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From the United Nations, this site brings news and analysis on current humanitarian efforts in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. As you help students evaluate and sift through the huge volume of news content available to you, you can use sites like this to help students focus on specific issues and geographic areas. Much of what is found here will never appear on their Yahoo or Google news feed; that does not diminish its importance. The site allows you to sort content based on themes like education, gender, health, or human rights, or by continent or country.

tag(s): africa (180), asia (73), cross cultural understanding (115), cultures (105), middle east (30), news (261)

In the Classroom

If you focus on current events or on the history or culture of "non-Western" countries, this site should be among your bookmarks or favorites. Encourage students to consider news sources outside of the major US networks or internet based aggregators. Have students or student groups create an online, interactive poster known as a "glog," using GlogsterEDU, reviewed here to demonstrate the topic they researched.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Mesopotamia-The British Museum - The British Museum

Grades
6 to 12
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The British Museum presents this visually stunning site about the "cradle of civilization," Mesopotamia. Approach your study from one of several perspectives: geography, time, gods...more
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The British Museum presents this visually stunning site about the "cradle of civilization," Mesopotamia. Approach your study from one of several perspectives: geography, time, gods and goddesses, or writing. Each module has information, some extension narrative, and a challenge game (with requires Shockwave). For teachers, the best part is the Staffroom section which offers step by step information about using the site in the classroom. Start there to quickly discover how you can best use this resource.

tag(s): architecture (83), mesopotamia (6), middle east (30), writing (358)

In the Classroom

An interactive whiteboard or projector will take advantage of the strong visual impact of this site, but it will also be useful for individual exploration by students either in a computer cluster or from home. Students can try the "challenge" games as an extension, or for those who finish other work quickly. Bookmark the site (or save in favorites) for independent research.

Challenge students to research a various portion of this site and create a multimedia presentation (either independently or in cooperative learning groups.) How about having students use a tool such as Woices (beta) (reviewed here). This site allows students to create audio recordings AND choose a location (on a map) where the story takes place. Challenge students to narrate while the exact location is shown on a map! What a fabulous way to link history, geography, and presentation skills!
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Teach MidEast - Middle East Policy Council

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5 to 12
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Use Google Maps or Google Earth and a variety of sources to learn more information about the Middle East. Choose one of the eight topics along the top: "Stereotypes and ...more
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Use Google Maps or Google Earth and a variety of sources to learn more information about the Middle East. Choose one of the eight topics along the top: "Stereotypes and Reality," "Geography," "History," "People and Languages," "Religion," "Culture," "Current Issues," and "Pedagogy." View and navigate through Google Earth tours, read blog posts and other articles, participate in activities, and view other multimedia content. This provides ready to use classroom activities in all areas, photos, interactives and much more. Identify more than just what is in a textbook using this interactive site. Note that clicking "View in Google Earth" requires you to have the free, downloadable Google Earth program reviewed here, installed on that computer.

tag(s): arab (18), easter (21), maps (288), middle east (30)

In the Classroom

Use this site to help students identify misconceptions, discuss points of view, and search for information that is free from bias. Use many of these topics as springboards for projects, additional blog posts, public service announcements, letter and video campaigns, etc. Have cooperative learning groups create multimedia projects about one of the topics highlighted at this site. Gifted students, with their heightened sense of "fairness," will especially enjoy breaking through stereotypes using this site. Create a class wiki to discuss the topics. Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through. Have cooperative learning groups create podcasts demonstrating their understanding of one of the topics using a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here). Have groups narrate a photo using a site such as ThingLink, reviewed here. Challenge students to find a photo (legally permitted to be reproduced), and then narrate the photo as if it were a news report. To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try Compfight, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Weaving Art Museum

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6 to 12
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See annotated details of ancient and more recent weavings from many cultures using the interactive "exhibits" of the museum. See work from Egypt, Kashmir, Persia, and many more. Decode...more
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See annotated details of ancient and more recent weavings from many cultures using the interactive "exhibits" of the museum. See work from Egypt, Kashmir, Persia, and many more. Decode some of the iconography in Asian carpets. Some exhibits are text-heavy, while others offer many plates and details for your art students to study and use as references. World cultures classes will be able to envision ancient times by looking at the beautiful images on this site.

tag(s): archeology (32)

In the Classroom

Include this on your classroom computer Favorites when students are beginning a weaving or printmaking unit so they can find inspiration in the graphical patterns and story-telling elements. This would also be a great way to introduce a weaving unit or a unit on ancient Asian civilizations on a projector.

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Muslims and Westerners - The Great Divide - Pew Trusts

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9 to 12
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World cultures teachers interested in the mideast could get many interesting discussions from this Pew Trusts report sampling the differences in Muslims' and Westerners' perceptions...more
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World cultures teachers interested in the mideast could get many interesting discussions from this Pew Trusts report sampling the differences in Muslims' and Westerners' perceptions of one another. The report - detailed by nation - finds surprising contradictions, yet remains hopeful that bridges between these two cultures will continue to form.

In the Classroom

Try using this report as a resource for examining the problem of reconciling realities with perceptions, and the role of governments and social systems in keeping these tensions in check.

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Terrorism and the Web - Washington Post

Grades
9 to 12
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This is a chilling study of the ways in which terrorist groups make use of the Internet and the web to further their ambitions. While it has sensational elements, it ...more
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This is a chilling study of the ways in which terrorist groups make use of the Internet and the web to further their ambitions. While it has sensational elements, it is also an excellent example of propaganda and the use of technology for less-than-noble causes. NOTE: The site contains graphic material. Please PREVIEW THOROUGHLY before using this site.

tag(s): propaganda (12), terrorism (49), terrorist (16)

In the Classroom

Government, English, and AP world cultues teachers could use this site to frame a discussion about censorship, regulation of technology, and other issues.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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CIA Word Factbook: Iran - CIA

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6 to 12
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The CIA's Factbook offers a wealth of information on most of the world's nations. This is a direct link to the page for Iran. ...more
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The CIA's Factbook offers a wealth of information on most of the world's nations. This is a direct link to the page for Iran.

tag(s): iran (12), terrorism (49)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on the interactive whiteboard before allowing students to explore it in cooperative learning groups. Have the groups explore different aspects of the factbook, with the intentions of presenting the highlights to the rest of the class. Have students use a tool such as Woices (beta) (reviewed here). This site allows students to create audio recordings AND choose a location (on a map) where the story takes place.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Create a Timeline - Ourtimelines.com

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1 to 12
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This online tool lets you create a timeline of an individual's life using dates from 1000 AD to the present year. Enter the person's name and dates, add events (historic ...more
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This online tool lets you create a timeline of an individual's life using dates from 1000 AD to the present year. Enter the person's name and dates, add events (historic or personal) and their beginning/ending dates, and click the "generate" button.

tag(s): timelines (62)

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Al-Islam - Ahlul Bayt Digital Islamic Library Project

Grades
9 to 12
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Use this searchable resource to foster understanding of Islamic history, law, and practice. The "Discover Islam" section provides a beginner's introduction to understanding Islam and...more
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Use this searchable resource to foster understanding of Islamic history, law, and practice. The "Discover Islam" section provides a beginner's introduction to understanding Islam and Muslim traditions, as well as essays addressing similarities and differences between Islam and Christianity. The site includes a Shi'ite encyclopedia, photos of sites sacred to Islam, examples of Islamic artwork, and a collection of downloadable fact sheets - available in numerous languages - covering a range of topics.

tag(s): religions (61)

In the Classroom

This site would be extremely useful in an upper-level course, in which teachers are comfortable with the student's reading ability. Some of the articles explain the background of Islam in a way that is both easy to understand and concise. Use the articles to supplement the textbook! This site would also be great for students working on research projects about Islam. Post the site on the teacher wiki or web page to allow them to access it both in and out of the classroom.

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Mideast Files

Grades
9 to 12
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This continually updated, site created and hosted by college seniors at Yale and New York Universities - provides great in-depth analysis of Middle East politics, foreign policy, the...more
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This continually updated, site created and hosted by college seniors at Yale and New York Universities - provides great in-depth analysis of Middle East politics, foreign policy, the Arab-Israeli peace process, terrorism, security, religion and much more. Visitors can read translated versions of Middle Eastern newspapers and related commentary on the news of the day. A thought provoking resource for a discussion of recent events in the Arab world.

tag(s): arab (18), iran (12), iraq (32), israel (17), palestine (7)

In the Classroom

Use this site to include up-to-date information about current events in the Middle East, an excellent addition to a U.S. government or history class. Assign cooperative learning groups specific days or weeks to study and present a report on current events, educating their peers for discussion or other various classroom activities. Have cooperative learning groups create online books of the current events using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.

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Iraq Elections - Christian Science Monitor - Christian Science Monitor

Grades
9 to 12
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CSM's Iraq election coverage emphasizes the role that tribal and regional histories will play in the push for political control at both the provincial and national levels as Kurds,...more
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CSM's Iraq election coverage emphasizes the role that tribal and regional histories will play in the push for political control at both the provincial and national levels as Kurds, Sunnis, and Shi'ites vie for their own share of power.

tag(s): elections (75), iraq (32)

In the Classroom

While this is no longer a current event, this article does a great job of explaining the roots of the problems that continue to plague Iraq to this day. Either print or display the article to students on the interactive whiteboard or projector. (students could also read this for homework) Either way, this article provides enough background information that it could lead to an excellent discussion of the Iraqi conflict. Be sure help your weaker readers and ESL students by sharing the vocabulary words prior to reading, either on a handout or by projecting on an interactive whiteboard and highlighting them in the text as you come to them.

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The Reach of War - New York Times

Grades
8 to 12
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Students and teachers in search of broadly-based information on the Iraq conflict and its implications will do well here. The Times has an advantage in having regular, first-hand reporting...more
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Students and teachers in search of broadly-based information on the Iraq conflict and its implications will do well here. The Times has an advantage in having regular, first-hand reporting that goes beyond headlines and photos to examine issues and atitudes.

tag(s): iraq (32)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a resource during a unit on current events in the Iraqi political spectrum. Students can use this as a source for a current events report during the unit or for additional research for a project or paper. This would be a great resource for a government or World history course.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Anatomy of a Refugee Camp - Canadian Broadcasting Company

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8 to 12
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Your students can experience life in a typical refugee camp with this interactive, in-depth tour. Using a small compass or map, visitors can navigate through the camp and learn about...more
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Your students can experience life in a typical refugee camp with this interactive, in-depth tour. Using a small compass or map, visitors can navigate through the camp and learn about the importance of various locations, including the reception center, food storage warehouse, health center, school, market, and meeting place. Related links to current events and organizations including Doctors Without Borders and the Red Cross are provided.

tag(s): iraq (32)

In the Classroom

This is a great resource for a brief lesson on the background of what a refugee camp is. Introduce this site on the interactive whiteboard or projector before a class discussion of the refugee camps of Darfur, Afghanistan, Iraq, etc. Teachers can either review this information before the class, or have students read the information in cooperative learning groups at classroom computers. This is a great resource for a government or World History class.

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Frontline - The Invasion of Iraq - PBS

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10 to 12
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This thought-provoking site brings together analysis from a variety of sources to help students understand the many facets of the war on Iraq. Interviews with war correspondents, policymakers,...more
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This thought-provoking site brings together analysis from a variety of sources to help students understand the many facets of the war on Iraq. Interviews with war correspondents, policymakers, and military leaders are presented along with a timeline of events, and a revealing video describing the bitter debate between the U.S. Army and the Pentagon. The teacher materials provided on the site assume that students have viewed a companion video; however, the "pre-viewing" lesson plan can be used independently to provide background knowledge or summarize a current events discussion.

tag(s): iraq (32)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans and classroom activities on this site! They incorporate the material on the site as well as the current events in the War of Iraq. This is a great resource for a US government or World History class.

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Muslims, Islam and Iraq - University of Georgia

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9 to 12
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Help your students gain an accurate cultural understanding of the people of Iraq with this comprehensive resource that presents scholarly unbiased information. Topics include breaking...more
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Help your students gain an accurate cultural understanding of the people of Iraq with this comprehensive resource that presents scholarly unbiased information. Topics include breaking news, an interactive map of Iraq, the modern history of Islam, Muslim sects, underlying causes of the crisis, the Muslim response to the war, and so much more. Because of the overwhelming amount of information on this site, make sure that you provide some direction for your students. Use this source as a starting point for independent research projects, web quests, or current events analysis

tag(s): iraq (32)

In the Classroom

There is a TON of information on this site, so be sure to know what you are looking for if entering. One aspect that is extremely helpful are all the maps provided. Save and download some of the maps to use in presentation about the current or historical events in Iraq. Students are often confused about the geography of the Middle East, so the image can help them organize their thoughts. This sight would also be useful for any students completing a research project or paper on Iraq. Definitely useful for a government or World history classroom.

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Iraq: Year One - PBS

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9 to 12
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The successes and failures of the Iraq war are examined in this lesson plan (aligned to national standards) that examines the status of reconstruction efforts in Iraq one year after...more
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The successes and failures of the Iraq war are examined in this lesson plan (aligned to national standards) that examines the status of reconstruction efforts in Iraq one year after the U.S.-led conflict there began. Students can review background information and analyze on-line news articles to consider whether or not coalition efforts have been successful. Based on their research, students are asked to project what they think should happen in the next year. This is a relevant and well-organized activity, perfect for a two-day experience in the computer lab.

tag(s): iraq (32)

In the Classroom

This is a great lesson plan, but if used will need to be updated for the current situation rather than that of 2005. If using this lesson plan, just make sure to add in the events of the past 5 years in addition to what their questions call for. This would be a great segway into a discussion of the war in Afghanistan in a government class.

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The War After the War - American Radioworks

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9 to 12
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A team that includes former National Public Radio correspondents has created an audio-based web site that examines the various political, military, social, and economic issues with...more
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A team that includes former National Public Radio correspondents has created an audio-based web site that examines the various political, military, social, and economic issues with which both Americans and Iraqis must cope in post-war Iraq. It is an impressionistic view, but interesting nonetheless.

tag(s): iraq (32)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a learning center or station during a unit on the Iraq war and the War on terror that has pervaded US foreign politics for the better half of a decade. Because there is a lot of information on this site, this activity would work best with a follow-along or guide. For help creating easy graphic organizers, we recommend using Graphic Organizer Maker, (reviewed here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Who's Who in Post-War Iraq - BBC

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6 to 12
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BBC's presentation on the key players in today's Iraq will help teachers and students sort out both the individuals and the many movements and factions that are now vying for ...more
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BBC's presentation on the key players in today's Iraq will help teachers and students sort out both the individuals and the many movements and factions that are now vying for influence in that nation. This one would make a great backgrounder for a discussion on balancing power in Iraq in the effort to build a democratic government there.

tag(s): iraq (32)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a learning center or station during a unit on the War on Terror and the fighting in the Middle East. Because there is a lot of information on this site, this activity works best with a follow-along or guide to highlight for students what's most important. For help creating easy graphic organizers, we recommend using Graphic Organizer Maker, (reviewed here).
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Truth, War, and Consequences - PBS

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9 to 12
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It has its own point of view, but the companion site for this PBS Frontline presentation covers many of the issues connected with stabilizing post-war Iraq and making it a ...more
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It has its own point of view, but the companion site for this PBS Frontline presentation covers many of the issues connected with stabilizing post-war Iraq and making it a functioning nation again. Try using this one as a discussion starter to explore the many interrelated issues.

tag(s): iraq (32)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans and classroom activities offered on this site! They not only incorporate the material on the website, but also current events in the Middle East. This is a great resource for a US government or history class.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Beyond the War in Iraq - NPR

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6 to 12
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National Public Radio's web content about the ongoing rebuilding efforts in Iraq offers a nice blend of interviews, factual reporting, and images from the scene. There's an emphasis...more
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National Public Radio's web content about the ongoing rebuilding efforts in Iraq offers a nice blend of interviews, factual reporting, and images from the scene. There's an emphasis on political, economic, cultural, and military issues and their relationships with one another. Try this one as a starting point for an in-depth current events discussion.

tag(s): iraq (32)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a resource for a class discussion on the effects of the Iraq war on both US soldiers and Iraqi civilians. Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. This allows students to prepare for a class discussion adequately. This would be a great resource for a US government or history class.
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