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History & Culture

Sports, Politics, and Social Change in the Modern Middle East

Purpose/Connection to the Curriculum: This is a lesson that combines elements of Social Sciences (World History, Geography, Government, Current Events) and Language Arts. The purpose is to help students understand some of the political, social, and foreign relations issues in the modern Middle East by viewing them through the lens of sports.

Overview: The lesson is very easy to use. It begins with a short read-aloud play (or really, a series of skits) that students read together in class. That leads to a discussion of broader social, political, and international issues and how sports can shed light on these issues. Then, students work individually or in pairs (teacher’s preference) to read a newspaper article about sports in the Middle East, analyze the issues raised by the article, and share the findings with the class.

Lisa Adeli


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