Teacher's Guide for COBBLESTONE ® Arab AmericansMay 2002
Teacher Guide prepared by: Robert J. Vacca, who teaches in Franklin, MA, and Beth Haverkamp Powers, who teaches in Northbridge, MA.
Geography of the Arab World
Questions for Discussion
- Assign students to study the map on pages 8 - 9 to review the geography of the Arab world.
- Pose the following focus questions:
- How does geography influence the culture, economics, and political relationships of the Arab countries?
- Using the inset map of the United States, think about why Arab American population clusters might be located where they are. List hypotheses on the chalkboard. How might you test these theories?
- Using the blackline master, assign pairs or threesomes of students to investigate one of the Arab counties indicated by researching on the Internet. (An excellent resource for country data is the "Country Background Notes" section of the U.S. Department of State web site at www.state.gov/.)
- Instruct students to report orally on each country while classmates complete the chart for all countries.
- Culminating question:
Using a Venn Diagram to document student generated responses, compare and contrast the North African Arab countries with the Middle Eastern Arab Countries.
MNEMONIC DEVICE to share with students:
- Most immigrant groups are influenced by both PUSH factors (reasons to leave their country of origin) and PULL factors (attractions to the new land). Ask students to identify several factors that caused Arabs to emigrate from their homelands.
- Describe how Hasan Mansour enhanced his life by immigrating to America.
I = into = immigrate to E = exit = emigrate from
- Why do many Americans confuse Arab countries and Muslim countries? What is the most populous Arab country (Answer: Egypt)? What is the most populous Muslim country (Answer: Indonesia)?
- Are there any Arab Americans in cabinet level positions in our government today?
Research / Enrichment
- Imagine you are Hasan Mansour's grandchild. Write a letter to him explaining how his life, values and work history enabled you to become a successful Arab American.
- You just witnessed an instance of discrimination against an Arab American in your community. Write a brief letter to the editor of your local paper in which you:
- Describe the incident (see examples on page 17 - 19).
- Explain how the incident made you feel and why.
- Make a stand for resolving ethnic tension through education and tolerance including two steps other citizens can take if they encounter any kind of discrimination.
Access blackline master.
- Research community associations and programs for Arab Americans in your area. Contact a local organization to invite a local Arab American citizen to speak to your class about their culture and experiences.
- Create a bulletin board of famous Arab Americans featuring graphic character webs designed by students. Webs might include symbols, photographs downloaded from the Internet, biographical data from the article on pages 36 - 39, and possibly a quotation from each individual.
- Using on-line resources, the national newspaper, and newsmagazines, assign students to document current events in the Arab world for 5 - 7 journal entries. They might record events each day for a week or more or once a week for a month or marking period.