Below, you’ll find helpful websites and portals to more educational resources on the Middle East and North Africa.
To browse further, click Helpful Websites. There, you’ll find excellent resources to consult when designing your next lesson plan on the region, from comprehensive curricula, guides on how to teach the Middle East, and free video and media databases.
If you wish to see what other National Resource Centers (NRCs) offer to their local learning communities, click the second drop-down key. Browsing these websites is often a great way to find new content, especially through the Outreach portion of an NRC website.
The National Middle East Language Resource Center (NMELRC) at Brigham Young University provides online webinars and video footage of master teachers modeling “Best Practices” from classes all over the United States and the Middle East in addition to supporting face to face workshops and conference sessions. Students and educators of Middle Eastern languages will find materials and resources for Arabic, Persian, Turkish and Hebrew.
Middle East Outreach Council (MEOC) is a national network of educators dedicated to disseminating apolitical and nonpartisan information, resources and activities furthering understanding about the Middle East. Educators and students will find a free photo resource for use in the classroom or for non-commercial projects, and educators can find information about the annual teachers’ workshop for teaching the Middle East.
Just Vision highlights the power and reach of Palestinians and Israelis working to end the occupation and build a future of freedom, dignity and equality for all. The website features multimedia and other sources for discussion.
The Islam Project is a national community engagement and educational outreach campaign that is a multimedia effort aimed at schools, communities, and individuals who want a clearer understanding of this institution.
Council on Foreign Relations: CFR Education is a gateway for professors, teachers, and students in search of tools and resources to increase their understanding of U.S. foreign policy and international relations. Here, educators will find the CFR Academic Outreach Initiative, which provides a forum for educators and students to interact with CFR experts and join the debate on foreign policy.
World History for Us All is a national collaboration of K-12 teachers, collegiate instructors, and educational technology specialists. It is a project of San Diego State University in cooperation with the National Center for History in the Schools at UCLA. World History for Us All is a continuing project.
The University of Texas at Austin: 15 Minute History – a podcast series devoted to short, accessible discussions of important topics in World History and US History. This resource is for both teachers and students.
Curriculum and Resource Guides
AramcoWorld Classroom Guides
This website offers a number of guides for stimulating discussion on the Middle East for young students. Guides also offer Common Core standards to apply in the classroom.
Center for Arabic Language and Culture
This non-profit organization serves K-12 teachers and educators in the Chicago area. Under resources, you will find curricula, teaching resources, and lesson plans related to to Islam and the Middle East and North Africa.
Consortium for Educational Resources on Islamic Studies (CERIS)
This consortium is “a collaboration of academic, non-profit, and religious organizations in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.” Under “Resources,” you’ll find helpful information with links to curricula, papers, books, websites, and blogs related to the study of Islam.
Curriculum Internationalization Resources for Community College Educators
Hosted by the University of Arizona, this website serves as a hub for different Title VI National Resource Centers to share curricular information and materials. The website includes a searchable database of lesson plans on MENA and other regional studies. To access the database, go to “Instructional Materials” and define your search terms by region and content area.
Media Construction of the Middle East: A Digital Media Literacy Curriculum
This curriculum is hosted by Project Look Sharp, a project of Ithaca College’s School of Humanities and Science. The curriculum is designed for high school and college classrooms, to teach students “core information and vocabulary about the historical and contemporary Middle East issues that challenge stereotypical, simplistic and uninformed thinking, and political and ethical issues involving the role of media in constructing knowledge, evaluating historical truths, and objectivity and subjectivity in journalism.”
Middle East Teaching Tools: Resources for Educators
Supported by the Middle East Studies Center at Portland State University, this website is a “collection of the best tools and resources to support education about the Middle East at the K-12 level. Materials are organized by country and theme and categorized into three sections, background information, news & media, and teaching materials.”
Rethinking The Region: New Approaches To 9-12 U.S. Curriculum On The Modern Middle East And North Africa
This website was developed by a team of scholars to offer new, pedagogically sound lesson plans on the modern Middle East and North Africa. The site offers five lesson plans on Women & Gender, Plural Identities, Empire & Nation, Political & Social Movements, and Arts & Technology, which include learning objectives and standards for teaching. CMENAS highly recommends this curriculum.
Teaching the Middle East: A Resource for Educators
Created by scholars at the University of Chicago and funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, this website provides teachers with an “overview of Middle Eastern cultures and their contributions to the world.” The website is organized by learning modules such as “The Geography of the Middle East” and “The Golden Age of Islam,” and each module contains lesson plans, images, references, and more.
Teach Mideast is an initiative of the Middle East Policy Council, to “provide free and accessible, high-quality information and resources to enable K-14 educators to teach about the Middle East in social studies and introductory area studies classes.” Here, you will find lesson plans, professional development opportunities, and teaching tools.
The Middle East: Questions for U.S. Foreign Policy
Hosted by Brown University, this is a for-purchase curriculum and set of lessons on U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. The curriculum was created in November of 2017, and include lessons with case studies, role play exercises, and primary source documents.
National Resource Centers
The following is a list of the 14 National Resource Centers, academic departments specializing in Middle Eastern and North African Studies and funded by the U.S. Department of Education Title VI grant for the 2018-2020 cycle. These Centers often have useful resources and materials for K-12 educators in their Outreach webpages, including but not limited to MENA-related lesson plans, suggested reading lists, and syllabi.
University of California Los Angeles