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Middle East Debates

Student participants pose together
Students debate
Student participates in costume  

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School: Lehman Alternative Community School

Project Title: Middle East Debates

Class(s):  Facing History and Ourselves

Grade(s):10th-12th grades

Subject(s): Global History, English, Media Literacy, Performing Arts

Project: As part of the “Facing History and Ourselves” class, students spend eight weeks researching a particular Middle East country and leader. They demonstrate their research in front of fellow students, parents, staff and television cameras by presenting and debating issues from the perspectives of their characters. Students prepare opening speeches from the perspective of their chosen leader. Examples of voices and perspectives you might hear include, King Abdullah II of Jordan, Abdel al Sisi, the President of Egypt, Human Rights representatives from Israel, Palestine and Hezbollah, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of ISIS, and Barak Obama, President of the United States. Students engage in more than three hours of debate and proposals, culminating in voting and closing speeches. 2016-17 is the 30th year LACS students have engaged in the Middle East Debate project.

Standards: NY State History and ELA standards

Service Learning: Public sharing of research and perspectives with community.

Experts/Local connections: Communication with Middle East experts, guest speakers


Media Construction of the Middle East: free online teaching materials developed to prepare students for the debates

The Politics of Maps: 5 minute video demonstration of leading a classroom media decoding activity about Israeli/Palestinian maps