Teaching About the Arab World Through Literature

Contributed By: Connor Seidenschwarz
Language of Presentation: English
Media Format: Streaming Video
School Level: College/University, Elementary, Middle/High School
Institution/Provider: Qatar Foundation International
Author: Arabic Language and Culture Program - Qatar Foundation International
Collection: 2015 QFI Arabic Summer Institute
Condition of Use: Fair Use for Education

This is session 2 of 10 of the 2015 Arabic Summer Institute by Qatar Foundation International. The session is a presentation and discussion of Primary Source (https://www.primarysource.org/), an online source for literary teaching materials, led by Barbara Petzen, President and Founder of Middle East Connections and Josh Cracraft, Program Director with Primary Source.

-How do you choose literature for teaching materials?
—Literature as a great way to put yourself in others’ shoes
—A way to get beyond the headlines

-Teachers examine example texts with Primary Source Rubric in-hand

-How do you evaluate a book? (Rubric read and discussed for how to do so)
—Will it bore the students?
—Is it informative?
—Question of authenticity

-What is authentic material?
—Arab writers/Non-Arab writers
—Writing from experience
—Different perspectives from different authors

-What is inauthentic?
—”Armchair Historians”

-Accuracy and Authenticity
—Understanding and Empathy
—Language Barriers

-Usability, Applicability
—Politically; Sexual Content, Religious violence, Language use
—Circumstances and audience

-Teachers asked to work in pairs/individually to examine texts
—Texts presented to group

-Discussion of Rubric
—Points system or simple notes to determine evaluation

-“Game for Swallows” discussed for use in the classroom
—Graphic Novels; possible to use for activities in Arabic

-“The Librarian of Basra” discussed for use in the classroom

-“Sitti’s Secrets” discussed for use in the classroom
—Could be used to teach diversity in the Arab World

Resource page on teaching literature about the modern Middle East:http://resources.primarysource.org/mi…

Qatar Foundation International, LLC is a grant-making not-for-profit organization located in Washington, DC focused on connecting cultures for greater global good. The Arabic Language and Culture Program aims to increase the quality and quantity of Arabic programs in K-12 public and public charter schools in the Americas. For more information, please visit qfi.org.


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