Problems in Palestine

It seems, that if we watch the news regularly, we cannot go very long without hearing something about the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians. This news worthy issue falls into the realm of a  Geography curriculum under the following Oregon State standards.

  • Analyze the causes of human migration and its effects on physical and human systems
  • Identify and understand worldwide patterns of population distribution, migration, and cultural diffusion and interactions.

To that end we will be studying this phenomenon for the next two weeks. Directly related to this issue is the fact that this region is of extreme importance to three major world religions; they are Christianity, Islam and Judaism. For this reason we will also look at what these religions and in common and how they are different.

Students will be provided with background information. This is an extremely complex issue and we will only scratch the surface; but exposure will afford students the opportunity to begin to understand the causes behind this ever present conflict.

We need to understand there are two sides to this issue – both feel they have a right to be there. The students will be given the opportunity to voice their opinion and advocate for one of the parties; or they may take the role of mediator (many have tried unsuccessfully – including four sitting Presidents) and attempt to pacify both sides.

Their project choices will include:

  1. Write a 1-2 page “Position Paper” – take a side and defend it.
  2. Write a song or poem which describes your feelings about the conflict. Suggested length; 1 page.
  3. Draw a political cartoon depicting one side over the other.
  4. Team Debates (pick a partner and “argue” verbally between you)
  5. Write and perform a 10 minute play with at least 2 but not more than 4 characters (You may do this alone or with partners)
  6. Draw a sensory figure (a pictorial representation of yourself as a pretend resident of this region, and one other drawing of an opposing neighbor)

The scoring guide is included below. See the Assignment Calendar for benchmark due dates.

Does the project… 5-Very Strong 4-Strong 3-Acceptable 2-Needs Improvement 1-Not Acceptable
Explain WHY Palestine is divided
Explain differences between Jews and Muslims
Explain similarities between Jews and Muslims
Differentiate between immigration and emigration
Explain cause and effect
Show you followed directions
Show legible, neatly written work
Student self-assessment

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