Syria and ISIS/Islamic State
Examining How the Syrian Crisis Has Shaped the Lives of Young Refugees: A Guest Lesson Plan from the NY Times Learning Network.
- Follow news on Syria on Twitter at #Syria and #SyriaStrikes
- "Why Syrian President Assad is considered a war criminal" from USA Today
- NY Times: Mapping the Targets of the American Military Attack on Syria
- The Economist: Donald Trump Strikes at Syria's Bashar Al-Assad: But what happens next?
Lesson Plans on Syria and ISIS/Islamic State
There are some trusted sources who offer ready made lesson plans on Syria and ISIS/Islamic State. This does not constitute endorsement; please check the lesson to ensure it meets your needs and the needs of your students.
The Choices Program (Brown University) has released a lesson plan complete with potential handouts on "Debating the U.S. Response to Syria". This is part of their "Teaching with the News" series. The handouts include a graphic organizer to help organize this complex topic. There is also a lesson in their "Teaching with the News" series on "ISIS: A New Threat". It includes primary sources and analysis of political cartoons.
The New York Times also offers a lesson idea on their Learning Network entitled "The Fog of War: Helping Students Make Sense of Syria". Note the posting date for this lesson was Sept 11, 2012, so it would not reflect events from the last few years. There is also a resource/lesson entitled The ISIS Threat: Teaching About the Complex War Raging in Iraq and Syria. The lesson plan has an inquiry base - "what do students already know? Let's analyze images and text sources" as well as general background information. There are a LOT of links to additional resources.
The Pulitzer Center has the lesson "Fractured Lands Focus Lesson: An ISIS Fighter's Background" by Patrick Reilly. This is a primary source analysis of photographs, and of a special issue of the New York Times Magazine, which focus on a characterization of a former ISIS fighter. It is meant to show the complexity of the topic and potential media bias.
The Bill of Rights Institute offers a complete lesson in "ISIS and American Foreign Policy", including questions and potential extension activities.
Alan Singer has a lesson plan on the Huffington Post entitled "Teaching About the Horrific: ISIS". It is designed for secondary students and focuses on horrific events in terrorism and how to talk with students about them. They encourage approaching the topics with sensitivity and seriousness, as well as alerting students that there may be issues that are upsetting.
Finding Current News on Syria and ISIS/Islamic State
Many major newspapers and news magazines have special sections on current events in Syria. I've tried to get sources that represent multiple viewpoints.
- The New York Times
- The Economist (Please note that a lot (not all) of the posts on The Economists' site requires a subscription to the magazine.)
- The Telegraph (London)
- The Washington Times
- The Wall Street Journal has a section of their website devoted to the Middle East (although I couldn't find a section specifically for Syria). Please note that a lot (not all) of the posts on the WSJ site requires a subscription to the newspaper.
These sites also have special sections on the Islamic State (ISIS).