Resource Section
History & Culture

Middle East Debates

Overview: This high school lesson outlines an in-depth 9-week Middle East unit that culminates in a 3-day, 6 hour public performance of skills and knowledge where students debate from the perspective of 20+ different Middle East leaders. The lesson plan below is accompanied by two dozen files (handouts, forms, etc.) that I have developed in teaching this unit for the last 25 years. In addition, the instructional material I created for this course that trains students to critically analyze Middle East history from different perspectives, is published in the kit Media Construction of the Middle East, available free of charge at: While this is a very intensive and time-consuming unit (2-periods – Global Studies and English for 9 weeks) the Middle East debates have become a right-of passage for 10th grade students at our school. They often cite the experience as the most important and transformative learning experience of their high school career. Watch a 5 minute clip from the 2009 debates at:

Chris Sperry