Sie sind auf Seite 1von 20

The Crisis in Syria Lesson Plan

Lesson The Crisis in Syria

Background, Current Situation, and Activities to Engage

Subject Social Studies, Geography, International Studies, World History Estimated Time One class day (40 minutes) & Homework Grade Level Grades 6-8 Objectives Students will: Gain insights on the background of conflict in Syria Understand how the conflict escalated to a humanitarian crisis Become familiar with terms such as refugees, internally displaced population, humanitarian crisis Learn to take action for Syria and engage others in the discussion Suggested Materials A computer that supports online presentation tools such as Prezi Internet access, Projector, Speakers Hand-outs for students with definition of key terms, sample letter to the President, crossword and word search Learning about Syria Worksheet and infographics Marker/Chalk and Blackboard/Whiteboard to record ideas from brainstorm session

Table of Contents


4 4 4 4 4 5-6 5-6 6 6 6 6 7 7 8 8 9 9






10-11 10-11 12 13-14 15 16-17 16 17 18 19-20




Lesson Plan Introduction

About the class (5 minutes) 1. Introduce images to the students (Refer to Appendix II, page 8 for images) 2. Engage the students by asking questions: o What can you tell me about the pictures? o What is happening? o Where do you think this is? o How many of you know an event/place where you have seen similar things?1 3. Tie all of their thoughts together and bring their attention to Syria
Figure 1 : Map of Syria and bordering countries

Background of the Syrian Crisis

History of the Syrian Conflict (5 minutes) 1. Video - 2. Ask students to fill out the Learn about Syria worksheet (Refer to page 10 & 11) as they watch the presentation, and write down at least one question they have about the video. Follow up questions (5 minutes) 1. What do you remember most from the prezi presentation? 2. Who do you think is affected the most by the conflict? Lets find out!
1 2

Refer to the Appendix III for trauma-related resources IAMSYRIA


Current Situation in Syria

The Crisis (10 minutes) 1. Use the data below to create a picture of the current crisis in Syria. Start by asking students to brainstorm ideas about the problems caused by war. Total Killed in Syria: As of July 2013, the UN has documented more than 100,000 casualties since the beginning of the uprisings in 3/18/2011. While presenting data, put an emphasis on civilians (women, children).

Figure 2: Shelling in Syria (Reuters/Khattab Abdulaa)

Refer to the Syria: Cost of Conflict infographics for

data on children. Distribute a copy of the infographics to students. Total Number of Refugees: Before showing the numbers of refugees, ask the students if they know about refugees. Explain refugees using the hand-out with definitions of key terms (Refer to Page 13). Use the UNCHR site to provide exact numbers of refuges from Syria in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt.

Figure 2: Refugee camps in Jordan (UNHCR)

Data -

As of August 12, 2013 the number of Syrian refugees in neighboring countries: Refer to Diagram I in Appendix I (Page 7). Focus on children who are refugees. Refer to for data. Internally displaced population (IDP): Around 5 million (UNHCR). Explain IDP to students using hand-out with the definitions of key terms (Refer to Page 13).

2. Build up to what children are facing Ask students to imagine how they would feel if they were living in these circumstances and what how they would feel about their county. Ask them to keep that in mind while showing them the next video Show them the What children feel about their country (Syria) Video-

Figure 3 : Rema (Oxfam America)

Activities to Engage
Engaging students: Discussion about refugees in Syria and video (15 minutes) Ask students how they feel about the video they just watched

Discuss how they can take Action. Brainstorm ideas and record their suggestions on the white /black board. Some suggestions: o Organize a fundraiser o Educate othersfriends and family (they could show others the video and have their own discussion) o Write a reflection/essay o Learn more (teacher can provide other resources) o Write a letter to President Obama asking him to help bring peace so children can return home and go back to school Ask how many students would like to write a letter (use Oxfams letter as an example). Refer to Page 14 for sample letter to the President. Ask them to write a letter at home and bring it to school the next day.

Distribute a copy of the Sample letter to the President to students. Ask them to write a letter to President Obama asking for peace talks and to end fighting in Syria. (Refer to page 15 for Sample letter to the president) For Extra Credit: Complete the crossword and word search on Syria (Refer to page 16 & 18).

Appendix I

Egypt, 117,470

Iraq, 183,195 Turkey, 463,885 Jordan, 519,676 Lebanon, 739,823

Diagram I Refugees in neighboring countries as of 02 September, 2013 (UNHCR)


Appendix II

Figure 5: By Matt Brown

Figure 6: By John Stossel


Appendix III Trauma- Related Resources International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies Website: The National Child Traumatic Stress Network Website: The Child Welfare league of America (CWLA) Website: Child Trauma Academy Website:


Learning about Syria

Fill in the blanks based on the information from the Prezi presentation

About Syria: 1. Syria is a country bordering the Mediterranean Sea and is considered part of the __________ East. 2. Syria is roughly the size of the state of Missouri and is home to over _____ million people. 3. Flying from the US to Syria spans _________________ miles. 4. In Syria, the majority of people speak ____________. 5. The religion most Syrians follow is _________________. 6. Syrians are famous for their ________________ and _______________. 7. Since 2000, Syria has been ruled by President Bashar al-_____________. 8. Syria has a one party system and has no _________________, _____________________________, and ________________. 9. The Syrian revolt has been part of a movement for freedom in the Middle East known as the ____________ Spring.

The Rebellion 10. The revolt in Syria was started by __________________ who wrote anti-government graffiti on the walls of their city. 11. The school children were ____________________________ and __________________________.


10 | P a g e

12. The regime tried to control the protesters with ____________________. 13. Protestors fought back by ________________________________. 14. In July 2012, the Red Cross called it ___________ War. 15. Both sides are accused of ______________ ________________ abuses.

The Worlds Reaction 16. The UN is trying to negotiate a ____________ solution in Syria. 17. The World Powers are split over how to do it. The U.S, _____________, __________________, and __________________ want Assad to go. 18. But ____________, ______________, and _____________ have stood by the Assad regime. 19. The fighting has spilled over to various countries such as ______________, ________________ and _________________.

Hope for Syria 20. Some of the organizations helping Syrians are _________________, _______________, ______________ and _____________________. 21. Children are helping by _____________________.

11 | P a g e

Key for Learning about Syria Worksheet

About Syria: 1. Middle 2. 20 3. 5710 4. Arabic 5. Muslim 6. Food and Music 7. Assad 8. Political freedom, free speech and freedom of Conscience 9. Arab Rebellion: 10. School children 11. Arrested and harshly punished 12. Force 13. Organizing a rebel army 14. Civil War 15. Human Rights The Worlds Reaction 16. Peaceful 17. France, Britain and Turkey 18. Russia, China and Iran 19. Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq Hope for Syria 20. UNHCR, UNICEF, ICRC and Save the Children 21. Following the story in the news/collecting donations

12 | P a g e

Key Terms
Refugee A refugee is someone who "owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality, and is unable to, or owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country."4 For more information regarding refugees, visit Internally Displaced Population (IDP) Persons or groups of persons who have been forced or obliged to flee or to leave their homes or places of habitual residence, in particular as a result of or in order to avoid the effects of armed conflict, situations of generalized violence, violations of human rights or natural or human-made disasters, and who have not crossed an internationally recognized State border.5 For more information regarding IDP, visit Humanitarian Crisis A humanitarian crisis is an event or series of events which represents a critical threat to the health, safety, security or wellbeing of a community or other large group of people, usually over a wide area. Armed conflicts, epidemics, famine, natural disasters and other major emergencies may all involve or lead to a humanitarian crisis that extends beyond the mandate or capacity of any single agency.6 For more information regarding Humanitarian Crisis, visit

Dictatorship Form of government in which one person or a small group possesses absolute power without effective constitutional limitations.7 For more information regarding Dictatorships, visit

4 5

UNHCR UNHCR 6 Humanitarian Coalition 7 Britannica

13 | P a g e

Arab Spring The Arab Spring refers to the pro-democracy uprisings currently sweeping the Middle East and North Africa. For more information regarding Arab Spring, visit

United Nations An organization of independent states formed in 1945 to work for peace and development, based on the principles of justice, human dignity and well-being of all people. For more information regarding United Nations, visit Oxfam America Oxfam America is a global organization working to right the wrongs of poverty, hunger, and injustice. For more information regarding Oxfam America, visit

14 | P a g e

Sample Letter to the President of United States of America

Date: President Barack Obama The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20500 Dear President Obama, My name is [First Name, Last Name], and I am a student at [Name of the middle School] in [city and state]. I am writing to express my concern about the children in Syria. More than 7000 children have been killed in the fighting in Syria since the conflict started in spring 2011, and many children have had family members killed. The UN has estimated that more than 1 million Syrian children have fled to other countries. Further, thousands of schools have been damaged or destroyed, and many Syrian children are no longer able to attend school. I urge you to do everything you can to find a diplomatic solution that will help Syrian children. They want to go home, they want to live safely, and they want to go back to school. The children of Syria cannot wait any longer for the conflict to stop. Please do everything in your powers to help achieve peace talks and bring an end to the fighting. We ask that you do this for the children of Syria.


[First name, Last Name]

15 | P a g e

Crossword Syria

16 | P a g e

Key for Crossword

Across 2. Aleppo 4. Basaralassad 7. Jordon 8. Damascus 9. Dictatorship 11. Desert 13. Oxfam Down 1. France 2. Arabic 3. Turkey 5. Syrianpound 6. UNHCR 10. Islam 12. Egypt

17 | P a g e

Word Search Syria

18 | P a g e

Resources for Teachers to Develop their own Lesson Plan

Oxfam America Syria Page Information available: Brief history of the conflict, the urgent need and Oxfams humanitarian response to the crisis. Information on how everyone can contribute. High School Lesson Plan Learn More at: Anthony Shadid: Time Is Running Out for a Better Future for Syria (Q & A regarding Syria) Information Available: Introduction to Syrias Past, present and the current crisis from the Pulitzer Prize winner journalist Anthony Shadid.

Syria Deeply Information available: In-depth coverage of the crisis. Outlines the reason, response, causalities, and refugee situation of the conflict. Daily news and recent developments in Syria. I AM SYRIA Information Available: How to advocate for Syria among students, communities and information of Syria including background, and current situation. Lesson plans for middle school students. The Guardian Information available: Latest news on Syria

Videos and Documentaries Inside Syrias War (2013) (15 minutes) Information Available: Inside look from the rebels perspective in Aleppo.
19 | P a g e

The Battle for Syria (2012) (27 minutes) Information available: Day-to-day activities of the rebels including their perspective on Assads government. The Regime Responds (2012) (23 minutes) Information available: The history of the crisis and how it escalated to a civil war. The Refugee Crisis (3 minutes) Information Available: Data on Syrian refugees and the resources needed.

20 | P a g e